Our compostela pilgrimage continues on from Najera to Santo Domingo today. Although there were times when it was close to ending, we are now roughly a third of the way to Santiago de compostela. I believe that we are in the Rioja region of Spain now after leaving Navarre and the terrain and landscape is changing and becoming more rugged, like one would see in a cowboy movie.
We are finding the weather to be getting colder and colder each day and we know that we will be encountering snow and mountain passes at some stage down the line, so we are really stepping into the unknown and we realise that we may have some much tougher days to come, but that does not deter us.
A wise man once said, “do the the things that are difficult and life becomes easy, but if you do the easy things then life becomes difficult” This is the simple secret to a successful and fulfilling life. So when people say to me that they don’t understand why we are putting ourselves through the hardship of doing the Camino, then my reply to them is that they don’t understand Life.
Of course we must have discernment and there are those that continually put themselves through hardships with no fruits at the end of it, as a way of punishing their feeling of unworthiness or guilt. This is common in some of the main stream religions, such as catholicism and others..
If the hardship produces some positive outcome then it is often worth it. A farmer will understand this well. They get up early and brave the elements to plough their fields and plant their seeds. This is difficult and hard work, but a few months down the line the fruits of this hard work are revealed.
I love lying on a sandy beach reading a book as much as the next man, but I also realise that if that was all I did I would become dissatisfied and bored. As humans there is a need to challenge ourselves and in the process become better and stronger.
When the wind blows hard in our face on the camino, it is difficult, but this hardship is greatly eased when I accept the wind being there for my good. And I allow the wind to temper me, and forge me like one would do to steel to strengthen it. This is a mental game that removes suffering.
Suffering can only take place when we forget that everything happens for our higher good and we don’t accept it. Acceptance and the curiosity for learning and growth removes the possibility of suffering, so even though there are times on the camino when I am not enjoying myself I still love every moment of it.
It is sometimes hard for me to get out of bed earlier than I need to on a cold morning and do my yoga routine, but that short term hardship means that the rest of my day will flow much better and I will be at ease feeling flexible, energetic and without any joint or muscle stiffness.
Doing this everyday, compounds, and 10 years down the line of doing yoga every morning will meaning a life with much more ease than if I spent 10 years being sedentary. This understanding of doing the hard things so life becomes easy can be applied to virtually anything.
It can be easy to pop a few pills when we feel pain and discomfort in the body, but the side effects from those pills will make life even more difficult in time. Changing our diet and lifestyle can be quite difficult, but over time our life will become much more easy and fulfilling for that matter.
These are all learnings received on our compostela pilgrimage to Santiago and beyond!
P.S.We are able to take a month out to walk the camino as we earn a passive residual income online. Want to do the same? Just click below to find out more.