Everyone says “the Camino is not a race”. I guess I am realizing that this is a perfect metaphor for life.
I’ll start this blog from the notes I took beginning with the night after day two, but as I post it we are settling into our Albergue after a tiring day 7. Will catch up on posting soon. It is amazing how tired I am at this juncture.
Notes from day three- approximately 3AM. This is being typed after waking and listening to a truly amazing choir of people snoring loudly and actually quite melodically in my room. There are 10 of us in this room of bunk beds; a couple from Texas (late 50s), a mother and 22 year old son from New Zealand, a young couple from Spain, two single Guys ? Australia and Colin and I. I thought of recording the melody for posterity but was too lazy. A bit sad I didn’t do that now. Usually I can sleep through a lot but this was almost too interesting to miss. It is also comforting to me since Colin insists I snore but after that said, “no you didn’t snore at all”.
Since the music would likely continue all night I decided to put my head phones on and listen to my meditation music. It was wonderful to reflect and meditate with a self reiki session to remind myself that my Camino is about opening myself to a deeper experience. Yesterday I found myself focusing, as I tend to do, on comparing myself to Colin and/or others in how well I did with my walk. I noticed myself having self doubting thoughts on and off when I got tired and then getting annoyed at myself for being annoyed with my performance. I bet some of you understand what I am talking about.
Over the years I have learned a lot about self compassion. I work on this with myself and with others all the time to encourage giving as much compassion to ones self as I/we do for others, but it is an on going challenge. What I noticed today is that I am better able to notice and observe my thoughts than I used to be. For me I can see that meditation and reiki will help me by reminding me that this is my deeper journey. Tonight I got some sleep but I truly got rest. I feel ready for the day and whatever it brings.
In regard to this not being a race, I know that it takes some effort in our modern societies to decide to slow down our lives and experience the journey -not always looking towards the end or thinking about how fast we get there. Having this time to take this opportunity is not only special but a powerful reminder to experience life’s journey and appreciate “the ride” with all of the bumps, tunnels, hills, roads etc. along the way.
Today’s leg of this journey was a bit easier for me and didn’t involve too much pain- just some muscle soreness. I had time to speak with several people on the trail the these last two days – since it was better weather and we weren’t in survival mode. People pass each other throughout the day at various stops. Everyone is going at their own pace yet for me there is still a little twinge of competitiveness and self-judgement I notice myself thinking things like, “I’m not as fast as her, but I am carrying a pack” or “why are they going to the next town when I really need to stop at this one?”
For those who know me you understand that I truly want everyone to succeed. It is in my nature to be helpful and find ways to create win/win situations. I chose social work, massage and Reiki as my work because those modalities fit with who I am. Some of you may even recall that I really wanted to be a hippy in my youth. But you may also know me as a pretty ambitious person in some ways. I am a high achiever and over the years have reached some pretty tough milestones with a lot of hard work involved. I tend to focus and get things done. So as I achieve these things why do I still judge myself so harshly? Intellectually I know this won’t help me succeed. Today, as I blamed Colin for judging my slow walking, I realized that he isn’t judging me. I am judging myself.
Reflecting today I wonder why I do this. Some thoughts about this are.
* Is it because I am the youngest of 4? Actually I am the youngest of all of my cousins too. I was the “baby” to everyone.
* At 54 years old am I still trying to be as good as the older kids?
* Do I need to prove to myself that I am strong. I always felt I was bigger than I am. As a small woman I always worked at fighting with the guys in Tae Kwon Do and trying to keep up.
* I think that ultimately it is passion that has always really driven me to complete a goal. Self judgement may hamper the progress rather than help but self reflection and passion encourage success.
This may have absolutely nothing to do with my self judgement but are just some initial thoughts. If think this will be one an ongoing theme for me as I continue on this massive walking journey
Anyway today was a great day. Amazing weather, conversations and overall feeling well until the last 1.5 miles into Pamplona. We felt great about the day but were very ready to get a bed. Found a great hostel with very cool beds. Only a few Korean girls here so it is calm, quiet and very comfortable. We couldn’t communication with them but smiled, laughed about their spices permeating the air and making everyone cough and somehow they got the gist that I love Tae Kwon Do. I think Colin is the only guy and we have a room with bed pods. photo attached.
Great meal in Pamplona. Felt good enough to walk for a little while in the evening and see the old town and cathedral. Xo
Day 4. We walked today from Pamplona to a village called Uterga, a mere 11 miles or so. It was a nice walk and if we wanted to go to a further town it would be another 5 miles. I am happy to stop after the 11 miles and was pretty happy when it was Colin who suggested it, rather than me. We got here early, around 3. We have been doing nothing but laying around since than. A nice dinner will be ready for us at 7PM. They give you a lot of food here and basically a ridiculous amount of wine with your meals. It is literally overflowing. After last nights wine filled dinner I was a bit lethargic for our walk today. I plan to drink a little but can’t keep that pace up if I ever plan to get Santiago.