The Camino de Santiago is an inspiring as well as a physical journey. While you are walking and admiring the beautiful scenery, it is also the perfect time to look inward and focus on you and where you want to be in life. We hope that, when you finish reading this Camino Inspiration blog and following these Camino Spiritual Exercises, you will feel new enthusiasm and motivation as you decide to live each day to it’s fullest!
The entire Marly team has decided to follow a number of recipes for a better life to exercise our soul: recipes for life. We are following the advice of a delightful writer called Maytte Sepúlveda, a communication specialist devoted to spreading the word about growth and wellbeing. In her book “Passion for Life: 365 tools to live each day to it’s fullest” she explains several Camino spiritual exercises to follow in order to find new peace in our lives.
Camino Spiritual Exercise 1: Smile upon a new day!
When you wake up each day, dedicate a couple of minutes to giving thanks for having the opportunity to breathe and see sunlight one more day. Be glad to be alive. This will help you realize every positive aspect of your day.
Camino Spiritual Exercise 2: Nurture Your Friendships
We have to take care and work on our friendships:
“Find the time to spend with a friend. Call them and invite them for a cup of coffee to talk and spend time together. Friendship is one of our wellbeing’s biggest allies… Let yourself be helped and accompanied by your friends and do the same for them.”
The friends you make on the Camino, the ones you accomplish each stage with, the ones who celebrate each step taken and every tear shed with you. The friends that become your family and stay with you through hard and happy times. The friends that bring freshness to your soul and make you keep going forward. Pain is reduced, happiness is multiplied and projects are materialized when you share with others.
It is important to actively nurture friendships. Friendships include family; your spouse, mother, father, brother, cousin, or anybody else can also be and usually are your close friends. In our busy lives, we sometimes take our relationships for granted and forget to call, forget to ask ‘How are you today?” and forget many of the other simple details that make us feel like we know and care about one another.
Do you have your friends in mind? Dedicate a little bit of time this week to them, transform your attitude and go on to your next Camino spiritual exercises.
Camino Spiritual Exercise 3: Accepting others
Accept the people that surround you. It often happens that we fill ourselves with false expectations and when they don’t come through we feel offended or hurt.
“Stop expecting so much of your loved ones and even from strangers… When we expect too much from others we generally feel frustrated if they don’t act like or give us what we hope”
Every human being has been raised in a certain way and is defined by certain traits. This is all part of the beauty of the universe; that convergence of people built the same way but so incredibly different is what makes us enjoy a good conversation with our friends. The truth is that to keep that beauty it is important that we respect and appreciate people as individuals with their negative and positive sides. Definitely, the formula to keep the people around us close is to accept them just as they are. However, sometimes we idealize our friends, our family and even strangers because we focus in what we believe they can be or do and not on who they really are. This is often quite selfish and can create pressure and insecurity in others.
If we are intelligent, we can take advantage and learn from our differences. We can’t forget that every person and every situation has something to teach us. When we see and accept people as they are, we respect them and we give way and can begin to understand what it means to really love. Acceptance and respect go hand in hand, and they are two of love’s key ingredients.
We always wish that people showed us the best version of themselves. The important thing is to recognize what our job is and what the other person’s job is. It is up to the other person to show you that version, it is not on you to expect that he or she does. In the end, the real harmony is found when we focus on our own emotions, when we understand that everybody is different and we set aside false expectations to make way for a needed wellbeing.
Camino Spiritual Exercises 4: Value the small things
The fourth Camino Spiritual Exercises requires you to pamper and indulge yourselves with the little things that makes you happy so that you can accomplish a proper balance in your life.
“Remember that the little pleasures we give ourselves once in a while are the zest of life. Today don’t let others decide for you, choose the movie you want to watch, the clothes you want to wear, and what you want to eat.”
Sometimes we are so focused on our jobs, our routine and pleasing others that we forget to take care of and please ourselves with small things that, in the end, are as important as deadlines, meetings and errands. Nurturing our soul is an exercise that is made from many elements and is focused in bringing YOU joy. Whether it is surrounding yourself with friends or indulging that craving, these exercises are all directed toward achieving peace and happiness. By paying attention to the little things we will feel satisfied, we will find the energy needed to carry on with our daily activities, smile and remember how beautiful life is!
This week get organized and open a space in your agenda for YOU and what you want to do. Go to the movies, eat in your favorite restaurant, go for a run, spend all night long watching your favorite TV show, sleep an extra hour.
Once in a while we have to do these camino spiritual exercises and gymnastics for the soul, a well rounded plan to feel better. Do whatever makes you smile and you will see how these small exercises will be so refreshing that you will feel closer to a much-desired wellbeing. This blog is the first of a series of three posts that are meant to make you feel good and inspire you. Please click the following links to see part two and part three to see other Camino inspirational blogs. Part two: The 5 Best Recipes for a better life Part three: Spiritual journey