We Are Hardcore

Well we hit the Mesetas today and started to look upon the Camino in a different sort of way. We realize now we have some serious walking yet to do so it seems like the whole pack picked up the pace and upped the miles. On top of that it started to rain and we got a good stretch of walking down a muddy, muddy road. We had been going most of the day with just two short breaks when my friend, Natalie, a very prim and proper South African lady said “we are hardcore”. This was to be her first 30km day ever and so that became the mantra for the day.

The Meseta is a unique part of the Camino that some people skip because of its somewhat bleak nature. I think it has its own type of beauty. It is essentially a series of very flat plateaus that are several miles long. So we climbed up to a very flat area and traverse it and then drop down into a town. Then we do it all over again. The top flat areas are desolate and we didn’t see a car all day. As one of the guys said “we aren’t hitching a ride up here”.

I am combining a few days of pictures into this post because Internet is scarce out here and it is slow when I get it.

Heading out of Burgos
Cool fountain in a small town before the Mesetas
Heading out to the the Mesetas
A view coming down, you can see another Meseta off in the distance
Coming into Hontanas with sore feet
The ruins of a monastery.
The Mesetas
Picnic time
The albergue is nice tonight.

4 thoughts on “We Are Hardcore

  1. Hardcore is as hardcore does, a pilgrimage would not be just that without this, embrace the is while it is and enjoy this article about what is…….

    It is What it is, While it is

    We’ve all heard the common adage that “It is what it is,” telling us that whatever is happening is simply the reality of the current experience. But that’s not the whole truth. The Now Effect adds, “It is what it is, while it is.”  This speaks to a larger reality that whatever is here is also impermanent. This saying can enrich our lives, helping us move through the difficult times with more grace and also illuminating what’s precious in life before we miss it.

    Here’s how…

    As automatic negative thoughts start creeping into your mind and you notice an irritability starting to creep in, saying “it is what it is, while it is” pops you out of auto-pilot, into the present moment and reminds you that there’s impermanence to this feeling. This reminder helps you not get so wrapped up in it and can also give you the choice to be kinder to yourself. This can help stop a spiral into a deeper depression.

    When cravings in the form of desiring thoughts and urges in the form of physical impulses raise their heads, saying “it is what it is, while it is” externalizes these reactions, giving you some distance from them and enough room to choose a different response. Maybe the new action is surfing the urge and not engaging with the addictive behavior.

    As the mind gets triggered into the “what if” game, looking at upcoming scenarios through a catastrophic lens, saying “It is what it is, while it is,” reminds you that you just got triggered into a mind trap and can now recognize the fear or anxiety that is currently there. The thoughts are not facts, but the feeling is. You can begin to recognize that the anxiety has a life of its own and is subject to the natural law that all things come and go.

    The phrase “It is what is, while it is” isn’t meant to be a panacea to stress, anxiety, depression or addiction, of course you’ll want to integrate this into the other avenues you have found to be helpful along with finding a supportive community whether that’s a therapist, a group of peers or friends, or another form of communal support. It is meant to be a helpful tool along the way that can break up the automatic reaction just long enough to insert more space for choice to engage a difference response.

    Depending on the level of difficulty, that response could be engage in the greater art of distraction or maybe approaching the vulnerable feeling with warm presence of kindness and compassion. Inevitably this is the road to transforming the feeling and giving you a greater sense of self-reliance.

    Of course, saying “It is what it is, while it is” can also be used with our more comfortable emotions to give a sense of their preciousness, to elicit a sense of gratitude and savor the goodness while it’s there.

    Go ahead and bring this into your day, treat it as an experiment without any judgment or expectations. See if it breaks up the habit for enough of a time to allow for a new way of thinking or responding.

    As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom that we can all benefit from.


      1. Glad to know this was helpful, may many guides surround you and yours as you dance the camino of your destiny~James


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