In my life have taken on some big challenges, courses, jobs, teaching, facing difficult decisions, but nothing can compare to walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, (oh except doing a 10 day water fast). Walking along hot dusty roads, 6 hours a day, with the same scenery mile after mile, one of the biggest challenges was boredom, followed closely by pain, thirdly annoyance, getting up at the crack of dawn day in and day out seems like any normal way of living, like working five days a week doing a nine to five, though in comparison, most jobs you do get two days off a week, on the Camino I walked everyday for a month, I had only a couple of days out, but then it was a big change in what I did with my time, a change is as good as a break they say.
Dwelling on the daily grind got me down and distracted me from all the great things happening and opportunities that came my way, whilst on the way, if only I could stop complaining enough to be able to focus on them.
I remember walking one day and feeling very bored and disheartened, I asked myself, what was the point and why continue on that seemingly never ending road, I wondered if there was any way to make the most of things on the road, and if I found a way then, perhaps I could also use it when I returned to normal life, after the Camino.
I decided to focus on the nice things around me, that my senses were experienceing, such as the crunch of stones as I walked, the wind brushing around me, the sound of birds and the view, over time I realised that not thinking was allowing me to be peaceful and really experience the moment.
These days I continue to walk the Camino in my daily life, it is often difficult and I regularlh forget to stop and smell the flowers, to experience the wind and many of the other opportunities to be in the moment, but it is always there for me when I need it, and I do everyday.
Thanks for reading, Sam.