It may seem trite but last night I watched Eat, Pray, Love for the tenth time in my life and I am amazed at how much I resemble that character in some ways.

Yes, I know that that character is a real, live person—quite famous and inspirational by now—who goes by the name of Elizabeth Gilbert, but for how these things go in literature, in the movie and the book, she is not E.G. and she is not a pouty-lipped but otherwise stunning Julia Roberts, she is Liz immortalized, frozen in time on the screen with her present day problems, crisis and wit, and that is how I relate to her now.

Yes, right now. Maybe not next year (good grief, I hope not). Maybe not even six months from now, but right now…remember when she said that she used to have a passion for food, for life and now she is simply – pounding her chest like a neurotic mama gorilla—just dead inside?

I have no pulse! She screams to Viola Davis, to herself, to the world.

And then she hops a flight to Italy.

Ahhh, how quickly things happen in the movies. By the end, she is renewed, has found her balance and her word and she off with her sexy Brazilian lover.

Sometimes in real life, things actually do happen that fast. But most of the time, epiphanies creep up on you as tiny little voices in the shower, upon waking up in the morning, while driving down the street or stopped at a traffic light.

Wake up, the voice whispers. Are you being your authentic self? If not, how can you be so on this day, right now?

thyroidhealth_thegentletravelerThat voice is noos, is logos. That voice was once revered above all else, back during the times when intuition mattered.

Yes, I know that was in the past, a simpler time with supposedly no plumber, no microwaves, no cars to tout us around.

Maybe, however, that voice is being resurrected now in small yet effervescent ways. As institutions begin to crumble around us, as those we saw once as the ultimate authority disappoint us left and right in very personal and sometimes devastating ways, we say with tiny whimpers:

Who can we turn to now? Who will lead us?

The voice. The inner calling. The intuition. Ourselves. That which never really left us but just lay dormant, sleeping and drugged like an organ replaced by a pharmaceutical.

What I want to scream from the rooftops like Rumi did with his reed flute, serenading the stars:

Listen to your noos, your logos, your muse, your inner voice!

No one else knows what to do about your life better, because that voice is YOU in the form of God.

What really got me from the movie and the book (I read the book in one sitting holed up in a cabin in Taos New Mexico in the dead of winter 2009, but that is another story) was the “box” scene. Liz’s friend who just had a baby has a box under the bed that she has filled with baby stuff since before she got married. Liz admits that she has a box too—it is filled with cut-outs from the travel section of the New York Times.

I have a box as well. Shit, I have a whole fucking storage unit. Its filled with ideas, quotes, poems, little scribble scrabbles on dirty napkins, ideas for projects and articles. And cut outs from the travel section of the New York Times.

It is time, on this eve of the winter solstice 2017, to take out the box. To go through each idea and either throw it out or start the process of making it become reality. Kind of like this:

2018 is a time of major transformation. I don’t know what the future holds for us as a nation, as a planet. I don’t think anyone does really. Prophets, ancient texts, the visions of seers old… it all has pretty much come to an end, now hasn’t it? There is not one word of political pontification that does not come straight from ego and no prophecies that maintain any sort of consistency about this time we are living in now.

Minus, that is, discoveries re the cycles of time, the ways the planets spin in their orbit, how the universe wraps around itself and how galaxies transform. That stuff is not prophecy. That is simply describing how things are.

Still, on this planet right now, we lie in the blackness, the darkness, the void. There is silence now, a static kind of green-grey fog, a soup of embryonic fluid that we all find ourselves swimming in. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. On the eve of the solstice, in the darkness and in anticipation of the full moon on January 1, the void is the womb where we anxiously incubate.

In this static silence where my consciousness lies deep within the earth, in the dank soil and tickled by the yet-to-be formed tiny roots of new shoots, my throat chakra percolates. My thyroid and pituitary and hypothalamus and vagus nerve and kundalini and entire green-glow heart area, as well as the sacred design imprinted therein, all begin to hum in unison.

My energy body revs up. The space at the base of my throat forms a cocoon in preparation for butterfly wings that will someday very, very soon allow me to fly out of that box where my lonely dreams are kept.

And into the space where all things have already happened.



Nikki Lyn Pugh, a.k.a. The Gentle Traveler, is a writer and teacher living in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. In her spare times, she enjoys felting, walking and staring out into “space.” She can be contacted through this website or at