I recently walked my second and third Camino pilgrimages. Was this a holiday in harmony?
*There are many references to Master Key Experience materials here, if you want to learn more about them, you can ask me, or go to my Master Key Experience page.
I walked the Camino Frances in 2018, and was drawn to walk again, but I thought perhaps I was being selfish. This was something ‘just for me’ and I was leaving behind my husband and family, with a daughter about to deliver my first grandchild.
I was walking my Camino to ‘recharge my batteries’ and withdraw from the busyness of work and other commitments. I had worked a lot of extra hours during the pandemic and felt the need for some quiet time to myself. I also wanted time and space to contemplate my life, and to listen to my inner voice.
Then I thought about my ‘Circles of Purpose’, and I realized this was exactly in harmony with my higher self. The Circles of Purpose include my PPNs (Personal Pivotal Needs), my Core Motive (from the Color Code personality study), my Two Words (from Lori and Lucinda’s Finding Your Purpose workshop), and my One Thing (what Mark calls the Dharma).
My PPNs – Liberty and Recognition for Creative Expression
My Core Motive – Peace
My Two Words – Creative Explorer
My One Thing – To Inspire
When I looked at this list, I knew that my holiday was definitely in harmony with my higher self. Walking a solo Camino gives me great liberty and peace. I spent several hours every day in peace, and I got to decide where to go, how to get there, everything about my pilgrimage. By blogging (sort of, I used a fun app called FindPenguins – you can see my journey HERE) I got to creatively share my experiences, and maybe even inspire someone to live their own adventure.
I was excited and a bit nervous about the unknown path ahead. But I knew it would work out. I have walked a Camino before, and I know that on the Camino everyone is friendly and helpful. I knew that I would not be completely on my own. And I did have a friend meeting me for my last week of walking, I figured by then I would be ready for the company.
I was walking my ‘holiday in harmony’ in late September, early October – so the Master Key Experience year was just starting, plus our ‘Summer School’ was just wrapping up with our study of The Greatest Salesman in the World Part 2. The last Vow of Success in that fine book was about prayer – my vow read “With gratitude and faith, I pray for guidance to live my dharma.” I thought about that as I walked, and about the Lord’s Prayer, which was also part of our book study. I did have guidance – from yellow arrows, signposts, helpful farmers and housewives. And I used faith when the signs weren’t clear.
One of my destinations was Finisterre (literally means ‘end of the earth’). Another was Muxia, another seaside village with great historical/religious significance (Mary visited St James here). I learned some Camino lore from Nancy from Belgium: “Finisterre is where your old self dies, and Muxia is where you are reborn.” This sounds like the Hero’s Journey, doesn’t it?
I felt a bit antisocial on this trip. I did not form a ‘Camino family’ but I did meet and talk to a lot of interesting people. Some I may stay connected with but most I did not get contact information. I really enjoyed walking alone.
One of our albergue hosts, Drese of Casa Alternativo, is fulfilling his dharma of living on the Camino. He said: “You must work for your dreams, because the only thing that falls from the sky is rain.” It hasn’t been easy for him, or for other owners I spoke with. The Covid pandemic did shut down several businesses. Others, like Drese, were struggling but now are quite busy.
During our last dinner on the Camino, I sat next to a young German man. There are many Germans on the Camino, they like to travel. This fellow works for about 5 years, then takes a year off to travel. He has walked several Caminos. Basically, he works to travel. We talked about bucket lists, his consists of where he wants to travel. Then he asked me what’s next on my bucket list. I was trying to think of somewhere to travel, but I realized that is not it right now. I want to write my book. I even showed him my draft cover page. He encouraged me to go for it, I encouraged him to keep walking, then we drank a toast to bucket lists.
My brother-in-law posed a question on my travel blog, asking for a one paragraph description of my experience. I did not answer, yet. But here it is:
I wanted to have some time to myself; to walk, think, and step away from everyday life. I wanted peace and freedom to do what I want, while walking through beautiful countryside in Spain and Portugal. I also wanted to visit churches and historic sites and ponder spirituality. I had plenty of time to be on my own, I learned how resourceful and resilient I am, as I figured out things as I went along – phones, transportation, lodging, trails. My body is marvelous, and I can walk 20+ km day after day. I also met many interesting people and heard wonderful Camino stories.
With faith and gratitude, I pray for guidance to live my dharma. Yes, this was a holiday in harmony.