This is always a sentimental time of year that makes me feel such a deep need to come home.

Home to your safe place, where you are loved for exactly who you are and feel you belong no matter what.

I’ve been feeling this for some time, but the holidays sure deepen that longing.

Sometimes, that homecoming happens with family; sometimes it doesn’t for a myriad of reasons.

It can be way too tricky an expectation; too conditional, when you long for it to be unconditional. It can be too steeped in the past and tired perceptions that evoke the “should be’s, could be’s and will never be’s” that distort love, sense of self, and connection to others when you need it most.

So my focus this year is on coming home to where my heart is. The home within.

It’s a homecoming of a whole different sort. The kind that has you tap into that blessed place within that is so connected to source, to love and the divine spirit of all life, you just feel that wherever you are, you belong. You are home. You are whole; just as you are; wherever you are.

There are humans who feel this deep sense of worthiness because they have that home within.

I’ve met them and have always longed to be one of them, just never knew how.

It’s not an intellectual pursuit. It’s a spiritual one. I’ve asked some of these “homies” as I call them—whose hood is in the heart—how they came to be that spiritual. It’s not something you become, they’ve said, you already are. It’s a matter of remembering; that’s the journey home to self.

When I turned fifty, I really wanted to find this inner home.

I really wanted to crack the code of my own worthiness. I wanted to feel I belonged. I felt I had so much to do and offer with my gifts but was disconnected still from myself in a way that didn’t allow me to cherish my own self worth. I didn’t want to feel this way one more year. I didn’t want to deny my potential, excuse it away to outside forces. I knew feeling “less than” was somehow a lie, and hiding behind storied insecurities was buckling to lifelong fear.

Where do you find the courage to be unabashedly you and go for the dreams you hold dear and want to believe are possible for you too? How do you feel that worthy to seize your highest visions?

I knew the answer.

By being one billion percent clear of your worth and birthright to be all you’re born to be. How do you get that clear? By tapping into that divine source within that assures you were born to make this place your home with your gifts, your voice, your way.

I wanted this clarity more than anything in the world.

At the top of my lungs, I’d belt out that Phillip Philips song Home. It became my anthem.

“Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home…”

I was ready to be found and by no one but me. I was ready to let go of fear and trust that all roads led to where I now stood. I was so ready to evolve and grow into a more conscious, real, and loving human being.

That meant I had to hunt down my worthiness within, harness it, own it, and free it in order to master my life and live it as art, as I longed to do.

I’d experienced many successes in my life and my share of mistakes and missteps. These past years, we’ve really had to downsize, and it’s not always been easy. Life doesn’t always go in a straight line in relationships or career, and when titles and positions that once defined you no longer do and you don’t have the things, the means, and the money to decorate your life and project a polished package, you didn’t even realize you wore as identity, you can’t help but question what really defines who you are when they fall away.

How do you feel worthy when all the outward definitions of worth dismantle?

If you are not what you’re doing or what you have or whom you’ve been with, who are you?

At holiday parties, people rarely come to you and ask, “What do you care about?” “What are you passionate about?” “What inspires you?” “What do you believe in with all your heart?” Most ask, “What do you do?” “In what side of town do you live?” “Where does your child go to school?”

We live in a culture that celebrates and validates the lights on the trees and not the roots of our being. Of course, we all know it’s who we are not what we do or what we have that matters, but really feeling whole in your heart, knowing you alone are enough and worthy just as you are, is a journey home I definitely had to take.

I knew from being a journalist for many years that the best way to really understand your own story is to look at your history.

Yes, your mom and dad and where you absorbed genetics and influences from your family and upbringing helped shape and concoct your unique being. I had a pretty good understanding of how my childhood and parents impacted who I have become.

But what I was most interested in was something I couldn’t blame on my parents. I was interested in my cosmology. The DNA within me from my cellular history. To know who you are, the shamans say, you must know where you come from. It will tell you a great deal about the forces within you that race through your cells, beat within your knowing heart, and whisper to you your instincts and inner wisdom if you listen.

My mom is of Jewish Eastern European descent, even though she never grew up Jewish, and my father was a Flamenco dancer from Mexico. I decided to delve deep into my roots, and what I discovered were sacred doors to myself I’d never opened but were always there to me that I so recognized as home.

I started studying Judaism to learn more about a people from whose tribe I come. The more I learned, the more Jewish I realized myself to be. Everything about Jewish history and the Torah spoke deeply to me. I felt such deep connection to a people so long ago who I felt lived and breathed still through me.

I understood, for the first time, why I have such a fierce and deep seeded intolerance for intolerance, oppression, tyranny, slavery of any kind. I felt such connection to a people deeply connected to service and advocating against injustice. Most of all, I felt that cellular call for a home and the travesty of displacement when lost in the desert. I understood the need to find a home within when a physical home is not present.

I also understood, finally, what is meant by being the “chosen people,” which has nothing to do with being better than others or more special. It has everything to do with being chosen to be of service to all humanity in need. Chosen to fulfill God’s commandment of service. I now knew from where my longing to save the world in my own way came.

I felt, at last, in a real way, what truly defines you when jobs, titles, positions, people fall away. Who we are is expressed through the values and ideas we hold dear, believe in, commit to. These are the things that define our being and never fall away or can be stripped away by outside forces.

My love of freedom, equality, sense of service, belief all should have access to their dream. My intolerance to oppression, discrimination, abuse, and violence of any kind. These are rock beds of my being that cannot be shaken. I’ve never felt more rooted, righteous, and real. This is the foundation for real worthiness: ideals and convictions that define my very purpose.

It’s such a beautiful awakening. You know when you’re on the right path because you feel so at home where you stand. And you bless the many detours that led you to this moment of discovery. Without being so very lost at times, I would never have known what it feels like to find me.

So inspired by my Jewish past, I was also determined to delve into my Mexican roots from my father’s side, which led me back to the Mayaland and magical mysticism of Mexico. As this is the month and year of the great Mayan prophecy of 2012, I felt so drawn to return to the apex of where the great shift is to be.

I traveled to the Yucatan to Merida to see the great Pyramids, where it is said the Mayan Long Account Calendar will end and a new, higher frequency of consciousness will take place for all who are called. On this date, December 21, 2012, a great cosmic awakening is supposedly available to all mankind, if we are open to it. I wanted to explore whether I would find more openings to myself in the same way I did from my Jewish lineage during this important time.

Me in front of the Great Pyramids, Mexico

What I found was mind-boggling and heart opening.

The prophecy, which many believe is the end of the world, to the Maya, is actually the opposite. It’s the absolute beginning of a new way of being, for all who decide to awaken to a higher consciousness.

The choice, according to the Maya, is ours to make, and that choice is whether to come home to ourselves and access our deeper spiritual knowledge.

The shaman I worked with, who is an expert in Mayan mysticism, Miguel Angel Vergara, said,

“It’s a time for coming home to oneself, to connect with this new frequency of love and sacred knowledge of heaven and earth…”

I could not believe the so called coincidence of my yearning to come home and the true essence of the prophecy’s call to all humanity to also come home to all they are and have been.

Just as I have been called to my roots, the prophecy calls for all souls to remember their divine origins. We are of the same source, the same family; we are one. The ancient Mayan greeting is “I am you, and you are me.” In La Kesh, A La Ken.

The handshake (shown above) forms the sacred spiral, the universe of which we are all a part.

Remember who you are—you are of the same stuff that created the universe, the stars, all life, all nature. We share the same DNA. We are of each other.

It’s from this remembering that we tap into deep love, compassion, and reverence for all beings, all nature, all life and take actions to care and protect our beautiful world.

I asked Miguel what the prophecy calls us to do individually and collectively. His answer was clear and poignant: “Be more you than you have ever been before.”

That is the great calling of the prophecy—to give all you’ve got, to share all you are born to be. The world needs us. Mother Earth needs our protection. That is what the Hopi meant in their own prophecy of this time when their elders said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Miguel spoke much about the role of the divine feminine in each of us—men and women—that must come forth now to harmonize, unify, balance, and lead forward with love, grace, and compassion. Feminine energy must now replace old, tired male dominant forces. The focus on materialism, false facades, and superiority at the expense of others is over, and the call to a more connected, heart-based leadership is needed.

Signs are everywhere, Miguel said, that speak to this new time of higher consciousness. It’s why I was drawn inward, he says, to hear my inner story. I was clearly being called home long before I ever understood it.

It’s true that when you pay attention, the universe shows the way.

I realized signs were, in fact, all around me for years; I just didn’t realize it. I have collected nautilus shells for a long time for their intricate beauty but never knew their universal sacred symbolism, which represents the journey home to self.

The sacred spiral within the nautilus is present in most ancient cultures as a symbol of our spiritual evolution of human beings. I was astounded to find them in my Jewish history and my Mayan history.

Spiral present in much of Jewish mysticism

Mayan sacred spiral symbol

It’s so astounding to see this spiral everywhere and with such surreal science behind it. The spiral is actually calculated by the Greek number, Phi, or infinite number with no end that begins again and again. It’s what makes up our DNA and is present in all life forms. It’s like our cosmic tattoo that’s imprinted everywhere. When you are aware, you see it everywhere.

From a tiny baby to the massive expanse of universe, spirals are all around us. They link us all—me to you, you to nature, and us to the greater universe.

Romanesco brassica

Human Fingerprint

Spiral Galaxy

It’s become so clear to me: We share the same cosmology; we are of the same family; we human beings. Isn’t it amazing to know ancient peoples drew these spirals on their holy temples and sacred books to remind them of their sacred histories just as we are now being called to remember?

For so long, I just thought I was collecting spirals and beautiful shells. Then, you wake up to the magic and mystery of the universe and see all you were searching for was within your reach the whole time.

Now I see it’s majesty and gift so clearly I’m in awe.

The story of the nautilus — the spiral, is my story and your story.

And, just like us, she turns up whole on sandy beaches despite tough tides and stormy seas. Her shell hardened on the outside but wears the marks of her journey and is beautiful. Her inner life is lined with mother of pearl no matter what. When she is ready to grow, she ascends from one chamber to a larger one and seals off the past to allow for her own evolution and new way of being. And she carries her home at the center of her being, wherever she goes, to guide her way.

Now, more than ever, I love putting these shells to my ear to hear the sound of her home within. I know what that feels like at last.

On this holiday and every day, may you come home to yourself and all you are and all you’ve been.

May you remember your sacred beginnings and bask in the light of your divine purpose and connection to all life.

May you answer the call of the Maya, the call of the universe, to know your worthiness and share all you are, all you are meant to be.

Answering that call of the wild within, remembering your divine nature, may this be your way forward and may it be now.

In la kesh: I am you
A la ken: you are me

Giselle Fernandez is a five-time Emmy® Award-winning journalist, producer, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. To learn more about Giselle, visit her website.