Pilgrimages to sacred places were of great importance for the Celtic people. Along the way, cairns were left by these pilgrims as they progressed on their spiritual journey. These carefully built towers, constructed from rocks lying near the path, were tangible signs that represented a range of personal accomplishments from a single, soul-changing prayer to the completion of their pilgrimage.
Even within the parameters of our own, everyday lives we too can go on a pilgrimage. This entails a daily discipline that we commit to, despite the character of the day that lies ahead. Unfortunate weather conditions rarely drove a pilgrim from his or her path, and this is the mindset that we adopt as we move forward.
We begin the process by being completely honest with ourselves. Deep within, we are aware of those spiritual roadblocks that prevent us from experiencing a sense of wholeness in our lives. Choose a single issue. There are five stages of healing that lead to a more enlightened life and these are: physical healing, healing of the heart, the healing of our thoughts, the healing of our spiritual awareness and our connection with our Creator, and the healing of our ability to fulfill our life’s purpose.
Somewhere along this continuum, lies an issue that requires healing. There is no judgment here, no pilgrimage objective is better or worse than another. When we begin to heal the different parts of our being, we experience a synergy of wholeness that leads to self-actualized living. Choose your issue. Your intention then, is to follow this path until you have an awakening or recognize within yourself, actual emotional healing or the inner strength to leave unhelpful behaviors behind.
The next step of the process is to research the issue that you have chosen and create a list of books to consider as guides for your personal pilgrimage. You might consider using more than one book on your daily pilgrimage, if you are looking for both daily inspiration and a tried and true route to wholeness regarding the issue upon which you seek to improve. One book could cover the issue in depth - and from this volume your daily reading may be as long as a couple of pages to an entire chapter, depending on your time commitment. A second book could simply provide daily inspiration on the topic.
Obtain your resource books, purchase a journal, choose a time of day that you will honor despite the weather, and schedule your start date.
Before you begin each day, mark the start of this valuable time set aside specifically for interior work and breathe yourself into a calm state. If possible, utilize the power of essential oils and incorporate a single oil or a blend of oils to magnify the effect of using breath to ground yourself.
Once your mind is engaged in the moment, take your time and read slowly. Process each word thoroughly. Read the passage, two or three times. With each pass through, take away something new from within the lines or deepen your understanding of the concept presented.
Apply it to your life. Write about it in the journal that you will keep on your pilgrimage. Live it, out in the world, once you conclude your personal time, focusing on your intention to grow. View how even the smallest shift in your perspective can change something about you or the way in which you view the world. Internalize the lesson and move on with your day; keeping the value of your reading close at hand with a chosen word, intention or phrase to remind you of that day’s lesson.
When we bring new spiritual insight into our lives, there is a sense of renewal or rebirth. As always, this is accompanied by love, love for our Creator, for our selves and for our neighbor. There is a lightening of the spirit, a wellspring of hope or joy that radiates as energy when we interact with others. It’s a sign that we have experienced the healing of a part of ourselves.
When you have moved on, place a cairn in your journal to mark this part of the path. Feel free to print out the photo that accompanies this article. The placement of a cairn is an indication that you’re exactly where you need to be on your personal, spiritual journey, as well as a marker on the trail or a reminder to look back on, when you’ve lost your way.
Be creative with your time on this pilgrimage. Be innovative in your journaling or spend your daily time commitment out of doors. For the Celts, God is revealed in His glorious design of the natural world. There is a spiritual quality in nature that connects us to our Creator and conveys the spiritual truth that God is close at hand. We can use this time to pray and ask for deeper understanding or for inner strength or simply to praise God for His creation. At the end of your pilgrimage, construct your own cairn and place it in your garden as a reminder of your journey.
Bridget Geegan Blanton’s writing career as a newspaper columnist, a web-site contributor, content writer and French language translator has found new expression as a novelist. ‘Whispers on the Wind’, Bridget’s debut novel was the first installment in the Celtic Heart Historical Fiction Series that continues with ‘A Woman’s Equal Share’. The soul-awakening tenets of celtic wisdom embody the spiritual ideal upon which this inspirational series has been crafted. Learn more about the novels and enrich your day spiritually by way of articles and motivational videos at Bridget’s web-site: https://www.desertrosebooks.com
Paperbacks in the Celtic Heart Historical Fiction Series are available exclusively, here at Desert Rose Books. Visit the Bookstore.
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