Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Contrary Way Day 16 Lessons from the Labyrinth

The Contrary Way Day 16 Lessons from the Labyrinth

Walking while writing. Writing while walking. I love this new art form I've created though I realize now how difficult it is to read my walking writing.

It's around 9:30am. I walk with the sun in my face. I become cautious when a small white van slows down as it passes me. I ease up and pause. The van stops and then backs up. The driver's door opens and a woman gets out. "Is that you, Sue?" I have no idea who the person is. "Yes, it's me." She steps closer but I still don't recognize her. "It's Kim, from Florida." We had spoken on the phone just before she left to do her Camino. She had just read a blog written by a person who wrote about meeting me on the Contrary path a few days ago. She threw her arms around me, gave me a huge pilgrim hug and invited me to stay at a private refugio she was volunteering at called The Peaceable Kingdom run by a couple, Patrick and Rebekah whom I had met years ago at a pilgrims conference. After giving me simple directions to the place in the village of Moratino I promised to stop there and we parted .

Many pilgrims walked past me that morning. Very shortly I came upon a Korean woman named Soona (Sue-na) who said she was walking to find strength in her heart. How special is that? Later I met a woman named Claudia who claimed that people "listen" differently on the Camino than at home. They are more compassionate and understanding. One of my ongoing intentions is to be a pilgrim in life. Soon another man stops to talk and when he discovers my name, he calls me, Zu. He tells me he is learning Sanskrit. Everyday he practices speaking the words for one hour while he walks. Another form of walking creativity. He's very clear that he never wants to walk the reverse way and offers to pray for me. I need all the prayers I can get.

By noon, I arrive at Moratinos. Patrick was there to greet me and showed me the way in. They had 4 dogs and a lovely Spanish style house with a garden. Kim came downstairs and offered another hug. We talked and walked. We went to town and ate fresh baked pasteries and Cafe con Leche. The idea of being on a Labyrinth came up. For me it's like a mini-Camino I can access when I'm at home. One walks into the centre on a journey and then back out again. On the return, you retrace the steps taken on the way inward. Not unlike what I was doing retracing the steps I took in 2001 walking from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago. My writing partner Bruce Pirrie used to always say about writing that the end is in the beginning.

I slept like a baby that night. The next morning Kim and I walked to a local Labyrinth that was made of stones on the edge of the Camino path. Before entering, we did a ceremony honouring the Creator and we smudged each other with the Buffalo Sage I carried. A very moving experience. Along with the sage, my friend Sherry also gave me a small white shell that was meant to be left on the Camino path somewhere. I was quite fond of it and really didn't want to give it away. I took it out of the deerskin pouch and carried it with me. After requesting requested permission to enter the labyrinth, I repeated my intentions. I am open. I am grateful. I am accepting of the guidance I receive on this journey back home...I felt a knot in my stomach arise. My physical body was telling me what I was still resisting letting go. I wanted some level of control. Ahhhhh. So many lessons. Thank you, Kim.

I walked slowly. Placing each foot down with intention. I opened my heart and my soul to receiving. All sense of time left. I journeyed alone, sometimes brushing my arm as I passed Kim going the opposite way. When I got to the center, the halfway point, I knew I could let go if I just decided to do it. I kissed the little white shell and placed it on the ground with some other stones. The freedom I felt by not attaching myself to the outcome of the shell, to letting go of it and to trusting that this was the perfect place for it was liberating. I walked all the way back, smiling and at peace. I had completed the circle.

Think about an important journey in your life and imagine it as a circle with a beginning and an end. Did you go in one direction and then turn around to end up in the place you started? What did you learn on the way back? What did you avoid on the way there or back? Notice what happens in your physical body when you think about this? Be aware of any sensations. Awareness is the teacher.

Tomorrow is about meeting people on the way.



Love and light,Sue
Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Contrary Way - Day 15 Intentions

The Contrary Way
A 30 Day Guide to the Journey Back Home
by Sue Kenney

Day 15 - Intentions

I'm 370 kilometers from Santiago and I'm walking away from the destination thousands of pilgrims are walking to while retracing the steps I took almost 10 years ago. Yesterday I hit the wall and I'm not quite out of it yet. In a rowing race, when you reach this stage the best advice is to row through it. Don't stop. Don't think of the pain. With each foot I put in front of me I repeat the word: Camino. Camino. Camino. A mantra that gets me one step closer to Saint Jean Pied de Port, France. My intention for this walk hasn't been really clear, except to walk back to where I began this whole Camino journey. I know that in order to create I must be clear about what I want. I know that I can create an intention out of my state of being. An intention is an earnest desire, not a wish. It's stated in the present and begins with I AM. What is my state of being?

Over the past several days I developed a new way of writing, completely by accident. For many years I've been studying the co-relation between walking and creativity. On the Camino, I stopped to write my impressions of the pilgrims walking toward me though it disrupted the creative flow. Without thinking it through too much, one day I took out my handy Moleskin diary, folded the cover back and began to write while I walked. It was a little awkward at first. I found the intention of writing and the action of the movement forward reminded me of when I used to sleepwalk. In that state, I knew exactly what I was doing and where was going. Each footstep was placed with conscious intention, though I was actually focussed on getting something very important done. The creative action of writing my impressions as I walked, made it perfectly clear to me that my intention is to be creative. I wrote the formula that had worked for me many times in my life and repeated my intention everyday.

Be. Do. Have.
Be. My Intention. I am creative.
Do. An action. Walking and Writing.
Have. A Result. I am happy.

Later that day, two bicylists approached me. The man was out front calling back in a frustrated voice to the woman travelling about 50 meters behind him. He's speaking in a European language but I can't tell if it's Russian or Ukranian. He nods politely as he casually rides by me drinking from his water bottle. His bike is packed efficiently with a small pack on his back. The woman appears several minutes later, her green poncho blowing in the wind, even though the rain had stopped. She's exhausted, sweaty and unfocussed. She forces a kind hearted smile to me. There are two overpacked saddle bags barely clinging to the back. She wears a fully loaded day pack on her back. Her face strains as she peddles up a slight upgrade. I look at her with empathy and see myself. I often felt like I needed to take on more of the load than was expected because I was torn between being a Mother and a career woman. By taking on more of the family load than I could realistically carry, I believed it would make me more of a Mother. I was proving something to myself first through my actions, instead of my intentions. Eventually I learned it didn't work that way and I had a choice about what I took on in my life. My choice was to serve the universe. I could do this by being a Mother and doing what a mother does, creatively.

This woman was also carrying way to much weight in her life, that was obvious. What was she choosing? I wondered why the man who was riding with her didn't help her. What was he choosing? What are you choosing to carry in your backpack? Does it align with what you are intending to be in the world. Take a look and make a choice. Look around you. In your house, your car, your workspace, your closets and drawers. Let go and give away anything that doesn't serve you.

Tomorrow is about a Lesson from the Labrynth.

Love and light,
Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Contrary Way - Day 14 Meseta Madness

The Contrary Way - Day 14 Meseta Madness

Walking today, my head hangs down the weight of it pulling me deeper into my mind. It reminds me of the times in my life when I wanted to quit something, throw in the towel and give up. That doesn't happen very often, but today I could give it all up. Why am I walking again? Some people back home have said that they think I should put the Camino behind me and find something else to be passionate about. What am I trying to prove or not? Why am I putting myself back in a situation where I am forced to look closely at life. Can't I just be content with where I've gone on my journey so far? Can't I just be grateful for that?

I stop and go pee in the grass. I walk. I ask questions. I wait for answers. I walk. I ask for guidance. I hear nothing.

They say you can lose your mind on the Meseta. It's a stretch of land that is flat and covers about 200 kilometers. Like walking through Saskachewan or Kansas. Wheat field after weight field. I think I'm losing my mind. Too many thoughts. I begin sounding Mother Earth. Using my voice, I free up my judgments about everything in my mind and open my heart to her. From the ground a deep tone hovers around me like the fog when it sits above the water. Eeary, yet intriguing. I want more. My chest verberates with the low powerful sound leaving my body. I know that I'm holding space for peace, love, and healing.

A pilgrim approaches. Another man with icy blue eyes that look directly into my soul. He proudly announces that he has walked from Le Puy, France and before I can respond he starts talking to me about the Alloette bird. He said that it only sings as it flies straight up into the heavens. That was my answer. Expoding with gratitude, I thank him for the story and we part.

Holding my head up as I walk, I sound the earth. My voice carries into the heavens and I'm like the bird singing as I soar straight up to the heavens with purpose. My perspective shifts, ever so slightly. From there, I can see that I'm on my path. I know this is my way. I have chosen to do it and it makes me happy. I am a pilgrim. I walk. I am happy.

Ask yourself if you have choosen who you are being in the world? Or did someone else choose it for you? It doesn't matter, either way, except if you are unhappy.

Be. Do. Have.

What do you want to be right now? A dancer? A writer? A coach? Love?

If you are being that, what action will you take? What will you do? Dance. Write. Coach. Share.

What will you have? Peace. Happiness. Love.

How perfect is that?

Tomorrow is about Intentions.


Love and light,


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Go outside and lift your head to the sky and sing. Explore what comes through your voice.

Love and light,SueAuthor of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.www.suekenney.caFacebook My Camino/SuseyaTwitter CaminoPeregrina

The Contray Way Day 13 Finding Angels

The Contrary Way Day 13 Finding Angels

More to come....tomorrow.

Love and light,SueAuthor of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.www.suekenney.caFacebook My Camino/SuseyaTwitter CaminoPeregrina