In walking the Camino one of the cool things is that you are outside for the majority of the day rather than inside. Since I had spent my career working at a desk inside, the idea of spending the majority of the day outside was very enticing to me. This aspect of the Camino proved to be one of my favorite aspects of the pilgrimage walk. Each day was a new adventure and a new landscape to experience. One of the keys to really embracing and enjoying the outdoors is related to the ability to be relaxed, open and aware of all that is around you as you walk.
The advantages of being in this state of mind when I was walking the Camino, was my increased awareness and openness lead me to find and capture on camera the beauty I was immersed in. Being open to each day and what it might bring was a great way to walk each day.
Reflecting on how I was able to do this so well on the Camino, I realized that I was largely free from a lot of worries and anxieties and preoccupations running through my mind. Things were stripped down to the basics (walking, eating, sleeping). What a great way to go. I found that I was so much more aware of the beauty around me when my mind was not ruled by the constant stream of thoughts that preoccupied my mind. It seemed that the stream of thinking was more slowed and focused on the present rather than in the past and future.
I have come to realize that this is a very wonderful way to live our life. To be present and aware to our environment and with others is the way to go. It is not easy to slow down our minds and focus more on the present moment but the benefits are well worth it. This Christmas season while we are spending time with our family and friends is a great time to try being more aware and present to each precious moment. A true Christmas present we can give is the gift of ourselves. Being Christmas “present” to all we meet.
John and Terri