For many years I have been dreaming about walking the Camino of Santiago the Compostela on my own. Being a pilgrim going on a 40 day journey to walk 800 km in the beautiful nature of France & Spain felt like such an amazing dream; an improbable goal. Although many have walked the Camino of Santiago de Compostela since the Middle Ages to grow spiritually, it seemed hard for me to take that journey that will challenge you physically and mentally. So I kept this dream on my vision board and continued following stories about the Camino or in English the Way of St James.
Something shifted however in me whilst I was vacationing in Costa Rica. I stayed at the wonderful Samasati Nature Retreat where I hiked in the rainforest that felt like “Alice in Wonderland” with the amazing butterflies, trees and monkeys. On property I enjoyed a rainforest massage and I took a yoga class. Taking this yoga class was transformational. Not that I never had taken a yoga class but it was a long time ago that I practiced yoga as I prefer hiking these days.
So here I am in the yoga class and it is really tough for me. I am trying to keep up with all the poses. And instead of resting in child pose or just making the poses easier for myself, I continue to follow the yoga instructor. I also won the gravity game by falling over. The class was so hard for me. When I finally (just in my perception) lay in Shavasana (lay down pose) at the end of the class I felt literally every muscle in my body. Glad it was over and proud that I did it. But the next morning I wasn’t that proud anymore; my whole body was aching. Why did I make it so hard on myself? I could have been gentler. Was it to proof myself I could do it? I stayed with it for a while and started wondering about other (hard) things, like taking on too many clients, hiking too long so I get lost in the dark, offering someone to help when I know I need a well-deserved afternoon off. Actually there were quite some things that I called hard to do in my head, but wondering about it, I could come up with simple steps that made it easier. Saying it is hard to do, make you think it is hard. But if you wonder about it, and ask yourself how can I make it easier, gentler, softer or safer; you become quite creative in finding ways to make it easy.
As I was admiring this beautiful rainforest in Costa Rica I am realizing that walking the Camino is meant to challenge me physically and mentally. It will challenge my comfort zone especially being away from my family and friends. But maybe I am making it harder as it is. If I am tired whilst walking the Camino I can walk for 5 hours instead of 8 hours during these days. If I miss my family, I can call them, travel back home. Just like using a child pose to rest in Yoga class, I can find ways on the Camino every day to make it easier.
This amazing beautiful Camino that is walked by many thousands every year will enrich my life for sure and I am going to make it! Easy.
Suggestion: Write down for yourself what are the tasks or situations; you say “this is so hard for me!” How can you make it easier, gentler or safer for yourself? Hope it will give you some insights.
It is my intention to start walking the Camino Frances of Santiago de Compostela April 20, 2015. When I made that decision, it totally lighted me up and it already made it easier for me to know that I am going and no longer only dream about it. Tony Robbins says “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin”.
It is my intention to grow spiritually from this journey and to fully enjoy it. And I hope that sharing my adventures on the Camino with you will inspire you to also take on a challenge for 40 days. What goal could you work on to make it a reality? What journey would you like to take? Think about it? It is not hard to do; it is easier than you think!