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There is definitely something to be said for taking decisive action.  For me it was buying that plane ticket.  I knew that cemented things for me.  And that’s so important to me now, as the honeymoon period of a brand-new, beautiful idea is petering out.  Do I still want to walk el Camino?  Absolutely.  Do I still plan to?  Definitely. But without that plane ticket, I may have been tempted to hedge a bit this week.

It was one of those weeks for me.  More easily agitated.  A little less motivated.  Thank goodness I still walked, though. I felt much better once I’d started.  I was a bit sore Monday evening and then Tuesday day after that 3-hour walk on Monday.  It’s good to know the muscles are changing.  Wednesday and today I took one-hour walks with a half-packed backpack, and this weekend I intend to walk another 3-hour walk with an even fuller backpack. (Tomorrow I swim.)

I’m changing.  Some of it feels good, and some of it doesn’t.  My self-confidence has definitely improved (although this week it dipped back down a bit).  I feel like I’m also becoming more assertive and less flexible.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  But it has meant that my resentment levels have dropped, and that definitely feels better.  I’m more focused, more directed . . .  and more stubborn. 🙂  It’s all a learning process, right?

So much I could say, but this is good for today.

Much love, many blessings. ❤

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Why does 49 seem like so much less than 50??

Today I walked 3 hours, as planned.  And nearly died.  That’s not true.  I did very well but was very tuckered out by the end.  I actually walked 2.75 hours, and then took the dogs out for their mile walk, and they were dragging me along for the first half.  I’m really glad I decided to up my game.  I plan to walk at least 1 3-hour walk per week, and my next walk will be with a full backpack.  (Today I walked with my empty backpack, except for a water bottle.)

I’m so, so grateful that I walked twice this past weekend.  I can see now how valuable physical preparation can be!  And my wonderful friend read my blog and offered to go for a walk with me!  She’s a yoga instructor, too, and offered to teach me some good foot stretches!  The universe is very good to me! ❤

I need to make sure I get my last orders in by the end of this week or next week at the latest.  There will be plenty of stores in Spain, but I don’t want to mess around with things like trying to find an adapter.  I need my phone to work!

In the past few weeks I’ve started talking aloud to myself.  I find it very therapeutic.  It’s very amusing to me because that’s the supposed to be the definition of “crazy”, right?  Well, I already knew I was crazy.  I guess this just confirms it. . .  I found myself talking to myself often during the walk today.  It was nice.  At one point I actually got tired of hearing myself talk and was quiet for a bit, but soon I picked it up again!

I’ve really come to see how I’m already walking “el Camino”.  I started walking it the day I decided to go.  That’s what we are all called to do: walk our own “Caminos”.  There is a dream inside of each of us, and only we can decide for it because it is ours, and ours alone.  Once we do decide for it . . .  we are on our way!  The journey has begun; the lessons and learnings commence.

Today I felt so grateful.  So incredibly, incredibly grateful.  Because things feel right again.  I laugh at myself when I see how blind I was, even a few weeks ago!  I’ve known since college how important travel is to me, ever since I took off and lived a semester in Mexico.  But I shoved down my dream and decided it wasn’t important.  Why?  There are plenty of excuses I could use to explain it away.  And often many of us do.  But not anymore. Not me.  What about you?

I’m back on track, and it’s an exhilarating (and sometimes scary!) ride.  Here’s to the journey.  Here’s to our lives!

Much love and many blessings. ❤

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Yesterday I went walking with my friend for an hour-and-a-half (about 3 miles) and I was exhausted!  It may have partially been the heat, but I believe I just wasn’t prepared for it.  I thanked him profusely for the experience and decided it’s time to get serious about preparing for the Camino!

Today I walked an hour-and-a-half again with Brian, and this time averaged 3 miles an hour and walked about 4.5 miles.  Improvement!  Tomorrow I am determined to walk 2-3 hours at the same pace.

I continue to wear my hiking shoes regularly and also usually my hiking socks.  I’ve been reading Pilgrim Tips and Packing List Camino de Santiago by S. Yates with Daphne Hnatiuk, and I’m really enjoying it!  So much useful information in there.  (Thanks, Mom!)  I highly recommend the text.

Some things I need to add to my packing list:

  • feminine products
  • 1-2 regular pop (soda) bottles to use as a water bottle
  • ear plugs
  • a plug adapter
  • travel size toiletries ONLY
  • a power transformer
  • toilet paper
  • container of salt
  • plastic bag containing copies of important documents
  • travel health insurance
  • pair of nail scissors (useful for many things!)
  • string
  • really thin (inner) socks
  • foot cream
  • safety pins
  • a garbage bag (to line the inside of the backpack)

They also recommend cutting off tags, ripping out unneeded pages, and emptying the backpack every 2-3 days to clear and re-pack! Intense!

Finally, especially now that I plan on training harder, my two biggest concerns are frequent bathroom needs and blisters.

As far as the first, I’m sure I will get used to the open air practice eventually.  As far as the second, here are a few suggestions from Yates and Hnatiuk:

Prevention:

  • Cream the feet at least twice a day with Nivea, Neutrogena, or similar.
  • Only wear broken in, comfortable shoes.
  • Wear 2 pairs of socks so that the friction occurs between the sock layers.
  • Don’t shower in the mornings and don’t do any foot soaks until you’re done hiking for the day.  (This softens the skin and makes it more likely to blister.)
  • During rests, take off shoes and socks and put your feet up (like on your backpack) to reduce swelling
  • Take care of hot spots and discomfort immediately before a blister develops
  • Take care of your feet in the evenings!  Wash thoroughly, soak when possible, check for signs of problems and treat them, and cream generously.

Treatment:

  1. Shower first.
  2. Wash and disinfect hands.
  3. Disinfect blister, clean the area, and open it with a small incision with a sterilized utensil, just enough to drain the blister but keep the skin intact. (Do not remove the skin!)
  4. Use a sterile compress to apply pressure and empty the blister.  Tape small compress to blister and surrounding area to prevent blister from re-filling overnight.
  5. Insert iodine into blister with iodine cream or liquid iodine syringe. (Yipes!)
  6. Cover with compress package and bandage.
  7. If needed the next day, buy Spontex® kitchen cloth, cut it to size — leaving a hole where your blister is, and tape it to the surrounding blister-free skin.
  8. Keep the dressings clean, and change them after every shower.
  9. Cream the old skin over the blister to keep it soft and elastic, so it won’t cause another blister!

Those feet are important!  Love, love, love your feet!

Much love, many blessings. ❤

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Look at my awesome hiking shoes!  I’ve decided to wear them anytime I leave the house, even for work!  That’s the beauty of creating my own dress code: if anyone asks, it’s an excuse to explain that I’m walking el Camino!

Today and Tuesday I wore them the whole day, and it was great!  Yesterday I made the mistake of walking too far into the lake (recently the walking path near my house), and I SOAKED my shoes.  They were still wet this afternoon, so I sicked a blow dryer on them for quite some time to wear them to work this evening.  I REALLY, really love these shoes.  My feet feel so loved in them.  Just getting the shoes makes the whole Camino trip worth it!  I can’t wait to see what they look like when I’m done walking 500 miles!  I have a feeling we’ll develop quite a bond. . .

Today I was blessed by two people sharing how I’ve inspired them.  One was grateful that I once insisted on paying her for what she had given me; it connected her to the Law of Prosperity and shifted her perspective on giving for free.  The other was inspired that I was “going for it” — jumping into this trip of el Camino!  She’s inspired to go after one of her bucket list trips!  I feel so fulfilled!

Overall a wonderful day today.  I had some great lessons with my students, I’m glad to have my shoes back, I’m amazed at how much energy I had today, I can tell I’m shifting and my confidence is building, and I’m anxious but excited about some changes I’m anticipating in how I go about my work.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Much love, many blessings. ❤

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This was from my Toastmaster’s speech today.  I wish you could have heard the Evaluator’s comments on it.  He is so poetic!  His evaluation was more beautiful than my speech!

I was inspired to write this based on an article I came across about 10 Ways el Camino “Sucks.”  I didn’t want to read it . . .  but I couldn’t resist.  And I’m glad I did read it, because — as it turns out — some of the reasons are actually good reasons for me to go!

1. I love travel. 

This is my dream, to travel.  I realized this a week or two ago when I was challenged in a mastermind to answer: What would you regret if you died next year? Travel.  That immediately popped into my head.  If I am to inspire visionaries, I must be true to my vision!

2.  It’s economical.

Sure, the plane ticket is a little pricey, but once I get there, it’s pretty inexpensive for a month-long trip!  Besides transportation to and from the airport, transportation is by foot.  No fancy excursions, just free views.The cheapest hostels are $6-$10. (The Euro is pretty close to the dollar right now.) And inexpensive local food is available along the way.

3. It’s an ancient, spiritual path.

The path is open to all backgrounds and beliefs, but honors the Catholic Saint James and before that had Celtic origins, once a born-again ritual on a path following the Milky Way.  I wish to have my own rebirthing, spiritual experience on this journey, connecting more with my purpose and with God.

4. There’s plenty of nature.

I often have to look for excuses or excursions to connect with nature.  For this trip, it’s built right in!  Though I will be sleeping in hostels and passing through towns and cities, a majority of my time will be spent outdoors in beautiful scenery.

5. It’s relatively safe.

I did hear of a few incidents on el Camino, but they are few.  Stealing is a concern, so I will be putting some appropriate measures into place.

6. It’ll be great physical activity.

I’ve been encouraged to spend time in nature and participate in repetitive, aerobic activity — Bingo!

7. There will be many people.

This path has apparently become very popular in recent years, and this was considered a “drawback” in the other article.  However, this is great for me, as far as safety in numbers, and this will be a great opportunity to meet some international folks and maybe make some friends (part of my dream!)  I MAY need to be clear that I need my meditative time, though.  I’ll need to find a balance between socializing and reflecting.

8. I’ve been advised to go!

I received 2 intuitive reports recently, and in the last one, when the conductor asked: “Is this all?” the reporter responded:

We see this one is considering taking some type of journey.  We see it would be important for this one to do this, as there is much available in terms of the field of this one’s vibration. There is much moving in this one’s vibration, and this journey will assist this one to tap into that and then draw these desires into physical form, as this one’s vibration will change in this journey.

9: BONUS! I speak Spanish.

Another “problem” with el Camino is that locals don’t always speak English.  Well, I happen to speak Spanish!  Now I have a chance to practice my second language, too!

9. It’s a great first goal of many!

I have a feeling this is the beginning of many similar adventures.  I told a friend about, it and she asked why I chose this one over similar journeys in the U.S.  There are others?? I had no idea!  More for my bucket list!

We all have dreams, we all have our own path to walk. Think about where you want the road to take you this year.

To your dreams!

Much love, many blessings. ❤

 

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Wow!  I’ve just realized that the time is flying!  I’ve done a little more walking.  The weather has been crazy rainy in Chicagoland, so Saturday night Brian and I went for a mall walk, 2 laps around.  The sun is finally out today, so maybe I will brave the weather a bit!

I’ve been poking around on a few sites and was also gifted a guide book by my mom, with another one coming from my Amazon points.  I am so grateful for the support I have received so far!  I am including an introductory packing list that I may add to throughout this experience:

  • Passport — Check!
  • Wallet — Check! (But I’ll need to check on my debit card usability and let the credit card companies know I’ll be gone.)
  • 3 70-page Journals — Check! I plan on doing a lot of reflecting!
  • Phone — Check!
  • Charger — Check! Still debating on whether to bring 2. I may have to wrestle Brian for one. . .
  • 3 Wool socks — Check!
  • Light sleeping bag  — I think I just ordered this. (Coming soon!)
  • Sleeping bag liner — Borrowing from Dad
  • Rain poncho — Just ordered 🙂
  • Inflatable pillow — * Need to look into this one. I may get away without it, using my fleece or something.
  • Water bottle — Check!
  • Bar of soap — Check!
  • Deodorant — Check!  But I may want to switch from the cream to the Roll-on for convenience.
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste — Check!
  • Quick-Dry Towel — *Need to locate it.
  • Quick-Dry wash cloth— *Need to locate it.
  • Pilgrims Passport for your country — Ordered!
  • A Guide Book — Yes and on its way!
  • Bandages? — *Need to look into this!  I do have moleskins!
  • Hiking Boots — YES!  And I LOVE them!  Thank you, Mom!  My narrow, flat feet are uber happy.  I seriously felt them crying from relief and joy at the store yesterday.
  • 3 pairs of underwear (quick dry) — Check!
  • 2 long hiking pants (zipper off to shorts) — Check!
  • 3 long-sleeved quick dry shirts — Check!
  • 3 quick dry bras — Check! (Though I may try to go without on some days!)
  • 2 night clothes sets (2 tankinis and 2 mesh shorts) — Check!
  • Zipper up fleece — I think I have this; Check!
  • Lightweight jacket — Check!
  • flip flops — Check!
  • sun hat — Ordered!
  • bandana — Check!
  • Gloves — Check!  (Just gotta figure out which to bring.)
  • Ear cover — Check!
  • Hiking backpack — Check! Thanks, Mom!  I was going to use my huge Rick Steve’s one, but Mom splurged and got me a hiking one.

I think I pretty much have everything!  I’ll be taking a look at the guide books to see if they suggest anything else.

On dreams:

I figured out that my nightmare from last week was based on the fears I had about this trip.  I’m really stretching myself this year — even more than last year!

This morning I had my very first teeth falling out dream.  It was awful!  I can now officially sympathize with all of the other teeth-losing dreamers out there — it’s amazing how much we take for granted!  I am so grateful for you, teeth!  Losing teeth is considered losing the tools for assimilation, and usually I’ve seen a connection to overwhelm in those who have this dream.  That does resonate with me!  Today I’ve been utilizing Barbara Caine’s 25-minute chunk time management strategy and am slowly hacking away at my “to accomplish” list.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!
Much love, many blessings. ❤

 

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Long day today, but I did get a couple short laps around the circle in today with my huge backpack on.  I’m still debating whether to bring my Rick Steve’s backpack on the trip.  My joints were a little funky today, and I did some reading on low blood pressure because I was rejected for giving blood yesterday.  No more crossing the legs, and I’ve got to make sure I’m eating enough and the right foods.  I’ve got to keep health at the top of my list.  I forget how valuable it is sometimes.  It can be the most important abundance we have.

Much love, many blessings.

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