My passion and purpose in life is self-transformation. Sometimes my life focus is difficult to communicate, as in the following conversation with my world-traveling brother-in-law:
Naimish: So, do you like to travel?
Melissa: No, not really…but, I like inner travel.
Naimish: You like interstate travel? You like to travel in the United States?
Melissa: Ah, no, I like to travel inside myself, INNER travel, inner adventures. To the different states of being inside me.
My earliest method of inner travel was reading books, before I had any tools for making my way safely and meaningfully through my own interior landscape. I remember so vividly the despair I felt when Meg was being menaced by the “It” at the end of A Wrinkle In Time. It was the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade, and my 8 year old self just couldn’t read a sentence more, but I wanted to find out what happened! My grandmother found me with tears streaming down my face, holding a yellow book with a centaur on the cover and said, “What’s wrong?” I finished the book sitting in her lap, crying to the very end. Even then, I wanted the forces of individuality and autonomy to win over the forces of sameness and control.
I travel inside myself, and love my job as an inner travel guide for others on their journeys, because I know that the more I—and everyone else—travels within, the more fiercely, joyfully unique we all become. We individuate. We find out who we really are. We grow up into who we were meant to be. I want to live in a world full of individuated, grown up people who are living profoundly meaningful lives with passion and vision!
What I find so amazing about inner travel is you get all the benefits of world travel—meet new people! make new friends! see fantastic new things!—without the hassle of cabs and airplanes, PLUS you strip away layers of inner defenses and psychological burdens at the same time. You get to leave some of your baggage behind, and become an authentically more powerful human being as a result.
Every inner journey benefits the traveler, whether the outcome is wisdom, power, clarity, or simply a growing sense of confidence in one’s ability to navigate the inner landscape. I love to accrue the benefits of self-travel: an expanded understanding of my own humanity and a deep, felt sense of my shared sisterhood and brotherhood with the people who live in the worlds within us all. We all have hurt little kids inside us, and inner critics, and nervous parts, and shame, and fear and loneliness and the longing to love and be loved…we are all the same inside. Through my inner travels, I continue to connect more deeply to this truth. I continue to expand my capacity to love myself and to love others, and to help other people expand their capacity to love themselves and to love others.
Love is the natural outcome of peering under the foundations of personality and meeting frightening beings in cobwebby places who end up becoming tender new friends.
E. M. Forster said of Virginia Woolf, a great explorer of consciousness, that “she gave acute pleasure in new ways, she pushed the light of the English language a little further against darkness.” To bring light to darkness, to make friends with things that were feared, that were strangers; to be always accruing more light, more love: that is the life of the inner traveler. It is the life for me, the only life I can imagine living, and I’m ecstatic to share the insights and joys of it with other fellow travelers, for a short stretch of the path, or a long one.
In whatever way this website supports your journey, I’m honored to be traveling with you, even if I never meet you. I know that every one of us strengthens all of us. I’m glad you’re here.