I have a friend who embraces A Word of the Year instead of New Year’s Resolutions. It might be an Oprah thing. I have no idea of the origin, but I love it!
So this year my word is Flow. It is a promise to flow with life and to follow my heart. It is an acceptance to release that which I have no control. It is a commitment to doing the activities I love and to spending time with those who bring me joy and lightness. I am really excited about my word of the year and am eager to see how the year will unfold.
My word of the year reminds me of the Camino. Flow is an essential part of the Camino de Santiago. Weeks of walking outside in nature bring you right back into the flow of life. It is truly magical.
Camino de Santiago – Go with the Flow
One of the beautiful outcomes of the Camino is Flow. For me, flow looked and felt different at different points of The Way. It started out as finding my rhythm with the trail and my gear and maps. Basically I tried not to get lost and to be in-tune with my body.
Then flow moved into accepting the wrestling of my thoughts during the long days. Call it a mental game… a game I felt acutely on ‘la meseta’. Each day the scenery looked very similar and the pilgrim crowds dwindled. It was just my journal, an occasional pilgrim and Shakira traversing the countryside. As I mentioned in my last few posts, though not as physically challenging, this part of ‘The Way’ is a true mental test.
We now get to the last stage of the Camino, the spiritual journey. In some ways the spiritual journey begins before you step foot in Southern Europe. Deciding to walk the Camino de Santiago is a leap of faith. It is a belief in your self – body, mind and spirit. It is a trust in strangers and in a foreign country. It is a faith in a higher spirit.
Stage Three of the Camino: The Spiritual Journey
After you make it through the beautiful yet grueling ‘Meseta’ you reach the third and final stage of the Camino: the spiritual journey. In my experience, the change in flow happened after Cruz de Hierro. The moment when you symbolically release your burdens on the mound of stones is incredibly powerful. It sets the tone for the remainder of the path to Santiago de Compostela. Arriving at the final destination becomes real and the shift in me was profound. I wanted to savor the walk and the conversations with fellow pilgrims and locals. I took more photos of beautiful scenery and felt grateful for beautiful, lush Spain. My pace slowed, as I wanted time with my emotions in nature.
I also experienced the power of synchronicity. Beliefs are powerful. Thoughts can become reality. It happened for me both positively and negatively. It was a wonderful lesson for me to focus my energy on the positive and what I want rather than on negative thoughts and what I don’t want. The Law of Attraction is legit. (I will cover this in more depth in another post soon!)
“She Took The Leap And Built Her Wings On The Way Down”
I hope you take that leap. I know it seems daunting and perhaps out of reach for you – physically, mentally or spiritually, but your wings will come. For me, the journey of the Camino de Santiago started the moment I decided to go and has continued on well after my return from Santiago de Compostela. I hope you take the leap and find your own flow on the Camino de Santiago.
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