One of my main intentions in walking the camino was to get to know my body better. I have a tendency to spend a lot of time in my head and as a healer recently reminded me my body suffers for it. I find the realms of dreams and the astral plane more comfortable as in these places my spirit doesnt have to deal with the realities of being on earth and having a body. But I came here for a reason, to be in this body and live this life as Marika Hall. Well, everyday it becomes more clear that walking for 900km from Southern France to the Northwest coast of Spain is definitely a good way to get to know my body and the body of others better. As you might imagine the roads and trails are typically gravel or rocky or have speed loving Spaniards flying along them, requiring great attention in walking! As well carrying a pack of 10kg and walking 20+km day after day creates constantly changing aches and pains in my body which keep me focused on it.
This way is certainly not for the light of heart or those without will or motivation and yet everyday I find the stereotypes I have learned from media and even courses in human health broken down. There is not one body type or feature that makes up the camino nor does it seem that appearing healthy and fit helps in completing this journey. Somedays I am amazed and inspired to see very overweight people climbing up steep rocky paths focused on the knowing that their bodies can do this and other days I come across thin fit looking people who have injured themselves so badly they can not continue their journey.
The scholar in me is fascinated by all of this, as I believe that our bodies are one of our greatest guides in knowing when our lives are out of balance or when there is something deeper coming up to be cleared and such a practice as this brings much up to be cleared. Each ache and pain, illness and discomfort is a flashing light saying pay attention to me, look at what is going on in your life. Having nothing else to do than walk and think I have had a great time reflecting on my body and what is coming up for me. At the start of the camino, I asked to clear any blocks and armouring that I was holding on to that were preventing me from loving and accepting myself completely. As I have walked I have come face to face with the self depreciating thoughts of my ego and the pains in my legs have lead me to question where I have issues with love and support in my life. When an answer doesn’t come I simply sit and focus love into the sore parts of my legs and I hold, massage, thank and instruct them how to heal and when this doesnt work I ask my guides and angels to come in and help support me. It has been so powerful and I have moved through much.
One of the most important lessons I have learned so far came to me on one particular day walking into Burgos. While we were travelling past the airport and through the uninspiring industrial zone into town I had the most profound and visceral understanding of how connected we all are and how if I can truly love and heal myself, then I gift this healing and love to all humanity, in fact the whole universe. Theoretically, I knew this but now I can say that I can feel, breathe, sense, smell and see this. I understand how a sick part can make the whole diseased and so can healing a part, heal the whole. I also saw how love is the key to letting go of all the stories, masks, pains and fears that keep me boxed up and so each day now I am working on loving everything that comes before me on the camino.