Have you embarked on a spirit walk lately?
In the (exceptional, gripping, tender, tough) narrative Wild about her solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail at the age of 26, Cheryl Strayed meets a Latino man who firmly tells her: You are on a spirit walk.
She hadn’t thought of it that way, yet she was – she was attempting to reclaim her life. She’d lost her locus upon her mother’s death, her family’s disintegration, heroin, unmoored sexuality . . . .
What is a spirit walk?
A Spirit Walk is when you heed the calling of your spirit, journeying where your spirit leads you, so that you may experience that which you to need experience in order to realize your reason for being here.
So this Latino man with the long black ponytail was dead on. As an emphatic gesture he gave Cheryl a Rastafarian t-shirt with Bob Marley big and bold on the front. She wore it the next day as she set out on the next segment of her trek.
A spirit walk is most often a solo journey, though I am sure there are many who embark on a path of the spirit with others and each comes to grips with their own stuff en route.
(An excellent example of this in film is The Way.)
A spirit walk need not involve travel. My friend Gil goes on fasts and I would consider those spirit walks. It might be a juice fast or a restricted vegan diet, but its purpose is cleansing. Re-ordering. Waking up from the habitual moves one makes almost as if sleep-walking through the day.
Your spirit walks
If you look back on your life you may be surprised to find you’ve spirit walked unknowingly. For example, when you took up a vigorous yoga or meditation practice all of a sudden. Or when you decided to take off on some kind of venture alone. Or made a sharp break with your past self, exploring a new you.
Starting a business is it’s own kind of spirit walk when it is a mission of the heart. Maybe it’s when you gave up drugs or drink and the circle of people associated with that downward path.
There are many ways to undertake a spirit walk. All involve a sloughing off of something no longer meaningful, and all involve an exploration of a new possible you.