The Camino – Spiritual preparation

This is my father's rosary - he passed away when I was just nine

This is my father’s rosary – he passed away when I was just nine

Back in March of 2011 I spent a lot of time preparing for my first Camino experience. The preparation was 80% physical, 20% emotional and not at all spiritual.

On the physical plane, I ensure my body would be ready for the long distance walks. I trained with my new equipment and ensure I had put at least 100 kilometers of walking behind me. I bought all the necessary equipment, read as much as was available, and I deemed myself ready for the departure.

On the emotional plane, I mostly tried to anticipate how I would react being away from my family for more than 6 weeks. I had so often been away from them during my work projects, but somehow this was a very different separation.
I vowed to them daily updates on my blog (when at all possible) and periodic calls.

I didn’t even consider needing any preparations of the spiritual plane. Yet, I was embarking on a highly regarded as spiritual journey, and I carried with me a load of baggage. “My backpack” you may ask? Not at all. I carried the stress of a highly visible, highly high paced, highly stressful career. I had left my many roles and opted to rush to the Camino within a few weeks of my career departure.

Being a true “Type A” I assumed I could get rid of all that stress within a few weeks of walking. I wanted everything to slowly dissipate as my feet walked kilometers after kilometers. How silly of me to assume I had any control over that transformation.

MY first Camino was so amazing, and I learned so much during that month. Looking back now, I know that I likely would have learned even more had I taken some time to prepare spiritually.

“How does one prepare spiritually?” you may wonder. In my case, it means to create a clean and open mind. To lessen any concerns or focus that may occupy too much space in my mind. It means to cast aside worries about things over which I have no control. It means to forgive what can be forgiven to allow more openness in my heart. It means to be in a state of mind whereby I would undertake this second Camino with as much openness, gratitude, non-judgmental eyes and ears, and a heart willing to give as much as accept.

This time around, my preparation consists of updating my equipment and preparing my injured foot for the long hauls, but these activities are only taking up about 20% of my effort. The rest is solely spiritual.

I discovered that although the Camino gives, we also need to give in return. I want to be the most I can be as I embark on this new journey.
I want a clean new book waiting for words of wisdoms, beautiful impromptu moments, and colorful landscapes.

The efforts of my upcoming 35 days will include long walks, but mostly longer contemplation and uncluttering of my mind!

One thought on “The Camino – Spiritual preparation

  1. It is so exciting that you are having a second opportunity on the Camino trail. I look forward to reading of your adventures and the spiritual experiences to come. With an open heart and mind, I am sure there will be many.

    May your journery be filled with wonderment.

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