I’m ready to go to Ireland ~ seeking time out from the frenetic and anxiety-driven climate I feel in this post-election, polarized world. The balm for my soul lies in Ireland–my heart’s destination of choice.  

In Ireland, I love being able to step out my front door and walk across a field or stroll along a cliff’s edge, with unfettered access to the healing power of the natural world. I don’t have to drive miles to a marked trailhead or carry all the latest and greatest gear, outfitted in perfect catalog cover outerwear. It’s effortless to connect to the natural world in Ireland.

I choose to return again and again to Ireland. I’ve written before about the reasons; today it’s time to remind myself and share with you why Ireland continues to be the best place to renew the spirit, to recharge batteries, to gain perspective.

Here are five ways Ireland calls me:

Into the Mystic. I feel a stronger connection to the Divine in Ireland, in part because the threads of Celtic mysticism and Christianity co-exist. It may be the influence of the wild, powerful landscape surrounding me. Or living alongside those who have weathered personal & cultural storms in Ireland’s unique history. I only know what I feel, and my spirit feels alive in Ireland; I feel the sweet relief of letting go thinking that I’m in charge. My heart softens into greater truth.

I laugh more. And, I laugh a lot. Sitting around the hearth in Ireland with friends cultivates lightness, laughter, stories, and song. There’s a freedom and lightheartedness supported by the Irish culture that offers an invitation to relax into being more of yourself…less inhibited…more willing to let others see you in tender, beautiful, often hilarious ways.

Limited connectivity = deeper connection. Internet in the west of Ireland is often hit or miss. I love that. I’m forced to unplug and stare at the sky; the clouds become my thoughts. I smell the air, feel the wind, taste everything twice. Wandering the landscape of Ireland–sans smartphone–unleashes my creative spirit.

Tea time. Tea with scones or brown bread is one of life’s simple and essential pleasures that borders on the sublime. A daily ritual in Ireland, I feel all is right with the world as I sit down, comforted by a warm mug of tea, and delicately nibble at a buttered scone with jam. What a delicious and welcome break from my “to do” list.

Music of the Landscape. When I walk the hills of Ireland I feel the song of the earth. I actually feel the vibration, the heartbeat, of the landscape. Allowing earth energy to fill my whole being as I walk, I feel connected to those who have walked before me ~ carrying their hopes, dreams, and prayers.

Irish culture supports the natural rhythm of mindfulness. As I learn to dance between life’s joy and sorrow, uncertainty, and conviction, fear and love, I know my next chapters will find me in Ireland.