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The pagoda in my parents' backyard, along with a few traveling altar items. Courtesy of the author.

The One Thing You Can Do To Ground Yourself When Traveling This Holiday Season

If you’re in the U.S., you are likely preparing for some rendition of a Thanksgiving feast. It often becomes the unofficial start of the holiday season, which brings about its own brand of stress: an overextended to-do list, extra errands to run, deadlines to beat, expectations to meet (including your own), and an abundance of overwhelm!

Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday anxiety. For some of us, we are able to practice gratefulness that we are surrounded by loved ones, and that we are able to be around those we love. For others, this time becomes a triggering cascade of overwhelming emotions, since we may yet be raw after a loved one’s passing, a sudden loss, new (or ongoing) family stress, news that has turned your world upside down, and the like.

So, what do you do when you’re stressing, and you still need to travel for the holidays? Particularly to a place that is a source of dis-ease for you?

Here’s the one thing you can do to ground yourself when you’re traveling this holiday season: pack a traveling altar.

I used to do this out of pure necessity, particularly at a time when I was processing a lot of emotional pain, and I wasn’t in the mood to be social, yet I knew I had to travel. It became an invaluable tool for me at the time. So much so, that my traveling altar has become a permanent thing that I carry along to any trip!

Here a few reasons why a traveling altar is helpful:

  • You bring a private oasis of sacredness with you wherever you go. This is something that is just yours, alone, and is imbued with sacred intention towards your well-being.
  • It is a demonstration of self-love. And, who couldn’t use some self-love when you’re on the go, and possibly in unfamiliar territory?
  • It is a reminder that you are able to access your personal calm no matter where you are.
  • When you hold physical objects with great intention and purpose, they become magical and are practical tools to regain groundedness.
  • You are creating sacredness on your terms.

Some items I suggest to build your traveling altar:

  • Sacred stones. I prefer carrying crystals, because I’m all about the rock love! But a stone from a creek can be sacred if chosen with a specific purpose, or if it holds special meaning for you. If you carry crystals, it may be easier to keep the integrity of tumbled stones (that are smooth all around), vs. raw stones that have rough edges. Red jasper is great for grounding, black tourmaline is wonderful as a powerful protector, and rose quartz is great to keep you connected to love.
  • Small white sage bundle and/or palo santo stick. Both white sage and palo santo are extremely cleansing to the self and your living space. White sage is excellent for general cleaning of negative energies, and is a sacred herb used by Native Americans for its powerfully clearing properties. Palo santo is great for clearing negative energies when they are more intense, and/or disruptive. Learn more about cleansing your space at my previous blog post, “How To Clear The Energy In Your Living Space”.
  • Photos that carry meaning for you. These could be pictures of loved ones who have passed, or who are guiding you from the physical world, or beyond it. It could be a picture of the end goal you’ve been manifesting, a source of inspiration.
  • Other meaningful objects. A feather, a small necklace, a small figurine, or other objects that carry great significance for you can be included in your traveling altar, as well.
  • A beautiful pouch to carry it all in. I carry my traveling altar in a satin-lined velvet pouch, with a separate ziploc baggie for the white sage and palo santo, once used (to keep any errant ashes from the other sacred objects). To make things TSA-friendly, it’s fine to bring your pouch of sacred objects in your carry-on; but I would advise you to pack your white sage and palo santo with your check-in luggage.

A few of my traveling altar items.

I am writing this blog post from the ‘burbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (rather than my typical writing digs of the concrete jungle of New York City).

And today’s blog photo of the stone pagoda, along with a few of my traveling altar items, comes to you from my parents’ backyard. I took this shot earlier today, and thought it embodied the peacefulness we create within ourselves when creating a traveling altar.

On a separate note, I’d like to share my deep thanks for being able to connect with you, and to be of service through my private practice of meridian-healing Acupuncture, chakra-clearing Reiki, healing Communications, and energetic Essential Oil Therapy and Tuning Fork Therapy. I often have to pinch myself just to get it in my head that I’m able to make a juicy, joyful living doing what I love! Thank you for reading, and engaging with me, through my blog posts. Heart connection reverberates through my being, and I love having you in my world!

Do you have a favorite way to cultivate peace and groundedness when traveling during the holiday season? Share what you know, below, in the comments section! I’d love to hear about it. We all would.

In deep gratitude,







Copyright © 2014 by Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.

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