Another day of walking is behind us. We will make Santiago tomorrow! It´s hard to believe! What a wonderful metaphor for the spiritual journey walking the camino is.
I notice that it takes me longer and longer to arrive at our daily destination. Not because I can't go faster. I'm just not in a hurry. Wandering down paths and stopping to study the light on the path or smell a flower, there is no where to hurry off to.
At first, I experienced a need to try to keep pace with Andrew. His legs are long and he takes long fast strides. I found myself getting irritated in trying to keep up. He would disappear from sight and I would slow down to a pace more comfortable for me – only to round a bend and see him waiting for me. Seeing him standing or sitting there I would tell myself that I was holding him up and feel guilt. It was not working well for me so I encouraged him to go on without me. Then I relaxed into a slow meander. Ah-h-h, this is SO much better. I want to see, feel and smell this moment. I noticed that most of the pilgrims passed me by going at a fast clip, walking as if they have some important place or person to get to. I am amazed that even here the human pace is set on fast speed. Where are we humans off to in such a hurry?
But today my sore feet bring my attention to the ground. I notice that they complain much less when steps are concise and consciously rendered, so I honor their request to be slow. I place each step conciously and feel their relief at being considered. I look up to see the aliveness in every single thing around me and feel a humming joy inside. Just this moment, no where to go, nothing to be, only me and Reality. God is good.
For the first time in my life, the camera in my hand becomes like another set of eyes with which to experience the world. I've never even been interested in taking pictures before this camino. But these past few days, I have fallen in love with the meditation that picture taking can be. Seeing the light reflecting through the trees in a spectacular way and then seeing it again in still form brings me so much pleasure! I see it … take a picture, then stand and see it again in still form and then look again before I move on.
I am tired today … more so than usual, it seems. I realized mid afternoon that I was creating tiredness for myself through mental resistance. What was I resisting, you ask? I was “shoulding” my thoughts. It was quite subtle, really. I noticed it only when I tuned in to a low grade mental negativity running in the background of mind. Noticing it, I told myself to stop it … then the shoulding began. “I shouldn't think negative thoughts”, I'd tell myself. They didn't even slow down – if anything they got stronger: “There´s something wrong with me today … I can't make these thoughts stop. I must be doing something wrong” And the negativity deepens. Then ego feeds with thoughts like, “See you're not very conscious, ya know…. you can't even raise the frequency of your thoughts.”
This inner monologue ran for hours before I really tuned in and listened. When I did finally listen in, I heard the judgment running rampant. It occurred to me that I might as well give myself permission to think negative thoughts AND judge myself since that was what was happening anyway. So I did and experienced immediate relief!
Such lessons are powerful teachers of consciousness. Sometimes it seems I am a slow learner, but I am seeing that these painful times offer invaluable lessons. I have been noticing that as much as I hate stressful thoughts and try to “de-press” them, it's not until I allow them to come fully into the light of allowing consciousness that I find not only relief but clearing happens. What's even better, is that following the clearing every time so far, is a heightened consciousness! It seems that light follows dark … oh yes, that's right … how quickly we forget.
I am on to Santiago …. this particular camino is drawing to a close. Thanks for being here.
Bon camino, Lynne