Many of us reach a point when we feel our life has lost it’s meaning. We may even feel out of control. Perhaps we get hints of something beckoning us, but we are so immersed and invested in the status quo of our life that we manage to ignore the whispers from our heart saying we are meant for something else. We may feel pulled in directions that run counter to our family, our culture, our tribe, but we swat it away, insisting that now is not the time. Our critical inner voices that oppose change and expansion are engaged in a life and death struggle with the whispering of our heart and soul until it all reaches critical mass and we come to a full stop.
This stop may come in the form of a health diagnosis, an ending relationship or a job termination. Something always seems to have to end to get our full attention. We then see the need, hopefully, that we must take the necessary time to reflect, feel or heal and prepare for the great reboot of our life.
This is when some go into therapy, attend a retreat, read inspirational books, or even just search the podcast menus with hopes of coming out the other side, transported into the life we want, with all aspects of us integrated and whole, where the parts of us that are out there making a living are not separate from the one who is loving and relational.
Others take a more drastic journey as a way to find integrate and embrace their true Self.
I’ve always admired those who have made the pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, with nothing more than a knapsack on their back containing everything needed for a month. The 500 mile trail begins in St. Jean Pied de Port France and ends in Santiago de Compostela in the North West of Spain.
The journey usually takes 30 days.
Sleeping in hostels with strangers, Pilgrims, as they are called, subject themselves to the physical hardships of walking 25 miles a daily, with none of the comforts of modern living. One is faced not only with the physical hardship it entails, but the challenges of dealing with a mind that is now free to run rampant, day after day, with no Netflix or busywork to engage it.
You know where I’m going with this right?
Having an International practice where I’m online with clients in reaI time, I was aware early on of the spreading danger. With clients in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, England, France, Italy, as well as all over the US., the anxiety, stress and chaos were palpable. Routines were upended and in many ways, we were all being pushed towards – a full stop.
From this front row seat I have been afforded, it’s clear to me that, like it or not, we are now all walking The Global Camino. We’ve been long aware of things reaching critical mass globally and now personally, so we can no longer ignore it. As each of us grapples with how to navigate our lives In the Time of the Coronavirus, it is bringing our personal issues to the surface to be addressed, dealt with and healed.
You may relate to something that came up for a client I worked with recently. While expressing her fears of being alone in all of this uncertainty, she blurted out, “It’s been a lifelong quest, wanting someone to be there for me. I’ve been afraid to be alone.”
As is often known to happen in my sessions, I tend to shoot from the hip and I found myself responding, “I don’t really think this has been your lifelong quest.”
Suddenly, a favorite book we share popped into my mind, The Little Soul and the Sun. The premise of the book involves a conversation a little Soul has with God before it is born in which she discusses what she wants to learn this lifetime as she prepares to be born.
So I said to my client, “Here’s what your conversation might have sounded like.
‘For lifetimes I have lost myself in others, looking for them to fulfill me, too lazy to look inside and find the way for myself. This lifetime has to be different, even it it means me being alone.”
God might have even replied: That is a pretty arduous task to take on in a lifetime. You sure?”
I then explained to her why in a session I guide a client to that place inside where our heart connects with our spine. This is the place we are most receptive. Close your eyes, take a breath and try it now for yourself. When we truly tune in to this place, it’s like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz realizing she already had what she was looking for: her home was in her heart – she, and my client, had it all along.
I also tell my clients that there are two things in life that bring up to the surface whatever needs to be healed: love and a heart’s desire. Now it seems there is a third thing – a pandemic!
So there are many things with this pandemic that can trigger our fears, loneliness and even anger. Physical Distancing, uncertainty about how long being sheltered in place has to last. For my client, it was her fear of being alone. For you it might be something else. Try not to lose sight of the fact that we are all walking our own private Camino right now. You were made for these times.
So in spite of the hardships we are all facing these days, I encourage you to be open to the lessons, the compassion and the inspiration that are now available. It is an honor to be walking the Camino with you all.
Here are some Inquiry questions to support you on your walk:
- What is coming to the surface as you walk The Camino?
- Tell me a way you avoid knowing the full truth of what you are experiencing as you walk The Camino?
- What self- image are you protecting in that avoidance?
- What can you do to save your life right now that does not require a mask or social distancing?
- What have you been immune to changing?
- Tell me what has you in its grip as you walk the Camino?
- Tell me something you have learned about yourself during this Quarantine?