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Wilderness Within: Chronicles of a Digital and Spiritual Wanderer

Updated: Aug 28

I woke from a deep sleep this morning, while the boundary between dreaming and reality was still blurred. As I slowly emerged into consciousness, my first thoughts were about the ways I could virtually guide and uplift others through fostering a deeper connection with nature. As I dreamily delved into the details of this vision, a distant part of my mind saw a police cruiser glide by on the street just beyond, then eased to a halt beside my parked car. Its purpose became clear as the officer started scribbling out a parking ticket. A sudden urgency pulled me from my dream state and I screamed out "No, no, no!" Abruptly, I became fully awake, the weight of the dream lingering.

This episode, laden with significance, struck a chord in me. The past summer has seen me contending with nine parking tickets, a mixed bag of my own oversights, and perplexing instances. The cost and inconvenience have been a source of frustration, accentuating a general sense of discord that has characterized my summer in Toronto. And it's not just the tickets; other occurrences have hinted at being off-kilter. The memory of a car collision still resonates - my Subaru rear-ended while stopped at a red light. I'm embarrassed about losing my temper in an outrage, yelling at the careless driver only to learn my words literally fell on deaf ears. He was deaf. Then there was that peculiar incident, the morning I arranged to meet a real estate agent to look at houseboats. As I headed towards my car, I saw a splatter of dark brown mud on its roof. Puzzled, I noticed a fallen nest nearby, a symbol so deeply associated with the concept of home (the second fallen next found this summer).

There is much to be grateful for this summer --to have spent time with my daughter which was an unexpected gift, the many beautiful forest therapy experiences, and visits with family and friends.

But overall, it was a weird summer. I've sensed signs attempting to communicate, their meaning elusive. And now, this dream - it captivates me with its resonance. Its message rings clear in my consciousness: a message affirming that I've veered from my intended path. It's as if the universe, through this vivid scenario, is attempting to illuminate my misdirection.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the next chapter of my travel journey. First, I will be visiting Andrew in Portsmouth, U.K. as he sets sail on his worldwide adventure.

Check out Andrew's interview about the Clipper Race with CBC for all the deets: Kingston Man to Set Sail Across the World

From there, my path leads me to Lisbon, Portugal where I will be in the company of nine other digital nomads (all over 50, all women) for a co-live/co-work pathways program, nurturing connections and embracing shared wisdom. While in Portugal, I'll be attending a celebration dinner with a group of new forest therapy guides, hosting a forest immersion experience and meeting with the soulful founder of the Om Heals community.

Lisbon, Portugal

The journey continues as I find solace and serenity in the embrace of Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village monastery in France. Living amidst the nuns and monks, I look forward to learning about their teachings and philosophies and contemplative walks on the forested property. While in France, I plan on exploring my family roots--a joint project with my father.

Plum Village, Monastery in Loubès-Bernac, France

The journey will continue as I board a high-speed train bound for Amsterdam, where I will spend a long weekend in the company of a cherished friend exploring the sites and sounds of this iconic city together.


And then, a week-long Buddhist retreat at the ITC Naarden--a place that describes itself as a portal, providing a focus on the finer energies which greatly contribute to its ‘wholeness’ and ‘sacredness’. Amidst the stillness, I anticipate a deep inner dialogue and chance to sift through my thoughts and feelings, reconnecting with my higher self

ITC in Naarden, Netherlands

This takes me to October 31. What happens next is a blank slate. I am confident that within the tapestry of these experiences, clarity will emerge. These moments in community, in nature, and in silent contemplation are poised to guide me forward, shaping my path with newfound energy, purpose and perspective.

I look forward to sharing these insights and experiences with you along the way.

Monique Giroux, Founder, The Flourishment Collective
Nourish the Soul. Flourish in Life. Forest therapy. Yoga Nidra. Meditation. Reiki.
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