Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Contrary Way - Day 8 Ground Rush

The Contrary Way
An Inspirational Guide to the journey back to yourself.

Day 8 Ground Rush

A tractor carrying a load of manure passes me on the path. It smells. A villager stops to talk to me. She is dressed in old clothes with a scarf around her neck cut from the cloth of blue work overalls that most manual laborers wear here. She speaks very little English so the conversation is short. I've stopped asking people where the next village is because it doesn't matter how far it is anymore, I'm going to walk there regardless. I'm practising letting go and allowing the Camino to guide me. A lesson I've learned before. In life, I'm trying to let go too. I want to be alert on my journey so that I can make choices about how to get there. Yesterday I noticed the by line for the Martin Sheen film The Way...You don't choose the life you live. You live it. I disagree strongly. I believe we are given a path BUT we have a choice about how we journey. If you just live the life you are dished out, how dull. Didn't Mother Teresa choose to work with the poorest of this world? Maybe she was guided in some way but definitely she choose to do it. That's enough about choices. What's ground rush?

When I was in Triacastella, I stayed in the private albergue at the end of town. (it was at the beginning for me) Forgot the name of it. Doesn't matter. Only 6 euros. A woman in the bunk bed across from mine started talking to me as I lay resting after a long day of walking. I sat up and introduced myself. She was from Denmark and had been walking for almost 4 weeks. Then she blurted out, "The Camino is rushing at me." I thought she was going to start crying. She went on to say so many things happened to her, illness, blisters and an injury. She said that it seemed like it was all coming to an end too fast. She only had 7 or 8 days of walking left and she was sad about arriving in Santiago. Funny eh? You walk all that way and then you don't want to get there. I wonder how many times I've done this in my life? Gotten to where I wanted to go and then stopped myself from getting there. Sabotage.

I told her the story about when I did a parachute jump. (read the full version in My Camino) At first the fall is silent, graceful, peaceful and truly heavenly. At about 500 feet from the ground, everything changes. Suddenly I was rushing toward the ground an an incredibly fast speed. My instructor had warned me this was called GROUND RUSH. He assured me that it was only a shift in perspective. I wasn't falling down any faster, it just looked that way.

I'm always amazed at how perspective changes everything. What is your perspective about your life? Are you on track? If you aren't, could you shift your perspective just slightly to consider the idea that you are on your path but it just doesn't look like the way you thought it should.

Think about your journey back to yourself and write down your thoughts, intentions or a few words. Now look at them from a different perspective. Read them backwards. (the Contrary Way) Look at your writing in a mirror. Look at it upside down. Read it out loud. What do you see/hear? Do you like it? If it's yes, move on to more questions. If it's no, make a choice. It's up to you.

Next: A hug from a stranger.

Love and light,
Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.
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