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800 km of Insights – Return from the Camino de Santiago

There are no two ways about it.  Walking 800 km across an entire nation will change your perspective on things.  I have returned from my Camino and I look forward to the manner in which this experience will continue to unfold throughout my life.  Thus far, I have had a few important insights that I would like to share with you.  As a fellow traveler, I hope you find them useful.

  1. We are always alone (and that’s ok 🙂 )
    No matter how much or how long we may walk side-by-side with someone, each step we  take  is our own. It is our journey. Solitary even when shared. We always have a choice in  where to  put our next step.
  2. Friends are recognized not made
    Too often we demand of others what they do not have to give. We fit with whom we fit and  not always forever and in every condition. Kindness is optional. When it is shown towards  us, it is  a gift. When it is consistent, this is friendship. There is nothing to force. There is  nothing to create. It is given and received freely. You recognize a true friend by their  actions in the moments that really count for you.

  3. Set time aside daily for reflection
    Stay connected to your true-self, soul, core-being.  Too often we find pieces of ourselves pulled away to go in one direction or another.  We eventually notice that we’ve become fragile, empty, incomplete.

    Unknown to ourselves, we’ve given up the “something more” we always were for “some things” that make us less.We doubt our worth, our intelligence, our usefulness, our purpose, our ability, our reason for existence.We have given up so many pieces of our soul that we’ve even lost our way to it. We must nurture the person whom we are everyday if we expect to sustain any kind of peace or contentment.Loving oneself is not “my way or the highway”. It is not selfish. It’s no different than any other type of love – it is kind.

    Kindness to oneself brings about kindness to others around you. In this we are united. We are one. You are a part of me and I am a part of you.  Unconditional love cannot exist with discontent towards oneself. If we love our selves with conditions, we will love others with conditions. We can only love others as well as we know how to love ourselves.This affects every part of your life. It is essential to your well-being. It is not optional if you expect a healthy life at peace inside and with the world around you. So MAKE the time to maintain the connection to your core self, to find your way back, to fall in love with your self again or maybe for the first time.  I promise, you’ll be glad you did.

  4. Finding Joy in Routine
     At some point no matter how exciting new people and places feel, eventually the initial thrill is gone. We often take them for granted and they slip into the routine of our lives. Then we seek a new high. It is madness. It is important to maintain an attitude of gratitude for all that you are blessed with.  It helps us to always remember how much beauty surrounds us.We can only attract joy with joy. Being ungrateful and failing to pay attention to the people and goodness in your life, only brings frustration, blindness sadness, anger, hatred, discontent. The expression “misery loves company” comes to mind. Ever notice that you never see joyful people at that party? Remember how fortunate you are with everything that is novel and routine in your life.
  5. Write down what you want, Store it, Check it
     When you get clear on what you really want, write it down and put it in a safe place. As you invite people into your life or take stock of those who are already there, refer back to make sure they are people who will support what you really want out of life.  Also, important is to remove those from your circle who keep you away from achieving your life purpose. These people, they hold on because they have nothing else to cling to inside of them. They need you to “feel good”. Eventually, they become very heavy to carry. You do not help them by letting them stay with you. In letting them go, you each are lighter and free to fly.

That’s all for now…

travel well. be well. live well. – with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

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Simplicity – Maximise your Minimalism :)

Simplicity – One of the most valuable experiences in walking the Camino de Santiago. Here we are given the opportunity to live day to day on a minimum – with only that which we hold on our backs.

Having to carry this weight long distances every day, you quickly learn what is necessary and what is excess.

Few people will open wide enough to let this new found wisdom take root inside of them. As a result, their return will find them with no more than a memory of brushing up against the meaning of life. Eventually even this will fade like the face of an old friend.

There is no doubt that the well trodden path is easier to follow. Everyone will support you because they understand it. They’ve done it and generations before and after will do the same. There is always a place at that table for you.

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Sometime after returning home, there will come a point when you will stand at a crossroad.  You will be asked to choose to continue YOUR Camino or to continue on the path you left. The choice and the outcome belong to you.

Although, if we stay where we don’t belong, our shadows wil forever chase us when it is we who are called to chase them.

Love & Buen Camino — aneternaltraveler