My whole life, I was an atheist. I didn’t believe in anything, except that their might be some “energy thingy” out there that made the universe tick. After all, if there wasn’t something, why couldn’t science create life? It was not until my first trip to Egypt, where I went as an unwitting tourist, that Spirit smacked me upside the head and, in one incredible moment of clarity, made me understand that I was a soul having a human experience, and not a human just grappling with existential dialogue.
This was a powerful transformation for me, and, twelve years later, continues to be the most important moment of my entire life. In fact, I finally sat down to write a book about my experiences. Red Goddess Rising is being released this month, and I am thrilled with how it turned out. But sitting at my computer the first time, wondering what the story was going to be, I realized it was about a lot more than my own spiritual awakening. That moment of pure Spirit energy led to spiritual tours that I co-lead with my partner, Greg Roach, of Spirit Quest Tours. And on those trips, we have seen people have their own experiences, healings, and awakenings, often just as powerful.
Many of these spiritual travel shifts occurred with women who needed some sort of heart healing. They had been through a traumatic divorce, the death of their spouse, or in some way lost part of themselves to the “stuff that happens along the way.” Like the woman whose husband had an affair. She had left him nearly ten years ago, but on some level, still thought it was her fault and had been punishing herself ever since. Or the women whose husbands or loved ones committed suicide, and years later, they still felt horrific guilt and agonized over what they could have done to stop it. Sometimes, it’s a man – like the guy who went to prison for something he was only peripherally involved with, then no longer understood his purpose. For all these people, a single week or two on a spiritual tour with us, and they have gone home lighter, freer, having forgiven themselves.
In some cases the healing that takes place during spiritual travel is so profound they are literally no longer the same person they were when they arrived. We had one couple who came to Egypt with us, and when we told the wife how much we liked her husband, she replied, “Oh, that’s not my husband. I don’t know who that man is. I just hope he comes home with me!” And he did.
So why does this happen so quickly, on what most people believe is just a great vacation? In my observations, it’s because there’s a letting go that occurs when you are taken out of your routine during spiritual travel. Flying so far away from your “normal” life gives you permission, and the time, to dream. Once this opening takes place, you can shift, even just a little. And then a little more. We structure our trips to facilitate the most opportunity for awareness and healing (like on our Eat Pray Love Bali spiritual tours, where we have daily themes from the book) but it’s more than that. It’s the allowing and encouraging of your spirit.
We forget—as we drive to work, keep up with our errands, deal with screaming children or bosses, and continue to grind away at our daily lives—how much we need to give ourselves room to grow, to hope. Getting away from the daily minutiae enables us to stretch, and to remember the truth underneath everything: we are spiritual beings, and our only real job is to experience joy. As long as we accomplish that, the rest of it falls in line. On spiritual travel, whether solo or in groups, we are granting ourselves permission to be who we really are in some small way. Once that seed is planted, it flourishes quickly and powerful shifts occur. I am blessed to have witnessed so many on our own spiritual tours.
Red Goddess Rising comes out January 18th. Join author Halle Eavelyn at Mystic Journey bookstore for a launch party and reading January 20th at 6:30 pm for excerpts from her spiritual travel memoir, wine, and Egyptian appetizers. RSVP here: http://www.halleeavelyn.com