Wednesday 23 July 2014

Camino 2014 ~Day 6 Camino Day 3 ~ Blisters

And day 4 of Air Week.  The message today “I love and accept who I am...and who I am is enough.” 

With the focus on accepting self and loving self for exactly who I am, the key to doing so is to look at how we treat ourselves.  The word is far more powerful than we give it credit for.  Try using phrases like “I’m recharging” instead of “I’m exhausted” or “I’m open for love” rather than “I’m lonely”, about this one... instead of “I’m so busy” try saying “I’m seeing what I’m capable of”.  The heavier the statement the more negative the intent...the lighter the statement the more positive the energy.  I know it will be weird at first, so dare yourself to speak (or at least think) in a more positive way.  Think of it as a game and challenge yourself to find a way of expressing your frustration in a ‘fun’ way.

The title of each of the three levels today are:

1~Be the sacred observer: observe do you feel, how do you respond, what do you do, take note of your feelings and your perception as to how you behave.

2~Your faults can be your virtues: instead of looking at your ‘fault’ as ‘bad’, consider what it is and look at from a different perspective.  Make a list of those you feel are faults; now think of them positively...from cheap to thrifty; stubborn to determined; flighty to spontaneous; resentment to sense of justice....Try it yourself and see what you come up with.

3~Observing your core beliefs: a core belief is notion that has become entrenched in your sub-consciousness after having held on to or repeated it for a long period of time.  Naturally, there are positive and not so positive core values we have.  Some positive ones might be....the more I give – the more I get; no matter what challenges find me, I always find a way to overcome them.  Less positive might be...people in my life always treat me badly; or....No pain – no gain ~ this is tricky one for me.


So, two years ago today, was Day 3 of my Camino de Santiago; heading to Ventas de Naron.  I’d been away from my family more than with them since mid June and I was missing them dearly.  I wasn’t feeling well.  I was physically ill and worse...I was losing my blister battle.  I didn’t like the saying “No pain; nor glory” because I’ve never bought into the “No pain; no gain” even as an aerobic “instructor” in the ‘80s.  To me...if it hurts or doesn’t feel right....that’s a good sign to stop what you’re doing a listen to yourself....I think that’s why I love Nia so much....

I have been known to change my mind when needed, but I am not a quitter; I am survivor.  I say what I mean and mean what I say.  I will admit, as I reflect on this day, I remember it was incredibly hard for me and facing the possibility that I may have to quit.  Even looking back on my blog....I spoke about how challenging this day was.  And while I wouldn’t say it out loud then....I was scared I was going to have to quit my Camino because of my feet.  I couldn’t have that.  I suffered through one more day.  All my guides, angels, spirit friends, God, Jesus, Mary, grandmothers....all I’ve ever call on....carried me through that day from the moment I awoke because I needed to vomit, while I struggled to put my shoes on, from the first painful step to the last....they were there.  Those I cherish most in my life...have a nature spirit that is special to me and EACH and EVERY ONE of them appeared that day!  The butterfly, bubble bee, lady bug, robin, sun, breeze, streams, all of them!  The walk that day was long, hot and excruciatingly painful.  For a variety of reasons I had to take breaks and getting started again....was more painful than the last time I had to start walking, but....I did it.  I made it!!!!

At the end of the day, I broke down and bought new shoes...not no crazy expensive “perfect” hiking footwear again for this girl....but ugly, simple, inexpensive “Jesus” shoes as they’ve affectionately come known as.  My children think they are horrid but...they are the most comfortable sandals I’ve ever had; at least for long term wearing while walking!  And they were like clouds to walk on after having suffered through those shoes.  I am BARE FOOT girl and love to let me feet caress the earth.  Those $160.00 sneakers (and that was at 50% off) devoured my feet; even the expensive blister proof socks didn’t help.  Don’t buy into this...”you have to have hiking boots if you’re going to walk” crap.  Walk in what you’re comfortable walking in...if it’s hiking boots...fine;  if it’s sneakers – wear sneakers; I would also recommend – and I think it saved my feet from worse destruction – have extra shoes to switch into.

As soon as I got to my room....I rested my feet.  I popped my blisters after taking some Advil.   When I felt strong enough to do so, I took a shower then went to have some supper.  I soaked my feet in epsom salts and massaged them with arnica cream.  My plan for the next few days would be to monitor my feet closely but not dwell on them.  A metaphor of life I guess. 

When things are out of’s important to monitor everything but...not to dwell on it.  You can’t ignore the problems...or challenges on your path – that is never good.  That’s when you make poor choices, or worse, no choice at all.  When you acknowledge the challenges and keep an eye on’re able to consider your options and you make choices that are in your best interest.  But don’t dwell on them.  It’s the equal and opposite reaction to ignoring them.  Often when we dwell on challenges, we tend to make poor choices because we’ve distorted the situation.  Phrases like “always” and “never” are good sign we’ve succumbed to our frustrations or distorted a situation.  Pause to observe before reacting ~ don’t take it personally.  Remember, “I love and accept who I am...and who I am, is enough.” 
As the day begins, so does my Camino continue....

 I may feel horrible, my feet may ache but
the day is beautiful, life is good and journey....
worth while!
  These flowers and a couple other types,
will be constant companions along my way.
  The roots of trees cling to hillsides and provide not only breath taking images,
but refuge for many species.
 share the road..remember?
  Walking along the highway.
This is a four lane highway, notice though, ALL the lines are white!
Clay tile factory
 More Camino pilgrim signs...not just for us
 but for drivers to mean mindful of us too.
  Introduction to beautiful gardens to come
  The two other species of flowers that will accompany me
and decorate my path in the days ahead
  The horizon from a different perspective
  Horton hears a Who!
  Fiddle ferns waking and growing
 Not sure what this is....
some thought it was the vine that strangled the life out of this area
  Notice the traffic/road sign??? 
No passing.  LOL  Not a whole lot of space for "two lanes" either.
  This was apparently, a vineyard after a fire?!
  Coming into a hamlet
Which way do I go?! 
I’m on the Camino and I will be going to Albergue  
Remember the rule?
  Lady working...
she was gathering all the crumbled stone and dust and putting into tubs.
  Me holding one of the many ‘spirit’ friends who helped me today

The next few pictures are of my blisters;
some may consider these graphic and/or gross

Blisters before the bath...

Six in all.
Blisters after the bath...

So....all things considered....
after a good epsom salt soak and arnica cream massage...
they don’t look too they?! J
After this day...and in a nice bed...I'm ready for a good night sleep!
“I love and accept who I am...and who I am is enough.” 

                                                                                               ~Buen Camino


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