In this article Christelle Chopard is sharing insights from her own personal experiences traveling with mindfulness and purpose. She is an independent woman who has lived and work on six continents. With 25 years of experience in the field of holistic coaching and alternative medicine, she founded the DHARMI→ Method, a GPS for your life.
There are so many ways and reasons to travel; family, pleasure, business, or perhaps to escape, or to be closer to someone, or something. There are also therapeutic travels, forms of education, spiritual reasons, or purposeful to support a worthy cause.
There are ways to travel, which are not directly to other locations or countries, rather a way to travel with the mind, while exploring new ways to live and to perceive life.
The goal is not the destination, it is the Journey.
How many times have you traveled just focusing on what you have left behind, or on your expectations of where you are going to?
What about this moment, this particular instant?
I believe that we are all connecting, meeting, and moving in different ways, even that we are all together, here, right now. We experience the law of attraction when we travel, which can bring beautiful synchronicities and signs on our paths.
Here are Five Elements that can add quality and mindfulness along the journey:
ETHER Element: Intention
Be mindful of the intention of your travel and honor every step along the journey.
If your intention is relaxation, then remember that during the process of organizing your travel. Remember to relax when you are in the taxi on the way to the airport. Remember to reflect a state of relaxation in the way you move and speak with the people around you. It may sound simple, yet it is not.
If your intention is mindfulness, then remember to be mindful in the way you walk; to be mindful of the smells, tastes, sounds and the actions you take along the journey.
If your intention is healing, choose to eat, move, and sit in a way that brings wellbeing.
If your intention is love, be loving.
If your intention is prosperity, be generous.
If your intention is openness, release judgment. Be out of your comfort zone exploring new ways, new perspectives and new life experiences.
If your intention is harmony, then remember that there is no need to rush, to resist, to push. Learn to release attachments, expectations and move with the flow of the experience.
A key aspect in this Element is to honor the land and the culture you visit.
AIR Element: Mindfulness, observance
Every now and then, bring back your attention to your breath and to the present moment. Observe who is either side, in front and behind you. Observe the environment that surrounds you. Be attentive to the different smells and tastes that appear along the way.
Can you interpret meaningful signs along the way? An encounter, an experience, even a sensation can be an opportunity to reveal a new direction in your life. To facilitate your travel experience, and support mindfulness, it is best to learn the basics about the culture and the place you visit. Even if it is a family visit in Spain, Australia, Vietnam or Uruguay. You can open your mind to explore the culture in which your family is living at the time. This is a beautiful opportunity to learn and to grow. How is the culture, what is the perspective of the people, what is the situation and the conditions of living where you are traveling?
Can you open your mind while still honoring your intention?
A key aspect in this Element is to open your mind to the culture and to the experience being mindful along the journey.
FIRE Element: Motivation, Interaction
What is your motivation and purpose to travel to this specific destination?
Are you still moving in the familiar rhythm, even when you are visiting a country that is moving at another pace? It may take a few days, even months sometimes, to observe and to adapt to certain behaviors that are unique to the culture and environment you are visiting. There are people who stick to their own habits and patterns as they travel, wherever they may go. There are a few people who will be flexible, and will adapt and surrender fully to the experience of the moment without any direction, or purpose. There is another way that provides space to explore and be out of your comfort zone while honoring your own intention and priorities. What is your way?
When we travel with mindfulness we become more aware of the law of attraction. Wherever we may go, wherever we may be, we can awaken clarity of this aspect by observing who are the people and what are the circumstances that we are attracting along the way.
With life experiences and throughout my profession, I have observed that there is a grid that clearly defines the frequency of people and places. It is not only about which country or community you visit, but rather about in which frequency you are, that will define your experience and encounters.
In which rhythm are you dancing in this moment? Do you have to wait for 2 hours before you can move, or are you in a rush?
A key aspect in this Element is to be heartful and attentive in your interactions.
WATER Element: Emotional connections, relationships
When you release attachments or expectations, you are opening the flow and the door to go out of your comfort zone. It will move you emotionally and can trigger some emotions that you easily repress in different circumstances.
You can choose to stay in your comfort zone or choose to become involved with your surroundings and the people of the land you visit. Whichever way you choose is perfect, as long as it is aligned with your intention.
Some people may push their limits to a point that can be emotionally traumatizing, while others will resist everything and become very nervous about anything that will take them out of comfort. They will choose to travel to locations that are familiar, safe, or travel everywhere while staying in the same chain of hotel, so they have the comfort of the familiarity of that brand, whether they will be in Italy, in England, in NY, in Hawaii, in Miramar, Dubai or Honduras. They will have the same welcoming cocktail, the same brands of care products, and the same style of sheets and smells in their rooms. Everyone has their own way to be and to travel. The key is to be at peace with your own way, to accept and have compassion towards yourself and others around you.
Flow in harmony with yourself as a visitor, and with others who are receiving you.
A key aspect in this Element is to have compassion with those around you.
EARTH Elements: Organization, Discipline, Manifestation,
Traveling requires clear organization of your resources, your time, and your space. The clearer your intention is, the clearer the process of organization will be.
With life experiences, I have observed that freedom has a cost. This is not only in the travel costs, yet also in the creative process of your self-experiences, your visions, and your inspirations. I see freedom not only as the possibility to travel, but also as a way to be fully who you are in your expression and realizations.
A key aspect in this Element is the Respect of the land and the culture you visit.
It can be challenging to maintain healthy discipline when we travel and are on the move. Though, it is a fundamental aspect to stay healthy and strong.
We have to adapt, yet, a clear discipline and honoring basic principles will help us to stay balanced along the journey.
The organization of your meals and following a healthy diet based as much as possible on local, organic products will support your integration and keep your immune system strong. It will also be the opportunity to support the community and economy of the place you visit. If you eat a spoon of local honey where you will be visiting, you will receive protection from the flowers and environment where the bees pollinate. If you cannot find fresh seasonal and local food, do your best to adapt your diet to the environment for a healthy experience.
Some exercises such as a daily practice of the five Tibetan Rites, yoga, Transcendental Meditation and a weekly practice of the Vortex of Energy Meditation will be highly beneficial.
The integration of all Five Elements brings more mindfulness and integrity in your travel experiences.
May your journey be insightful and beautiful.
Holistic Healer and Coach
Author, Visionary Entrepreneur
Founder DHARMI® Method and Yoga-Water®