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