"I pray for you to have the courage to embrace your dreams. Dear God, the Camino is the most challenging and rewarding thing I have done next to having children. I am not even done but am convinced if I can walk the Camino I can do anything. Lots of love! Christina"
I sent the message above, to a friend while I was completing the Camino De Santiago De Compostela in Northern Spain. I had been walking for 11 days of the 35 days it would take for me to complete the 510 mile journey on foot.
"I have been working on embracing joy in my life and letting go of fear. It's not easy for me, but I work on it. So we ended up doing the Camino because my husband felt a calling to it. When my husband first dreamed of the Camino we did not know what it was. Then my husband watched the movie, "The Way" about the Camino and said he wanted to do it. I had no idea what I was agreeing to, but we had vowed to honor each others dreams in our marriage and so I said "ok. That is what we are doing then."
That was about a year and a half ago. For six months we researched occasionally, and discussed it now and then. In July 2012 we set a goal for June 2014. By July 2012 we started buying gear. On March 15 2013, I got a layoff notice. On St. Patrick's day I took my hubby out for a drink. He did not feel like celebrating in light of the bad news. I insisted we go out anyway. After I got a few drinks in him we started talking about the Camino. I was not drinking. I said 'let's do the camino this year. There are no guarantees in life. What are we waiting for?'
So from March to May we set up the whole trip. I was afraid of flying and the unknowns of the Camino and I had real concerns about being strong enough to take on such a task. I was barely recovered from a dislocated patella! But I made a conscious decision to not be ruled by fear. Rather I would be inspired by joy.
I made a Dali Lama quote my mantra "in this moment I am ok" and self-talked myself with this quote through bumpy flights, being lost in a storm on the Camino and through other trials we faced along the Camino. Now we are home. I am changed for the better!"
The above entry was written after we got home form the Camino. I am glad I wrote this to have it to look back on. I am happy to share this with all of you so that others might let go of fear and embrace joy in their lives.
I do not promise that your journey will be easy. I can almost guarantee that there will be pain, trials and hardships. However, I can tell you from experience, the only way to succeed is to not give up.
I believe we walk the Camino the way we live.If that is true, I am truly a Mt. Goat that can weather storms, press on in dire circumstances, will make big leaps when needed, and only takes well calculated risks. This Mt. Goat knows the only way is through. There are no short cuts. This Mt. Goat knows that as long as I put one foot in front of the other, I am making progress no matter how slow, and I will make it to the top and as long as I never give up!
|My Husband Gerald and I, at the 0.0 Km marker|
We did it 918 km!