I am always asked…“How do you stay positive all the time?” Well, I don’t! However, what I do first is recognize my thinking does not make me feel good! So, I only visit that “No fun Place,” my next step….find something to be grateful for. That’s not so easy to do when you are lying in bed thinking about not walking for the past eight weeks and having a problem with my vision and balance, my solution…
This week was…. “GO ON AN EASTER EGG HUNT!
I am getting my physical therapy at this nursing home, and I think; I am the youngest person here. So I remembered one of my lessons from my 500-mile Camino de Santiago walk…. Join in with the crowd and love the one you’re with, even if they are old and can’t move at all and some unable to speak. These advanced in years people, have a sense of beauty that most people never see. They also have, like all of us, the desire to be loved; sometimes just a touch is all they need.
For this party, the nursing home added about 20 children, and that brightened the day which no doubt, brought back memories from their past. This moment filled me with being totally grateful for what I have, plus what they have. I decided to try an experiment and look at just the eyes of everyone attending this Easter egg hunt.
I looked into their eyes only, not the body or age of the person, and guess what, all I could see and feel was the joy in everyone, including the kids, nurses, volunteers and parents. This is what makes me happy, so I will pass this “Happy,” on and wish you all a joyful Easter.
If you see an older person, throw them a smile or even a hug, it will cause a change in their and your life.
This video, I made of the Easter Egg Hunt will bring a smile to your face and heart. So pass, that smile on and remember to love the one you’re with, including your dog, cat and even a tree. This weekend is all about re-birth so let’s all start a new outlook on life, even if we are down, for just a moment, search for that one thing that can make you grateful, it’s all about living in the moment where the past and future are not allowed! Lov… Jim
Welcome to all the newbies that have just joined this adventure. You can read some of the past post to see how I got to where I am today. Yep, I walked the 500 mile Camino de Santiago and today I cannot walk five feet. Then again….just wait till tomorrow!
• To walk only with a cane by the end of the month!
• To make my stroke…. Un-permanent and show the Doctors, they were incorrect…. Because they did not know what this Polish boy can do!
• To make my vision, re-adjust, so I will not see double, (except when getting donations for our new orphanage,) Oh yes, I am still having fun with this life thing!
Can I be in pain and peace at the same time?….YES!
This really has not been easy; however, I still strive for new life lessons that can benefit me and others. Being in bed for the past six weeks has not been fun, but I still look for something that can make a difference in a life!
My 500-mile walk was filled with lessons about life and death!
As I am typing this, my roommate took his final breath, it’s 6:21 p.m. on Saturday, April 5th and yes there is a Camino lesson here! The room is filled with family and friends, and a cloth curtain separates me from the very somber moment. It was interesting to hear and not see the final words from all his loved ones.
I am in a rest home where I do my physical therapy; I think I am the youngest one here. My room has two beds; he came in the room three days ago. The hospice nurse asked me if I wanted to move to a different room, I said no, thinking I may be able to assist him or his family. After saying that I was OK staying in the room, I started questioning myself, why put myself through this additional challenge when I could hardly handle all my own problems? That is when my Camino experience clicked in.
The most important lesson I learned on my 500-mile journey was the answer to the question “Why are we here?” My discovery…. Face your fears and help another who still suffers by sharing your life experience! And…so I did, and the rewards of life came in the form of total peace!
For me even with my (temporary) challenges, the circle of life revolves around enjoying the moment and makes the past and the future only places we visit!
By the way, my next challenge is our new orphanage for children and adults with a natural healing health center. Check it out here… “OUR HOME THAILAND,”
Farah, who I met several years ago in Thailand when we were both volunteering at the same orphanage, she went on to start an orphanage in Kenya, I call her, the Mother Teresa of the 21st century; she is now in Thailand helping to get things together for our new project, more on that coming soon.
We are raising money to pay for the property, if we are not successful, I will try one more challenge in my life to raise money for the orphanage and walk across Death Valley…. No one has ever done it before! Hey, it’s only 164 miles and 130 degrees. OK, first things first….Get me walking and my brain rewired so my sight is working again; I know, one step at a time…..lov Jim.
Yes, it’s ironic that I just walked every inch of over 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago from France to Spain and for the past five weeks, I have been in the hospital looking at ceilings still not able to walk on my own! To add to my back problem, I had a stroke last week in the hospital.
As the doctor sat on the side of my bed, he said, “Your life will never be the same…you just had a life-changing event with the stroke you had!” The blood clot landed on the left side of my brain, which caused my vision problem and might be the reason for my dizzy spells. He said this is permanent damage and will never get better!
I thought this was all good news….life changing and never be the same. I do love change and the challenge of overcoming fear. However, this is one test I did not expect.
Walking the Camino was the greatest experience in my life with so many lessons learned. So which lesson can I use to get
through this “Not being able to walk challenge?” Is it, accepting this.… or is it, proving the Doctors wrong? There were days during my 56-day journey when I just could not walk anymore and had to give up. However, that was for the day; not for making it to the end. I always had the vision of taking my final step. My Camino lesson for this challenge is having a mental picture of the way I want things to be, not the way they are!
Today, as I lay on my back in a nursing home that has physical therapy, I have a vision of me, taking my first step without any assistance or medication. I know this will come true ,because of you all, I have gotten over a thousand messages with prayers and healing thoughts from around the world. I am truly grateful for all your support.
Getting here (Peoria Illinois) was not worry-free; I had a lot of help from my friends in Thailand and America. The flight was not an easy one from Thailand; it was about 28 hours with a four-hour layover. I only had to vomit two times and had to wear a diaper and did not have to use it. I made it all the way to the Peru hospital. That is 32 hours without having to pee; I think I should get an award for that? lol
I am truly thankful for all that pitched in on my medical expenses and my brother Bob, who paid for my flight back to the US. Plus a huge hug to the people at Lanna Care, Nancy, Ann and Francis, who walked me through every step that I had to take to make everything come together, I could have never done this without them. LOVE YOU ALL….Jim
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.