Monthly Archives: September 2013

Conscious Travel

My friends know I love to travel! Locally or abroad, it doesn’t really matter to me; every place has something to offer and I’m both an eager participant and student. Implicitly compatible with my love of travel, is my practice of Feng Shui. A reverent system, Feng Shui offers practical advise about ways we can connect to the energies of our planet and is based in ancient wisdom that understood the inter-connectedness of everything around us.NautA01

These Feng Shui concepts have given me new ways to view the world, and as a result, increasingly engage in what I call “conscious travel.” We may get away with going through the routine of our day on automatic pilot, but traveling compels us to entertain a certain amount of alertness and awareness; it urges us to be fully aware of whom we are and where we are.

To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.Bill Bryson

Reasons to travel are varied and unique to each of us. We travel to learn about other cultures, try new cuisine, visit museums, cultural and historical sights, hike, ski, get away from the routine, relax and so on. And we are captivated by the natural beauty of the places we visit.  Whether it’s Minnesota’s land of 10, 000 lakes, the glacial valley of Bhutan’s lush national park of Phobjikha, or the gorgeous beaches of the world, we seek to connect with nature as it exists, independent of us.

The wind is mild, the sun is warm, the water is clear, the trees are lush. Such a spot has good Feng Shui. –Ancient Chinese couplet

Being in the natural world offers us the opportunity for relaxation, for visioning, for dreaming, for exhilaration, for comfort, for de-compressing, or for simplifying. And, indeed, the first principle of Feng Shui is “Nature is the Model.” Nature is beauty in its purest form. It can be our healer and our teacher. The practice of Feng Shui encourages us to understand what makes a forest of trees soothing or a beautiful sunset inspiring.  When we intentionally incorporate that energy  into our home or office environments, these man-made surroundings also become more soothing, inspiring and harmonious.

I was recently reminded of how nature can be both a healer and a teacher. We traveled to Glacier National Park earlier this month. It was my first trip where the primary intention was hiking. This brought me face to face with nature in a way different from previous travel experiences. I was confronted with the necessity of learning about the habits of bears and how to be respectfully present in THEIR environment. I was the interloper in their space! Definitely a new perspective that became real not just conceptual!BearA

Bear sightings were abundant. One lone bear decided to take the path I was on. Fortunately, it chose to walk away from me rather than toward me! If he, or she, had decided to come my way, I honestly would have been terrified, but with my newly learned knowledge, I trust I would have responded appropriately.

 

 

The majestic beauty of the area was inspiring! And having experienced a personal loss the month prior, the physical activity of hiking in the beauty of the mountains and lakes provided a healing perspective; a humbling reminder there is so much out there bigger than I!

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Isn’t that really what traveling offers when we seek to experience the “nature” of a place? Don’t we expect, at least privately, to return changed just a little? More relaxed, better informed, more open to life, and to other ways of being, more expanded, if you will. This is what conscious travel is about. It’s also good Feng Shui!

 The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust 

 

I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me to share travel experiences that have changed you in some way.