Meeting the Inner Explorer


‘ “I craved to go beyond the garden gate, follow the road that passed it by, and set out for the unknown,” Alexandra David-Neel wrote in 1923, recalling her daring journey to the Himalayas in search of spiritual growth and high-spirited adventure. A former actress, the Parisian-born explorer dressed as a pilgrim to make her way into the heart of Tibert- the closed and sacred city of Lhasa. Never before had a woman from the West seen its face.

As I drive the afternoon car pool, I wonder, how does a woman today satisfy such wanderlust? How do I reconcile the dream of visiting the temple of Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut near ancient Thebes with the reality of transporting a station wagon full of children from school to soccer practice?

If you, too, crave scenes beyond the garden gate, do what I do to keep the spark of adventure alive: journey within to meet your authentic explorer. Where is she headed? If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, babysitter at your disposal, where would you go? Why? Who would you be with? How long would you stay? What would you do?

Yes, this is a first-class fantasy, and it’s supposed to be fun. To inspire your far-flung creative visualization, stop in at the library and peruse the travel shelves. Let your fingers do the wandering. Read about famous women explorers. Collect their exploits and tuck them into your subconscious mind.

Next, take a creative excursion to a travel agency and collect colorful brochures or your discovery journal. When asked, be noncommittal about the date of departure. No one needs to know that you’re traveling in your armchair, indulging your imagination on a cold winter’s night as you consider exploration as a personal metaphor.

And why, you might ask? Because, as Alice Walker astutely observes, we’re learning day by day that “the most foreign country is within.” We are our own dark continent, we are our own savage frontier. Many marvels await discovery as we continue on the path of authenticity.’ -Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

So, where would you go? And why?

Who would you take?

What would you want to do while you are there?

Is it hard for you to plan something like this, knowing it is mostly for the purpose of your inner journey?

Leave your answers in my comments.


‘There is only one journey. Going inside yourself.’ -Rainer Maria Rilke

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