The thought of traveling again fills me with anxiety and more than a little dread. After months of stay-home orders, quarantines and isolations, I’m having a hard time imagining what it will feel like to hop on a flight, board a train, stay in a hotel or check in to an airbnb again. Simply going to the grocery store or swinging past the post office feels like an act of courage right now.
Added to the anxiety is a renewed awareness of how my travel impacts our collective home, this planet. I was inspired by Greta Thunberg’s choice to cross the Atlantic by sailboat to reach the UN Meeting rather than board a 9-hour flight. In what feels like a former life, I used to commute round-trip between Cambridge, MA and New York city weekly. That commute contributed almost a metric ton of carbon to the atmosphere, the equivalent of melting 3 square meters of Arctic summer ice (32 cubic feet), each month!
Yet I considered myself an “environmentalist” because I ticked the box to offset my carbon for each flight, because I recycled and composted regularly and tried to eat locally-produced foods for the most part. Now that I’ve been home for 5 months, I’m feeling what the Swedish call “flygskam,” or ‘flying shame.” I dearly love traveling and seeing this beautiful planet we live on.
But now I wonder at what cost?
This global pause has seen air pollution clear, waters run cleaner and animals even explore into suburban landscapes, bringing to mind the ways we wander into the wilderness. It’s a reminder of how we humans are all a part of great nature, not separate from it. As much we put up walls and windows, use heat and ac, package our foods, and try to control our daily experiences -- we’re a part of this natural world.
And I wonder what it looks like to live more in harmony with our natural rhythms and spaces?
The first step in any process is always a realization, an awakening. When I traveled so much for work that I spent more nights in hotels than my own bed, I started a routine to settle myself into each new room. Drawing on Feng Shui principles, energy healing, Reiki and my love of the natural world, it helped me adapt to the travel, I slept better, and as Guru Jagat says, probably strengthened my aura in the process.
As many of us resume travel, whether for work, school or vacation, and have a new or renewed desire to do so more mindfully, here’s a technique to clear a space, ground yourself, and prepare you for being in the world again:
Acknowledge the Space
Claim your Space
As you enter the space and put your things down, take a moment to clearly state your purpose for being there, how long you’ll be there and an intention for sharing the space.
Clear the Space
You are now standing in a cleared space of your energy commingled with the natural energy that existed in the room before you arrived. You have stated your intention for being there and named specific aspects of the space. You are now in relationship with it.
Take up Space
This is when I unpack my travel kit: A few crystals, a feather, maybe a stone or two. I’ll place the crystals in a pleasing formation, usually on a dresser or table near the center of the room. If the space doesn’t feel great to me, I’ll place a crystal in each corner so that I’m inside a grid whenever I’m in the room.
Leaving the Space
When leaving the space, don’t forget to release the energy you put into the space! It is important to release it and close the container you have created. You can make this a simple act, by simply turning back at the door as you leave for the last time, recognize your intention to clear your energies from the space and imagine collecting all that white light back into your hands, or sending it out the door or window. It will return to its right and perfect place.
If you forget to do this last step, know that you can do it from a distance too! Bring up the image of the room in your minds eye, state your intention to clear your energies from the space and dissolve container you’ve created, and imagine the white light that you created going out the door, the window or back into your hands.
Last note: If you put crystals in the corners of the room, don’t forget to take them with you!
I use this as a short practice for hotel rooms, vacation rentals, and even when staying at friends houses. When I move to a new house, I’ll do a longer version and work through each room with 3 passes, using more allies like fruits and flowers, water and music. My mother taught me this practice using a bowl of whole lemons in water, and flicking the water into each corner of a new space before moving in. When I lived with my local host family in Bali they taught me the practice of making holy water with flowers and of clearing a space each day. Energy clearing is a practice we can use personally on our selves, when holding space for others, and in the physical spaces we occupy.
Did you try this practice?
Let me know how it worked for you! Send me your questions, your thoughts, and stories about it.