In my previous post I divulged what led me to take my first solo trip to Japan. As the Universe works the way it does, I’d starting taking an interest in books about negative and more importantly POSITIVE energy prior to my trip. I’d started discussing it with friends and even acquaintances, and the more I’d brought it up I began noticing that people had a lot to say about it. Even my devoutly Roman Catholic 98 year-old grandmother who did the entire rosary bead prayer sequence every single night and cried for days when Pope John Paul II had died as if her own father had passed, believed in the power of our own positive energy and would talk about it pretty straightforward with me. I was really impressed by this – the notion that each person did believe in their own way of the idiosyncracies of the universe and the interconnectedness of things, although they just needed to be asked.

Once I started paying more attention to the energy around me, some pretty astonishing things starting happening. I would feel energy changing when I went somewhere new. I started looking at some of my friends and family members in a new light – I’d feel what they were talking about in addition to just hearing it in a conversation. It was pretty cool, but also very subtle. I could see why I’d missed it for so many years.

This all came to a head when I went to Japan. Anyone who has ever been to Tokyo can tell you that it is a city unlike any other. The overwhelming factor puts New York to shame. I’ll never forget the 30 minutes it took me just to find the exit in the Shinjuku train station. Every store you pass is an explosion of clutter and color competing for your attention. There are video monitors shouting at you as you walk the streets. This is not to say I minded at all – I absolutely thrive on being somewhere with so much vibrance and excitement. It’s a lot in Tokyo, though.

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As the normal travel route for first-time visitors to Japan usually goes, I took the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto for a few days. When I arrived in Kyoto and came out of the train station, the feeling that came over me was almost indescribable. I felt like I’d plummeted into a pool of calm, and the tranquility was seeping into my pores. I could breathe again.

For the next few hours as I walked around and explored Kyoto further, I struggled to find a way to put into words what I was experiencing. It wasn’t just the obvious reasons that Kyoto is a much smaller city than Tokyo and there was more space to breathe, it was so much deeper than that. As I was sitting in my hotel room later on watching the sunset over the Western mountains of Kyoto, I wrote the following email to two of my best friends who I’d been discussing these energetic ideas with prior to my trip:

Hi girls!! So I wanted to send a quick email to both of you; somewhat of a status update on my journey. You both know I was really getting into the “energy” of things before I left, and I have to say coming here was probably the best example possible of that. I just left Tokyo and all of it’s overwhelming energy, and came to Kyoto which is in the southern part of Japan in the mountains. You can actually feel the difference between the two cities when you really pay attention to it. Not just on the obvious level that Tokyo is a metropolis and Kyoto is a smaller city, but more than that. You can feel it in your heart on a very fundamental level. Like if someone didn’t have access to their senses (sound, smell, sight) they’d still be able to tell that the energy here is different than Tokyo.

That’s my deep thought for the day. I hope you don’t think I’m nuts.”

There couldn’t have been a more literal experience to notice the shifting energies of the atmosphere around you than traveling between these two places. If the feeling had been subtle to me before, it certainly wasn’t anymore.

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Has anyone else ever felt something similar to this? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!