Mindfulness for Travelers - Travel as a Healer for Yourself
Mindfulness is the key to having an awakening journey on any travel experience. When awareness of present space is fully acknowledged not only is the gift of the experience more palpable, but also opportunities seem to find themselves. It is not to see the Maya, or illusion, of your travels but the magic that is the true consciousness of living. When you travel with grounded presence, you embrace all the freshness and expansiveness of the experience.
The more you examine your visit through mindfulness the more in depth your memories of the encounter will be. There are a few easy practices to implement on any trip that I will explain in full detail.
1. Eating Mindfully
2. Walking Meditation/ Mindful Walking
3. Mindful Listening
Eating mindfully is so extraordinary when most of the foods you are eating have new and original flavors enlightening your palette. In Buddhism, silence is recommended for an eating meditation. Wherein with Ayurveda, it is tradition to chew your food 32 times for each bite, mindfully examining the textures while making digestion easier. I enjoy eating silently whenever I sample an atypical meal I have never eaten and try to examine all the varieties of consistencies and characteristics. I dissect the seasonings and essences. I smell the aroma. I relish in each bite and I find the history of familial traditions. Food has a beauty of connecting people and bringing countless cultures together.
Walking meditations can be done a number of ways as well. I like to use walking either after meals for better digestion or in the morning as a grounding routine or earthing (check out https://www.earthing.com/what-is-earthing/ for more info on earthing). If you have a chance to be barefoot 10 minutes a day on the grass anywhere, I suggest doing a grounding walking meditation in the morning before you start your adventures. By performing this, it allows a connection of presence and awareness to the natural environment and your literal physical tie to the terrain.
I do this walking meditation by simple slowing down my steps into three mindful thoughts for each step: lift, move, and place. I set the intention before walking, stand for a few breaths, prepare to walk and then make my first step in a calm and controlled mindset. Before completing the meditation I also mindfully stop walking and stand in a meditation with my eyes closed for a few minutes. I make an effort to always stay centered and feel all parts of my feet, controlling the weight shift.
Lastly, mindful listening, also known as active listening, is outstanding to use during any conversational moment transpiring while on a vacation. This type of listening requires both to be present while also practicing without judgment- instead with honest kindness. Whenever I am traveling- which nowadays is always-I am conscious of both my talking and my listening. For me this act is not to be completely silent, but to be more aware when talking emerges.
I ask myself prominent questions to make sure I am present in the act of listening and connecting.
Examples of questions to ask yourself:
Am I asking leading questions to provoke more understanding?
Am I listening with an open heart and mind?
Am I listening with a real curiosity?
Can I empathize with the person talking?
Am I quiet?
Am I building a better understanding of the culture by asking more questions in relation to what people are sharing with me?
Mindful listening takes practice but is worth the practice as it allows so many opportunities for learning and growing to arise just by mastering this simple act of listening. Remember not to judge yourself in this process and know that the experience will become richer over time and with repetition.
Mindfulness opens an expression of truth that only the consciousness of presence can reward us. Every day is a gift and it feels even more so powerful when we are on a journey away from all that we recognize and see within our regular home life. When we are traveling, we are able to bond to parts of ourselves deeply and shift in the presence of new energies. Mindfulness lifts up gratitude, it allows us to be one with our surroundings and fully present. Our radiant self flourishes with mindfulness and our memories become vibrant with details through all of our senses.
It is with mindfulness we become vested in the journey and trust the universe completely without doubt. When we accept this present reality whole, then we are given all that it has to offer without any limitation. Any travels, vacations, trips or even daily life is only that much more brilliant when we give the full manifestation that it deserves.
With Infinite Gratitude,
The Snarky Spiritualist
Brook Woolf, Your Future Empowerment Coach and Travel Writer
About the Author:
Brook Woolf is an empowerment coach who helps people achieve pain-free living through the power of mindset. She currently runs a course for travelers who feel stuck or lost, suchas digital nomads and remote workers. She is a true jill of all trades. She founded a three-story nonprofit art center at 22 years of age, promoting constant learning and in doing so she is consistently enrolling herself in new skills. She is certified in Massage Therapy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Thai Massage, B.F.A., coaching as well as studied Chinese nutrition and holistic wellness.