Wayfaring to Santiago taught me that every day can be infused with meaning and adventure, as it’s yet another day of our pilgrimage called life. Since I returned, I’ve been exploring the concept of everyday life as a pilgrimage.
Today’s article will centre around the concept of everyday pilgrimage. What is it exactly? How is it connected to living a meaningful and adventurous life, and why is it even important?
the everyday pilgrimage
Not surprisingly, as it does fit so incredibly well, the metaphor of “life as a pilgrimage” is often used in religious and spiritual discourse – for example in Christian mysticism and Sufism, to name but a few.
In these traditions, the course of life is not seen as just any other journey, but as a travelling towards a meaningful or sacred destination.
Seen in this light, we’re all pilgrims. Wayfaring our own path towards a destination meaningful to us. Our daily lives, then, become our pilgrimage.
Although I would distinguish the everyday pilgrimage from the outer (physical) and the inner (spiritual) pilgrimage, they are not totally separated. For our physical journeys, and the knowledge we gather on our more inward focused or spiritual quest, heavily inform our daily lives.
a meaningful & adventurous life
So you might wonder, okay, how does that metaphor translate to daily life? What does it entail… journeying towards something meaningful or scared, or a meaningful or sacred journey?
If you’d ask me I’d say that the destination and even more so the journey itself, is creating a meaningful life. With which I mean a life that is a true expression of who we are. A life that fills us up, that brightens our heart.
And I’m not talking about a life that is solely about the good stuff. It’s not about it being easy, or happy feels only. Even when living a life that is a more vibrant expression of our being, we will encounter hard times and difficult phases.
In the process of creating a meaningful life, dealing with the entire spectrum of living is precisely that which will help us grow even closer to ourselves.
Filled with curiosity and wonder, a meaningful life requires us to continuously let go or adjust our understanding of ourselves. It is a constant proces of reviewing where we stand, and where we want to go.
I recently listened to a ON BEING podcast interview with Paulo Coelho, who sees life so accurately phrased it: “A pilgrimage, at the end of the day, is basically — get rid of things that you are used [to] and try something new.”
I hear you think: “Where does the adventure come in?” It comes in when we have the courage to see ourselves in a different light, it comes in when we have acquired new knowledge about ourselves. And, with that acquired wisdom, we try new things, make alternative choices, or head into another direction. Exaclty those things you do when you are on a pilgrimage.
the importance of a meaningful & adventurous life
Do you want to live a life that is a true expression of who you are?
Connecting with who we are, what is meaningful or sacred to us, will eventually create life experiences that make us feel whole and free.
The everyday pilgrimage is a journey to gradually stand more in our own power, adjusting our journey accordingly, and eventually live a more authentic life.
As the experience of connecting with our meaning, naturally radiates to other parts of our life, the choices we make regarding our health, our careers, personal projects, as well as our relationships with others.. it opens us up and, eventually, it will make us feel more like ourselves – like we belong to ourselves.
the next step in the journey
I can totally imagine you must be thinking right now, where do I start! Don’t worry, I got you covered. In another article, I’ll be diving into the more practical side of things, on how you can begin creating a life that’s more meaningful to you.
If you have any remaining questions regarding the topic, please post them in the comments below or send me a DM on IG. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!