Twas a few nights before Christmas and yet…another Camino miracle appeared! It began at “The Little Fox House,” before dinner, when we shared our “What made You Smile Today,” comments around the table. I said that I was filled with gratitude from my little stroll I took along the river and it gave me hope for a life long dream to come true. My dream….to meet and talk to my son, who I have never knew because of some wrong choices I had made in my past.
All of a sudden a little angel appeared, we will call her Tracy, she said stop! Let us all send out some healing energy out to solve this challenge. We did and continued with our ‘What made You Smile Today, statements around the table.
Two hours later as I lay in bed reading some emails, I get a message from my son, (who I have never talked to in my life,) saying…We need to talk, the past is gone, I want to be your friend!
In the morning I shared the news with my Pilgrim angles, there were hugs and tears of joy!
Tonight, December, 13th , I meet my son and his wife with two beautiful grand children! Another, Camino miracle! He hugged me, kissed me, and called me dad! He is 38 years old.
Please excuse all the typo’s, my brain still isn’t still at 100%, of course most of my friends say, “It never was!” lol
If you’re not in balance, does that mean; you will fall down? Or, is it a message; you gotta just change…”something?”
KNOWING WHEN YOU’RE OUT OF BALANCE.
Most people don’t even know when we’re out of whack, for me, not knowing was always my problem! So, I ask myself, “What is my stress level today?” We do need some stress in our lives, otherwise were not doing anything new. Stress is OK, so go ahead and breathe, just do not max out on it!
I also ask myself, “How did I sleep last night? Did I take my problems to bed with me? On the other hand, did I think about solutions and the way I want things to be; this works! Remember knowing when you are out of balance is the way to get into balance.
CAN WE BE MORE PRODUCTIVE IF? WE DO LESS?
No question, sometimes to solve a problem, is to do nothing! Have you ever put a thought on the shelf, and magically the answer appears? Yes, of course, we all have, so get back into the habit of inviting a source, greater than ourselves for that “right,” answer. Don’t forget; being happy in whatever we do, is what we’re after. Remember to include, your family, friends and quiet time for yourself. Exercise, watch a movie, go to church, play or watch a game. Variety does; add spice to life!
IS MY BOTTOM LINE, TO GET THINGS DONE OR?
BEING HAPPY DOING THINGS?
How about both? Oh, so easy to say, but difficult to do! There is a line in the “Serenity Prayer” (which I say often) “Accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Accept people, places or things, is not easy, I ask myself “Why other can’t think and feel like I do?” Well, sorry, that is not the way it is! So, what do I do now, when everything seems to be crashing down on me? I must realize…. That we “CANNOT,” change anyone! I know this is hard to accept that we cannot change our boss, employees or even our spouse or children. What we can do is be an example for them to decide to change. This is the formula to lower your stress level and the beginning of “TRUE,” balance!
Courage to change the things I can? Voice how you feel, not what you think; it works! Attacking another only brings up opposition, when you share how you feel, it can, win another to your way of thinking!
Go figure….Who would think these lessons came from my Camino walk? Do you have to walk 500 miles to learn this new way to life? No, you can start today by changing; something!
I am not the same person I was before my Camino journey, it’s all about being at peace with whom I am and who you are! I love this life…Jim
Below are a few new videos I made since I got back to Thailand. Making these videos and writing does add to my balance program.
AND…for my next challenge; I am considering, walking across Death Valley; no one has ever done it, (and lived,) just thinking about it! If I decide to do this, it will be to promote my brand-new project, a new orphanage here in Thailand for Hill Tribe children in combination with older adults who have no home. They should be good for one another; this has never been done before in Thailand, more on that coming soon.
Just click the blue link to watch my, “Make you smile,” videos.” I really enjoy making these!
After walking over 800k (500 miles) in 56 days from France to Spain, I fell apart when I walked up to the beautiful Santiago Cathedral.
This 68-year-old was broken, psychically. My one year of training in Thailand did pay off; I would have never had made it without it. However, my decision to walk with almost no money for food had its consequences. That said; I would have not changed one thing about my walk. I had to go through the pain to learn how to choose to be at peace!
THIS WAS THE MOMENT…. I TOOK MY FINAL STEP!
56 days of being hungry ….
Not just for food, but for what has been missing in my life!
When I arrived in Santiago, it was Spain’s annual celebration of St. James day. Thousands of people surrounded the Cathedral, including many volunteers from the Jesuits. They were looking for tired pilgrims like me. I did not want to talk (very unusual for me) a young man invited me into the church for a special prayer service for Pilgrims. I said “yes.”
My journey created laughter and tears;
a growling stomach took me to places I have never been,
I now know what it’s like to go to bed hungry!
Upon entering this spectacular historic structure, he escorted me to a chapel. The room was filled with an energy saying, “We understand.”
There was a girl playing a guitar, and it added serenity to the room. No words were being spoken, four pilgrims and I were reflecting on our journey and the many lessons that were learned. We were all in tears, but they were tears of gratitude. The leader shared some words, which said, “WE are never alone!”
Walking the Camino is “not” about walking!
It’s so much more….
This is a small part of my Camino experience, everyone has their own.
A few of the many experiences with people I meet during my journey, of which will become my next book.•
- The C.E.O. of a large multi-million dollar company that walked with a janitor of a school, they taught each other, life lessons!
• The prostitute who asked, “Do you think God will forgive me?”
• The Professor from Harvard, a mathematician, who said, “I just figured out “Life is not all about ones and zeros.”
• The student who discovered his first job will be about passion not money!
• The lady whose father just died who told me, “You are my father!”…I was speechless.
• The husband-wife history teachers who said, “I will teach my students about the history of the Camino, but the true lesson is about self-discovery!”
• The lady who bought a gun to kill the person who took the life of her son in an accident.
• The resent divorcee who feared; she will spend the rest of her life by herself. Her Camino lesson; she will “never” be alone!
• The alcoholic, who hid in a bottle his whole life, discovered he was not a bad person but his behavior was. He learned how to get rid of all his guilt and shame from his past.
• The atheist who said, “There is no God!” But there is something?
• The family of eight, from 4 to 62 years old, grandma, grandpa, son, daughter and grandchildren, said, “This journey will always be in our hearts even after we finish.”
These and many other stories will be coming soon!
REFLECTION; ”CAN I BE AT PEACE & PAIN….AT THE SAME TIME?”
My Camino lesson was, “YES!”
Since I had a reputation of being such a slow walker, I created “THE SNAIL GANG” for us slow-pokes. Click HERE to check it out.
My friend Susan R Mann made this video of me during my walk, sharing a few things that were going on in my head?
I did make one final un-planded walk from Fisterra to Muxia, It was truly magical. I then went to my new friend, author, Tracy Saunders home for a Pilgrims Retreat called “The Little Fox House” to re-adjust back to the “other” life. It was great! Check out her video…HERE.
WOW… what an extraordinary experience in my life! The Camino de Santiago is known to produce miracles in your life, and that it did. So much to tell you!
After 56 days of walking and putting on over 500 miles on my shoes, I took my final step in Santiago, Spain. I did walk every inch of the way, carrying my overweight back pack every step.
I set out with several goals, to save a child’s life in Kenya and to prove that even today people have the compassion to help another in need just as the pilgrims did thousands of years ago. I was right, although I walked with almost no money for food; the pilgrim’s and the people of Spain were more than generous to feed me, not even knowing what my mission was. Yes, there were many nights, I went to bed hungry, but I did not starve.
I meet over a thousand people from 27 countries all which had their own Camino experience. No one can do this wrong! You do not have to walk the whole Camino to get enlightened about new options that are available in life.
I took over 4,000 photos and video plus recorded every day what I and others were going through, all coming in the next year.
WHAT WAS MY LESSON?
OHH… so many, here are a few. One day as I was walking on an alternate route, I was sure I was on the wrong road, no people, cars or anything beautiful to look at. I ran out of water, and my shoulders were killing me because of my overweight backpack.
Suddenly, I was surrounded by butterflies; it forced me to; not only look at the butterflies but to see the beauty in the artistic design on their wings. It made me think; all this did not just happen; everything has its purpose. So I asked myself “WHY AM I HERE?” I got my answer!
Our creator put us all here to enjoy life and be happy, if I am not, I am doing something wrong! This does not mean that I will not experience pain; I had many days of that, but, what it does mean, I can be at peace through the good and bad. Having pain is not always my choice but being at peace is! By helping another in need, if only sharing my own life, does give me the peace I have been seeking.
So I have learned the difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure is external, joy comes from within. Pain, whether psychical or mental is not bad, it can tell me something is right or wrong. However, suffering is always my choice, just as being at peace is. This journey has taught me this difference and most important, for me to know if my thoughts are coming from my head or my heart.
My lesson in a sentence is I am “WE”; which includes YOU and our God whoever it may be. When I changed the word, from “I” to “WE” it deflated my ego and then realized that there is nothing we cannot do, but so much I can’t.
During my walk, there were many times when I couldn’t make it one more step, but when I started to use the “WE” word my backpack got lighter, and a new energy came over me. That brought me to the moment, and I chose (it was always my choice) to be at total peace. You were with me every step of the way. Although there were times, I had to look for you, but, you were always there!
In the coming weeks I will be sharing some of the many stories that happened to me and others on the Camino. This was “NOT” a walk in the park! This by far has been the most difficult challenge I have had in my life; however, it has brought me rewards I never dreamt possible! Love, Jim
So, we will stick with “TILL-NEXT- TIME,”
My last blog till?
I have no idea how long my walk will take, let’s see I am 68, so should reach the end, by the time I turn 80, just kidding; plan on 30-60 days. Remember my only communication to you will be on Facebook.
PLEASE HELP ”OUR HOME KENYA” Click>>>here.
So pitch in a penny-a-mile “OR MORE” all the money we get will go to the kids in Kenya, “Our Home Kenya.” I have two people who committed $1 a-mile, YES! Click HERE to join the “YES” group.
One more important announcement; my friend Scott Hensley has offered to help with our campaign. A volunteer like this, is… what it’s all about. He has helped me on several other projects and has his heart in the right place. He will be taking care of any questions and giving updates during my walk. Thanks Scott
Scott, is currently looking for a position as a Digital Marketing Analyst/Strategist so if you can help, let Scott know; his resume is quite impressive.
More about Scott… click here.
Every person who has walked the Camino has had an unlike experience. However, they do agree on one thing…they were a different person, then the one who took that first step, his or her life became enlightened in one way or another.
Hundreds of thousands of people has had this experience and have been doing it for over 2,000 years. I like best what one pilgrim said when he finished, “I had a thousand questions when I started and even more when I finished. However, the “NEW” questions were my answers!” It was a totally unknown way to look at life! I can’t wait for the “NEW” questions!
OK, I will do the walking…you can do the talking! Please tell your friends about our imposable challenge! Click the “FEEL
GOOD” box on the right and tell me if something inside you changes.
Love you all; see you on the other end, Jim
I am all packed and ready to go, being I am walking with no money or food; my packing list is very long and light. I think; I thought of everything? After 100 miles, I will know for sure!
I was looking for a reasonable place to stay in Paris, no luck. So, I checked out Couchsurfing. That’s when someone offers you a free bed to stay in their home anywhere in the world. Got an offer from Gilles Schoch in Paris he offered me a bed, very interesting person, can’t wait to meet him!
One final note, for all the people who still say “You won’t make it!” Everything in life is much more difficult with the word “I” in it, I just changed that to “WE.” Here a some examples of things I have done when I altered my thinking to “WE.” Click>>>HERE
The question was asked, “Don’t you think we should support our own family and friends first, before we look at helping someone in another country?”
Of course, family and friends should always be your priorities! However, what is in store for your and their future?
There is ONE thing “EVERYONE” I know agrees with, that they would love to have “WORLD PEACE” the solution to make this happen is “NOT” complicated; it’s simple. It is the children!
The children plus a computer is the answer! It’s not a big world…anymore; it is a one-click answer to educate the kids about new options in life. They can now see how others achieved balance and peace into to their lives. The beauty of a child with the curiosity of a cat can make this happen!
What does this have to do with my walk….”EVERYTHING!”
You can lower your stress level, by helping another “IN STRESS!”
WHICH CHILD WOULD YOU HELP?
How about pitching in one penny a-mile for the kids? Click>>> HERE to say YES, that’s only 5 bucks!
MEET MY KIDS, YOUR KIDS…”OUR” FUTURE!
MAUREEN…“I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR!”
Hi, I’m Maureen and I’m 12 years old. I come from a village very high up in the highlands of Kenya. My family is all farmers and they are experts in growing beans and maize because the soil is very rich and fertile. My mummy is very sick and has been for a long time. When she is sick she doesn’t know what she is doing so she puts my brother, Alex, and I in danger. I know that she loves us very much but she is not able to protect us sometimes. Because of Mummy’s illness, Alex and I are now living in Nakuru and go to school every day. I absolutely love school because it means I can do my favorite pass-time of reading all day long. When I am grown up I want to be a doctor so I can help my mummy and other sick people like her so they don’t have to suffer like I did.
Hello, my name’s Alex and I am Maureen’s 7 year old brother. Now that we have moved away from our family and our farm, I spend a lot of my time playing football and reading. I hope to become a famous footballer when I’m older and play for Kenya. When my Mummy is sick I know that she can do bad things but Maureen tells me that it’s not her fault so I still love her very much. Now that I am in Nakuru I am happy that I can go to school everyday and play football. Also, every Friday in Our Home Nakuru we have a special treat and eat chapatti and goat meat which is my absolute favorite! But, I miss our farm and want to live with my mummy again and want to see her get better.
Hi, Judy here! I’m 12 years old and go to school with my best friend Maureen. We met in Nakuru and live together in Our Home
Nakuru, we spend all our time together, she’s like a brand new sister and I love it! When I’m at school I really love learning about Kenya and its History but I hate math – it’s really hard. My family lives on the great plains surrounded by mountains and lakes. My community is very close and they all work together to help each other out and if we ever have problems, we ask the village chief and elders to sort it out for us. I hope I can be respected like a village elder one day and hope I can go back to my village to help them with any problems they have. And imagine if my best friend, Maureen, could come with me!
Hello, my name is Evans and I am the middle child between Judy and Benson. We all come from a village near the mountains and lakes. Now that I live in Nakuru, I absolutely love playing football with Alex. We play football at any moment we can but we are only allowed to play if we’ve finished our homework. I hate homework but my sister, Judy, tells me it’s very important so I have to do it. I wish my teachers would give me football homework – now, that I would do! Every half term I go back to my village and stay with my auntie. We have a lot of fun there, playing with my cousins but I also have a lot of work to do, plowing the farm and looking after the cows because my Uncle cannot do it all alone.
Hi-ya, I’m Benson and I’m the youngest brother to Evans and Judy. We have always lived together and are really close. So, when I
learnt that we would continue living together in our new home in Nakuru, I was really excited. And it was even better when I got there and met Alex who absolutely loves playing football, like me! But football is not everything with me, I also love maths! If you gave me maths problems to solve, I would be happy doing them all day long. In fact, I love it so much that I got the highest marks in my whole school in maths last term. I can’t wait to go home and tell my Aunty about my maths score. I think she’ll be proud of me but I know that she’ll still want me to work on the farm but I don’t mind helping out.
Hey, I’m Joan and am a huge four years old. I started baby school last year but am definitely ready to go to big girls’ school next year and walk to school with the big kids. I warn you, I may be little but I have a big mouth and I can shout really loud! I love living with all the other big kids because they look after me and there is always somebody for me to play with. But the best part about being four is that I am old enough to look after baby Chela. She’s only three years old so I look after her by making sure she’s eating and washing properly. One day, when I’m older than Maureen and Judy, I’ll look after them too! I come from the same village as Judy, Evans and Yator and we all play together when we are there but there house is quite a long walk from mine so I don’t go there too often.
I’m the youngest member of Our Home Nakuru and my name is Chela – well, I’m older than the dog but she’s bigger than me now so
that doesn’t count. I have just started school this year and I love it because I wear a dress and draw pictures all day long. My mum thinks I’ll be an artist one day but I’m not thinking about that now, I just want to wear a dress and play with Joan. I am very lucky because I live with my mum in Our Home Nakuru, she is the one making sure everybody is happy and loved. I don’t mind sharing my mum with the other children because I know they all need a mummy very much.
Do you think my 164 foot underwater swim will help me on my 484-mile walk? Watch the video>>HERE.
My heart, body & soul are 100% into this walk! This will be the toughest challenge I have had in my life; on the other hand, it was the easiest decision I ever had to make. To save a child’s life and I don’t have to do it alone! “WE”…will make this happen. All my love…Jim
Only one more blog message before I leave on my stroll. Remember, no emails from me when I start the walk. Facebook will be my only communication when I can find free internet. F.B… Jim Kaszynski or Jim’s Camino de Santiago.
- Helping families achieve self-sufficiency, part 1: Kenya (blog-dev.cfcausa.org)