How to Hold On the the High After Pilgrimage - Experiential Online Animism Class
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How to Hold On the the High After Pilgrimage

high after pilgrimage

How to Hold On the the High After Pilgrimage

If you’re a sacred travel junkie, you know the routine. You go somewhere amazing and have an absolutely transformative experience, then you get home and feel like you a fish out of water. What happened? Who are you now? Why is this life so ill fitting all of a sudden? How can you hold on to the high after pilgrimage? The only option available seems like you just have to go again.

Maybe there is another way. Let’s take a look.

Be Present

One of the things that makes pilgrimage so amazing is that most people are mindful and present so they see things in a different light. How you do anything is how you do everything. If you simply transfer that skill into your every day life, you will see beauty in things right here and right now. 

I know it’s easy to slip back into sleep when you’re lulled by routine. Don’t let yourself! Make the effort to stay conscious and enjoy today with all its challenges and joys. This will bring a sense of aliveness to even ordinary things like drinking tea or talking a walk. When you can find joy in little things, you are truly at peace.

Make Connections

Sometimes the magic of pilgrimage comes from the people that you meet. Maybe those people part ways once the traveling is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to sever the connection. Or if you do, you can always connect with people where you live. 

People need to be with other people who understand them and will be a nonjudgmental witness to their lives. This is how we enrich each other. This means you have to show up, be vulnerable, give your attention, and receive that of others. Moon circles are great ways for women to do that. There aren’t a lot of places like that for men, but they do exist. Find them! 

Online places are better than nothing. There are tons of places that people with the same interests can gather. These lack eye contact and the warmth that a live human connection can provide, but if sometimes time, space, social skills, or personal factors make this the best option.

Make Changes

Did you have an epiphany on your trip? If so, what are you doing with that? Are you incorporating it into your life? What good is seeing the light if you don’t allow it to continue to shine within you? 

Usually these are small things like “Wake up earlier” or “You know you are love. Act like it.” They don’t tend to be big things like “Quit your job and move to Alaska.” Just because they are small doesn’t mean they aren’t powerful. So what’s stopping you? 

Release Comparisons

I am not sure who said that all unhappiness is based on unfavorable comparison, but it sure is true. The high of sacred travel feels so good that it can make our every day lives look dull. We might want to chase a sense of aliveness, but everything in the circle of life changes.

There is a time for excitement, work, beginnings, rest, sadness, plateaus – everything. We need lots of variety to give things meaning. We can’t know high without there being a low. So enjoy the lows and plateaus. They means your life is still moving.

We journey outside of our every day lives to get a better view of it. We aren’t intended to live there. If you want to make the gold you get while on a spiritual journey shine, bring it back with you. Don’t leave it behind. Let it shine from within. It will make your travels far more valuable for you.


Laura grew up with animism. She is a co-founder of Pan Society, a licensed clinical social worker, author of Angel Whispering: How to Talk to Your Spiritual Guides and How To Be A Panist: A Guide to Creating a Modern Animist Lifestyle. She also facilitates spiritual pilgrimages. For more information about Laura Giles, see her websites at

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