Freedom To Change

by johnandterri


In taking on the Camino, Terri and I wondered if we would be changed by this long walk. I know that for me I definitely have been changed from walking the Camino. One of the changes I experienced was how much more aware when I am in the outdoors of all the beauty around me. I think that most folks that walk the 500 miles are changed by it in some way.

I have been reading a book called “Better Than Before” by Gretchin Rubin, that is about mastering the habits of our lives. Gretchen makes what I found to be a very profound statement in this book that may shed some light on why a long walk might change us. She says:

“Habits make change possible by freeing us from decision making and from using self control”.

I have been pondering this statement as it related to the Camino walk. The Camino forces one to learn some new habits that help to simplify your life. As I have mentioned in the past, when you look at what a typical day on the Camino looks like you see there are a few basic “Camino habits” we find ourselves doing day after day. Arise early before dawn, quickly clean up and put on pack and shoes and head out for the day’s walk. Walk all day with a few breaks to eat and drink. Arrive at the albergue, shower, write in journal and do your laundry. Eat dinnner and go to bed. These were our “Camino habits”.

I think that the “Camino habits” freed us up for change. We did not have a lot of decision making to make each day. Once we established these “Camino habits” there was not a lot of willpower needed to get through these routines. We just did them. The majority of our day we were immersed in our thoughts or building friendships with fellow Camino walkers. A lot of freedom to think and to change.

So building up good habits in our lives is probably a good thing to do. It is healthy for us as it frees us up to change.