August 8, 2012 Last Day in Europe
Today is my last day in Europe. Tomorrow I return to America. Three weeks ago I completed my pilgrimage walk on the Way of St. James. In fifty days I walked 1200 Kilometers from Geneva Switzerland across France to Pamplona Spain. It was a wonderful adventure that I am still processing, one from which I believe I will be gaining insights and learnings for a long time to come. After I completed the Walk I spent a week traveling to Paris, Heidleburg, and Amsterdam before returning to my starting point here in the south of Netherlands, where my dear friends Kim and Pim have been my gracious hosts for the last two weeks. These three weeks have been a time of consolidation of my experience and a resting of my inner and outer selves. While the walk was an amazing and wonderful journey, it was also physically and mentally challenging and it has taken these three weeks to normalize myself to the point of being ready to live in America again.
The experience of Walking the Way of St. James was all and more that I hoped it would be. My intention in doing the journey was to deepen my trust in myself and in life, to learn at a more fundamental level that all is well, to know I can follow my heart and intuition when going for the bigger picture in my pursuit of love, wisdom and happiness without having to rely on the conventional dictums of staying within the boundaries of where security and safety lie. The biggest lesson I learned on the Way was that I will always have my needs met. I may not always get what I want but I will always get what I need. This was my experience over and over again and I am taking that knowledge with me into my life beyond the Way.
It is said that once you experience the Way of St. James you are addicted to it for life. I heard this over and over again from other pilgrims whom I met walking the Way. I now know it is true for me also. I am already looking forward to and planning my next walk. Though I didnt make it all the way to Santiago, I will on a future walk and probably will do so many times over. One of my favorite pilgrims I met was a gentleman from England, Hugh, who was 89 years old and going strong! He is my inspiration that I too can be doing this at 90!
I am returning from this Pilgrimage a happier, healthier (I lost 10 kilos and ate all the French pastry I wanted!), more balanced and compassionate person. Walking the Way was a very humbling experience, at times showing me my limitations both physical and mental. It was also a wonderfully empowering experience showing me my strengths and capacities for endurance and perseverance. I learned to love the simple life I led and realized that I can do with so much less. In fact when Walking the Way, less is definitely more, especially when you have to carry it on your back!
I am looking forward to returning to my life as a healer and teacher. What I gained from this walk will add richness and depth to my practice, I believe. I see the world differently and feel differently about the potential in all of us. I am excited to continue the work of supporting individuals on their own journey to tap into and manifest that potential in their everyday lives.
After I said goodbye to Barb, I stopped posting on my blog. However, I did keep up with my journaling and will be posting my daily entries and pictures once I return. So dear readers, thank you for your interest and stay tuned for the rest of the story!
End of Journey Photos
“Crossing the Pyranees.”
“Korean Pilgrims Crossing the Pyranees. Will leaving Pamlona, the end of the Pilgrimage.”
“Paris, City of Light. Rose Window, Notre Dame, Paris. Will at the Eifel Tower.”
“Bikes and Canals, Amsterdam. Mozart Hotel Where I stayed in Amsterdam. Will returning to Pim and Kim’s.”