By Sophia Remolde – In February 2014, I was invited to Tokyo for my dream job—dancing with robots! Three months later, my life completely imploded. Every part. It was as if I had personally called in the robot apocalypse and they decided to erase the hard drive containing my life. Relationships came crashing down, I quit my job, finances demolished, my body tweaked out, and I was isolated in a country where I felt I didn’t belong (despite the fact that my mother was born there). I laid on the floor for weeks, shattered.
Prior to summoning my personal robot apocalypse, I was thrust out on my first accidental pilgrimage to Korea to visit family on my mother’s side. This was the catalyst for all the changes that would come. My friends recommended I go on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. I had never heard of Japan’s most famous pilgrimage route. However, the 1200km loop around the island of Shikoku called me to visit its 88 temples. I didn’t know how I would walk the 40 – 60 day route in only 24 days. But when there’s nothing left, all possibilities reveal themselves. A few days later, I left with a map, backpack, and walking stick. From there, my entire reality shifted. Promptly after, pilgrimage became my life.
In 2015, I started bringing people with me on Virtual Pilgrimages, which provided all the benefits of pilgrimage—the most rapid form of transformation I’ve ever encountered—without ever leaving home. The Virtual Pilgrimage was an online course I created to help assist those wanting to awaken on their own spiritual path. I would travel the world, providing my Virtual Pilgrims with documentation of my journey, exercises for their minds and energy healings given remotely from sacred sites. They would go on an inner journey that mirrored the stages of pilgrimage. By going on a quest of their souls, my Virtual Pilgrims were experiencing radical changes that materialized in their lives.
“A pilgrim is a wanderer with a purpose. A pilgrimage can be to a place—that’s the best known kind—but it can also be for a thing. Mine is for peace.” – Peace Pilgrim
Since the Virtual Pilgrimage was so powerful, the only logical thing to follow was to bring people along on a virtual course that would culminate in a “real” pilgrimage. Now, I lead spiritual seekers on “The Hero’s Way” to bust through their blocks and live their dream lives. Level up in their creative businesses. Find their soulmates. Heal their health and relationships. Actualize their fullest potential. There’s no end to the transformative possibilities of pilgrimage.
My role is to guide each person to fulfill their Law of Dharma, or Purpose in Life. Deepak Chopra says, “Everyone has a purpose in life . . . a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal.”
Our work can be our service to the world. It’s where we spend about a third of our lives, and when we align that work with our unique energy, we tap into a power that has the potential to change the entire world.
People are waking up in a major way. We want to stop buying into systems and paradigms that don’t serve the highest good. We are seeking spiritual grounding in what appears to be an increasingly chaotic world. We’re connected in ways that were only once dreamed possible. It is time to start doing the work we are here on this planet to do, to actualize our Law of Dharma. One out of five Americans claim to be spiritual (which is distinctly different from religious). When our spirit is aligned with our purpose and action, peace is sure to follow. How different do you feel when you’re doing what you love? Now imagine that energy multiplied times 7.5 billion!
Going out into the world and living your truth is a rebel act that contributes to a force far greater than most of what we see in the news. Because it means stepping forth and DOING SOMETHING about the problems in the world.
In October 2017, I returned to Korea once again. I led my immediate family on an ancestral pilgrimage to visit aging family and reconnect with our roots. It was moving to witness my mother bond with family she hadn’t seen in decades; my sister and father were meeting them for the first time. We went despite a very intense political climate between North Korea and the U.S. Who knew if we would ever get the chance again?
I was simultaneously doing research to plan an upcoming pilgrimage for my clients when I came across an article about Peace Pilgrim that blew my mind. On January 1, 1953, this woman left her home in Pasadena with a pen, toothbrush, and a tunic that said “Peace Pilgrim” on the front and “Walking 10,000 miles for peace” on her back. In one decade, she had walked 25,000 miles and stopped counting. She continued walking for almost two more decades, carrying no money and asking for nothing. She simply garnered support for her mission by doing something she felt passionate about. She became a notable speaker because she had the courage to take a stand and kept moving toward peace.
If you want to end hate, injustice, poverty, and fear, you have to actually do something that counteracts those forces with love, healing, and energy towards the exact opposite of what you wish were different. What you are doing can be as simple as walking across a country with no money but an intention for change. It could mean actively getting people to sign petitions. It could be creating an art piece about a subject that you want to create new perceptions about.
Your path is up to you but if you aren’t on it, are you doing your part?
My advice is to take some time right now to be quiet and still. Ask your heart what it really wants to be doing. Listen in for an answer. The voice may be quiet right now. Wait and listen. If you receive a message, honor it and start taking inspired action now. It only takes the first small step to embark on a pilgrimage that will change your life, and make a difference in this world.
There are billions of different kinds of pilgrimages, as there are as many spiritual paths, as there are people on this planet. Choose yours, and follow where it may lead.
About The Author:
Sophia Remolde is the bestselling author of Phase Out: The Secret Guide to Finding Work that Frees Your Soul and host of the podcast Bridge to Being. Sophia believes creativity is the very spark of human enlightenment; her mission is to free that energy and create a wildfire of consciousness. Sophia guides spiritual creatives on pilgrimages so they can level up in their businesses, heal their lives, and create the world of their dreams.
Women You Should Know readers can receive a free copy of Sophia’s first book by clicking on this link to download Phase Out: The Secret Guide to Finding Work that Frees Your Soul.
Lead photo credit to: Hailey Wiseman; Interior photos credit to: Jenn Reid