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July 2013


Highlights of Irish Pilgrimage

This is Dorothy! As promised last month, I now share highlights of my June pilgrimage to the west coast of Ireland, to give you a 'taste' of the experience. It was a trip I was meant to make, despite the 'Voice' in MY head that did its best to dissuade me for 'practical' reasons. When I finally made the commitment (and was the last person to book) I surrendered concerns and 'what if's', trusting the reason for going would present itself... and it did!

The pilgrimage was with the Sacred Art of Living and included visiting some of the most sacred sites in Celtic history, led by its founder, Richard Groves, and knowledgeable Irish guides with a passion and pride in their heritage. Over the top, for me, were rituals we shared, one-on-one conversations with other 'pilgrims' and local village shop owners. Each one had a message that I needed to hear - REALLY hear - to take me on the next step of my journey. Here are just a few of the significant ones:

  • My roommates who gave me the missing piece of the jig-saw (that I didn't know I was missing), and shared audio conversations with John O'Donohue, that I needed to hear (author of Anam Cara and whose gravesite we visited);
  • The beautiful man who held my hand for support as we walked up a steep incline;
  • My first breakfast companion with whom I had an instant connection (and who gifted an Irish fairy that remains beside my computer, and brings a smile);
  • The shop owner who shared the expression, "he was comfortable in his own skin";
  • Our informative driver who was "one" with his bus (even though cars in the opposite direction 'shivered' on their side of the narrow roads), and was the perfect companion on our trip;
  • Personal feedback while sitting in a dimly lit pub, moving me beyond words and confirming why I chose a spiritual path;
  • Exchanging quotes while standing on a busy street in Galway, being reminded that we are all part of a beautiful mosaic, and without each one of us it would not be complete;
  • All the heart-minded fellow pilgrims, whom this audio does not do justice, but whose presence enriched my life.

Oh, yes, I did visit numerous pubs, drank 'medicinal' Guinness, poured my own pint, laughed a lot, lived in a thatched cottage, and drank Irish Whisky while sitting beside a peat fire. An equally precious experience was having three days at the end of our pilgrimage with a long-time friend and her husband from Belfast, and staying at an amazing B&B - previously a convent. Also, a reminder of the swiftness of time, as we met in our mid-teens when starting our careers.

Let me end by urging you to REALLY listen to the inner Voice that speaks to you. At significant times in my life I have heard it and (eventually) heeded it... like when It said, "You will become a minister", and my instant response was "Not me God, go pick on someone else"!! When ready to bale from final ministry studies, awakening to the word "Surrender" - do my part, surrender and trust the outcome.

I believe we are each here by Divine Appointment, that we all need at times a hand to hold and a listening ear, and I was privileged to experience both on my journey. At our final sacred ritual we sang an Enya song, Pilgrim, reminding us that we can't change what's over, but only where we go. If I can support and mentor you on where you are going, I hope you'll call. Happy Canada Day and a special Independence Day to my fellow pilgrims. Until next time, this is Dorothy. Namasté.

Dorothy B.
Dorothy B.

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Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada
604-535-9016
info@innisfreespirit.com