When walking the Camino de Santiago, there are several times when we may feel overwhelmed about emotions and feelings. The following recipes for a better life can help overcome those challenges. Remember, Keep smiling, keep doing good deeds, and now add a few new ways of looking at this beautiful life we’ve been given. Remember, the Camino spiritual journey is the perfect opportunity to take some time to focus on you: who you want to be and what you want to do in life.
This is a series of three posts that are meant to make you feel good and inspire you. This advice is taken from the writer Maytte Sepulveda and her “Recipes for a better life” book. Click on the following links to see more posts about soul exercising and the Camino spiritual journey of life: For part 1: Camino Spiritual Exercises Part two: The 5 Best Recipes for a better life.
Camino Spiritual Journey exercise 1: Be Humble
“It is important to have the humbleness that allows you to recognize and accept your mistakes and limitations, since this is the only way to overcome them. Ask yourself: What do you have to learn from this spiritual journey or from this situation? And remember that “The pleasure ends when we try to trap it and the pain extends when we reject it.”
Human beings are not perfect, we all have multiple flaws and have made mistakes that have taught us how to keep on walking. This does not exclude anyone and we need to keep that in mind. We have to be humble enough to recognize when we fail and when we have limitations so we will be able to see how the situations flow and teach us many valuable lessons.
It is ok to fail, because we will learn from it
Surely we have all been in that scenario in our lives when we know we can’t do certain things or that we haven’t yet mastered certain situations and, because of a fear of failing, we don’t admit to it. What we have to understand is that humbleness is what will allow us to overcome those limitations and grow as human beings.
It is important to remember that being humble is not a sign of weakness, on the contrary, it means overcoming your ego. Admitting that we have a weakness makes us modest, kind, tolerant, patient, strong and better; he who faces his mistakes and overcomes them gains a unique strength. Remember to leave aside your pride and make way for a humble version of yourself that will definitely open doors for you personally and professionally.
Camino Spiritual Journey exercise 2: Listen to your body
Next Maytte reminds us of the importance we have to give to our body and the signals it sends us. This is important as you prepare to walk to Santiago and also while you are actually on the Camino.
“Often you feel irritated, upset and this is a sign that we are physically tired. Once in a while we have to stop and listen to the messages the body is sending us: take a rest and eat right to recover energetically. Loving and taking care of our body strengthens our self-esteem.“
Our body is our temple
We have heard many times that “our body is our temple” and we should treat it as such. To improve our life style, our self-esteem and the way we face the world we have to be healthy and strong. This health is gained with an appropriate balance between rest, healthy eating and physical activity; the moment we neglect any of those elements we can immediately notice how our attitude changes.
With our hectic and active lifest
yle, we don’t realise that we are not eating well, not sleeping enough, we stop taking care of ourselves and we demand more of our body than it can handle. As a consequence we feel tired, we get sick and lose that strength that makes us move forward. Most of the time we can prevent this if we take a good listen to our body, if we learn to interpret every feeling
and give it the importance it requires. The human body is intelligent and knows when something is not ok and what we need to feel better.
Listen to your body and you will see how much easier it is to face situations if you are healthy, strong and calm. Take care of your temple and you will notice how your life will change.
Camino Spiritual Journey exercise 3: Break the pattern
The Camino spiritual journey reminds us how important it is to change patterns and attitudes: “There are situations that re
peat themselves in our lives. Decide to act or respond differently to each and every one of them and break the pattern. Most of the times the situation depends on a change of attitude”
We have to learn not to get stuck in old behaviors that bring negative consequences for our wellbeing. When we repeat these attitudes and patterns, the situations are going to keep affecting us and we will not be able to leave that negative cycle. The m
oment we change our way of seeing them and the attitude we face them with we will be able to see how the situations improves and the energy changes.
The power to decide
We have to keep in mind that we play an important role and that we have the power to change the effect a situation has on our lives and the lives of other people. Once we understand that we have the power to decide how things will affect us we can break that cycle.
The first thing we have to do is identify our past behaviors as reactions to those scenarios. Once we identify them we can decide to change them completely and think: What can I do so that this situation does not affect me negatively? We have
to choose another way of seeing things, break the pattern and start improving our lives.
Reaching Santiago is a milestone in your life. It is the end of the physical journey and the start to of your Camino spiritual journey through life where you can use everything you have learned about yourself to start anew.
Camino Spiritual Journey exercise 4: The Detour to Find Yourself: Break that Routine
Having a routine can be fantastic. The right routine, of course. A routine can keep us focused. It could give us a sense of stability, which we all need to some degree. Creating a routine that keeps us on track, fulfils us in some way or allows us to, step by step, work towards or complement bigger things we want in life is convenient and rewarding.
But it can also be dangerous. It is dangerous when we are not conscious of what we are doing anymore. It can become dangerous when we create a comfort zone where we stop growing. Or when we stop asking ,“What am I doing this for?”.
Feel the need to break free
It is essential to be conscious of what we are doing, otherwise our routine will become like a huge, comfortable series of automatic actions that grows on us and can be a weight on our shoulders. Until we feel the need to break free.
We must continuously reassess our routine and to shape it according to what we want in life and who we want to be.
One of the best parts of having one is that you can break it… And we encourage you to. Breaking the routine means stepping out of your comfort zone. You can reflect on those things you never have time for, get a new perspective, a breath of fresh air, recharge your batteries, learn new things, disconnect, think about different things, enjoy life in a different way or whatever it is that you need.
But for us, the single most important reason to break your routine and step out of your comfort zone is:
To get to know yourself better
Different experiences and spaces allow you to observe yourself in other contexts and understand different sides of yourself. It allows you to reassess your identity and see yourself through other eyes. It allows you to reassess your priorities. It allows us to put our daily lives into a context. It allows you to define and perhaps even re-define your personal identity.
Usually we have to take a detour from our daily lives to create a space in time where serious self-reflection and personal growth is possible. A space where you can block out all that noise daily life brings and really listen to you. This is the type of feeling that you get when you are enjoying your Camino Spiritual journey, the good old ‘finding yourself’ once more. That is the best gift you can give yourself and the world.
That is exactly what we want to offer you: That moment in time.
Are you ready to know yourself? have you been giving yourself the time to listen to your own needs, hopes and wishes?