My Life is a _____Journey
Why anyone would want to strap a 40-50 lb pack on her back, and walk 764 kilometers in 33 days (average 23 km/day) is beyond me. Yet, over 300,000 "Pilgrims" choose to walk Camino de Santiago in a year. I was not familiar with the Camino, until the 2018 Mystical Tour of Spain, hosted by Caroline Myss.
The flight into Bilbao, home of the Guggenheim Museum, was turbulent. Bilbao, on the northeastern Spanish coast, is nestled in amongst coastal mountains. That evening was rest and recovery, as the landing felt like an amusement park ride. With a full day to explore Bilbao, I did a self-guided walking tour of the city. taking fifty-five pictures.
The next day, I was back at the airport. It was fairly easy to spot other Mystical travellers. We congregated waiting for the bus taking us to Pamplona. The bus was much smaller bus than anticipated, as was the luggage storage. We were touring not hiking, so people had suitcases, not backpacks. They would not all fit. A few of us started loading them into the back of the bus. This is where I first met Michele and Claire, the two soul companions whom I unknowingly, went there to meet. Annette was the last person on the bus. I recognized her from other Caroline events. I gave her my sit, and ended up sitting in the middle of the luggage. The only mishap, was when luggage from the trunk ended up behind the bus on the highway. It turns out that the driver forgot to close the luggage door. That was the first miracle - no luggage was lost. We retrieved the rouge luggage and carried on. There was a tremendous amount of laughter, as the back of the bus group, bounced our way to Pamplona.
Caroline's group knows how to host a tour. After an amazing meal, wine included, we headed off on a guided tour of Pamplona -the running of the bulls-city. The day ended with another fabulous dinner, wine, and laughter. Caroline lectured the following morning. In the afternoon, we walked at least 5 miles of The Camino.
One of the first statements, from Caroline's teachings that morning was:
My Life is a _____________journey.
You to fill in the blank.
I am not certain if it was before or after my sister read, The Camino Letters, by Julie Kirkpatrick, that she decided she would like to walk The Camino together. Julie requested 26 tasks from friends to keep her mind occupied during her Camino journey. One of the points that stuck to me, like "the seeds to a bear", was her statement:
"It is simply the act and pain of moving in one direction for a very long time."
Caroline had alluded to the "moving in one direction" during her class. How when she was on the Camino, there were feelings of peace, tranquility, bliss. How people would pass by and bless each other, "Bueno Camino." People saw you. When she stepped off the Camino, she stated that there was a different energy. Everyone was moving in different directions. There was a feeling of chaos. People did not see each other or bless each other. On the Camino, there was a common direction and flow. Off the Camino, people were separate and scattered. Caroline referred to the Camino, as a "Tunnel of Grace".
The Tao (The Way), is about following the flow of nature. When we go against the flow of life, there is friction. Our energy centers, the chakras, move in a clockwise direction. In Craniosacral Therapy, we are taught to feel this flow. There are times, when there is no flow in a chakra center, or it has felt like it is flowing in the counter-clockwise direction. What is it that stops or blocks the flow of our life force?
Our life force becomes blocked by the mistaken beliefs we internalize. Mistaken beliefs operating in my life included:
- That imperfection would mean rejection.
- That any rejection, meant I wasn't good enough.
- That someone else setting a personal boundary, was personal rejection.
- That success was measured by productivity and accomplishments.
- That to show my more feminine side, left me vulnerable and weak.
- To be single meant I wasn't loveable.
- To be self-reliant meant that I couldn't ask for help.
- That self-reliance was required as a sign post of success.
- That setting a boundary and saying no, meant I wasn't being a "good person", and people might not like me.
The list could go on.
I have now had a colostomy for six months. What I have learned over those six months is:
- Shit is too heavy to carry with you.
- Better out than in.
- There really is a "just right" to the flow, and it does require conscious effort.
- It can be messy.
- Accidents happen.
- Laughter really is the best medicine.
- Life does go on.
- We learn through experience.
- Shitty things can happen to good people.
In life, don't we all move in one direction? Everyone is born. Everyone will die. Some are on the journey longer than others. Some people seem to walk many of the more challenging parts of the path. Everyone has their own shit to deal with. Wouldn't it be nice if we could bless everyone we meet along this path, a "Good Journey"?
Life for me has been:
- A Good Journey
- A Fun Journey
- A Challenging Journey
- An Interesting Journey
- An Exciting Journey
- An Educational Journey
- An Insightful Journey
- A Memorable Journey
- A Wonderful Journey