It’s been over a month since I came back from my Camino Frances pilgrimage … I know I had promised to write my blog posts about my inner and outer journey through Camino on a weekly basis. But honestly, I just wasn’t able to. Although I kept posting daily inspirations on social media in order to wrap 365 days with my Global Inspirers project up, the content for blog posts usually requires more introspection and time. During my first few days on the Way, I’ve come to realize that Camino as an experience deserves to be taken with honesty and full awareness, allowing the insights and lessons to enrol as a whole.
Camino Was about Discovering a New Dimension of Mindfulness, the Art of Being in the Moment
You’ve probably noticed that I discuss mindfulness often. During the coaching sessions, motivational speeches or workshops, I like to point out how the art of “being in the moment” helps me get through my day and my tasks in order to achieve all sorts of micro and macro, personal and professional goals …
But to be honest, being on Camino has brought mindfulness into a totally new perspective. I finally realised what it’s all about. What it really means. Being mindful, present in the moment and aware of every single step kept me safe throughout my journey.
When being on a mission with limited time and exact goal of walking 800 kilometres within 30 days, as I was, literary every step counted. Every step could potentially become a “wrong” one and it could lead to a fracture or other mission endangering injury. Even if it’s “only” the sock stitching, I had to be aware of it, stop and adjust it, so it won’t lead to a blister or a wound. Same goes with the weather. If dark and stormy clouds suddenly covered the skies, I had to stop immediately, take out the poncho and protect myself and my backpack. Because 15 minutes later it could be too late and all my belongings could be soaking wet.
Being in the Moment Meant Going with the Flow by Keeping the Flow in Mind
So, yeah, Camino was really a good lesson about being in the moment. I was present within every step, aware of my path, aware of the terrain I was walking on, aware of my inner conditions, meaning pain, itch, or some other sign coming from my body. Whatever the message was, I’d listen. I was also aware of the environment, especially the weather. Literally, each moment, I acted according to all the signals coming from my inner and outer world.
I am not talking about being impulsive, reacting fast or instantly, in a rush or panic. On the contrary. It’s more of going with the flow by keeping the flow in mind completely. Being deeply anchored within yourself and being one hundred per cent present within the environment, within the circumstances at all times. And that kept me going throughout each of the thirty days.
Being in the moment kept me going through ups and downs – and there were some severe ones; I wrote about them in my book, that I’m really looking forward to being published. Mentioning that, let me also tell you that the book launch is going to happen in late August … 😉
How to Bring Peacefulness of Being in the Moment Back to my Everyday Civilized Life?
Coming back to my everyday life, packed with personal and professional storms and challenges, was and still is a struggle that I have. The truth is, Camino was an escape. It was the other reality, so basic and natural, and it momentarily brought the shutdown of my “far too serious” urban lifestyle, of all the tasks, responsibilities, bills, projects, motherhood, being a housewife, wife and all the others. It was just me. And that was a pure blessing, but at the same time, it wasn’t my reality. It’s not who I am. I am a mom, wife, housewife, entrepreneur, coach with project and bills to pay.
I don’t believe in escapes, so I returned to my Urban lifestyle hoping to be able to merge all the western rush and excitement with my newly discovered insights of calmness and life awareness from Camino.
Therefore, the new challenge was in front of me: “How to bring that inner peace, that I was able to find on Camino, to my everyday life, to my everyday challenges?” As I was saying, when dark clouds covered the skies over Spain, I’ve stopped, took my poncho out and I covered myself, I protected myself.
How can I bring that knowledge and feeling of a basic survival in nature to the Corporate jungle? How can I conquer my professional challenges that are totally out of my comfort zone, so far away from everything that I know, I believe in and am able to overcome and still remain aware and anchored within the belief that I’ll be able to do it and do it authentically?
The answer is, as it always was: “One step at the time and with the total honesty to who you are.” Being able to maintain and to stay strong in your inner core, to stay honest to your values, beliefs, references and with ignited inner core that will affect your reactions on the surface, your behaviour that is noticeable to your community of people you socialise or work with.
That is your Character and it is the ultimate truth you have to follow. If you’re honest with who you are, in the end, everything is going to turn out the way it has to. The outcome is not necessarily going to be a pleasurable one. But in the long run, for sure, it will bring you the calmness and the peacefulness that you ow to yourself.
Staying True to Myself
I don’t believe any challenging situation life brings should make us sell out our values or our beliefs. So, yes, although I am being challenged on a daily basis and many times, while the best and the easiest way out for sure would not be aligned with my values, I stay aware of the fact that if I’m going to take that path once, the next time I’m going to be challenged to overcome my values, it will be even simpler to do it. So, I’m not even considering taking the easy way out! Although it’s not easy, the only way for me is staying in my truth, staying sincere to who I am and fighting my fights. Staying loyal to my values.
Although the world sometimes thinks that I am a troublemaker or that I could do things differently, I am sure, the time will tell my truth, too. And for sure, I’m going to sleep calmly tonight … and tomorrow.
So, guys, that’s my short insight from what I’ve learned on the Camino. Also, there’s more to follow in my book, which is being proofread at the moment. I’ll keep you posted on how things are developing … And, again, I am so sorry that I was not with you for such a long time, but I do promise to write my blogs more often, now that I am back.
And, yeah, believe in yourself. Never sell out who you really are and what you believe in.