For many, the Camino is an opportunity to connect with their spiritual side. Let’s face it, the walk is long, sometimes monotonous, physically strenuous, and will test your spirit to its core. The journey will give you ample time to connect with the deepest meaning of the word spirituality. Spirituality is such an important topic. It goes beyond how we think, it goes beyond who we physically are, it goes to the core of who and what we really are down deep. It is what we search for, the meaning that is underneath it all.
I tread lightly here. I realize that the word spirituality holds so many different meanings to so many people. That is in and of itself what makes the topic so fascinating to me. I also realize that at the core of it all it comes down to a a basic idea that I think we all share. That we are connected to something special and that it works in our life in mysterious and wonderful ways.
All spiritualities are welcome here. Even the non-believers believe in something, and I want to say that I humbly respect all beliefs. Please feel free to personalize this journey to your own take on this beautiful topic. Here are a few things to consider doing to prepare the spirit for this amazing trip of a lifetime.
Prepare an Intention – Intentions are commonly associated with our spirit. It follows along the law of attraction. That which we bring into our world, in the form of intentions, will manifest. This can be as simple as an intention to stop in every church along the way, or as broad as to walk each step with humility. One good way to create an intention is to journal on the topic of what you want to get out of your Camino and what can you do along the way to get that. The magic in the intention is to write it down and share it with others so that they can get a glimpse into your world and help support you in your spiritual journey.
Read your Spiritual Texts – If you have a spiritual text, this is a great opportunity to delve more deeply into it. Since this path is most commonly thought of as a Christian pilgrimage, the four gospels are a good place to explore. Or you might want to delve into the life of St James more deeply and find out more about who he was. If Christianity is not your belief, take that one book that really speaks to you and pick a passage or two to contemplate every day you walk. It might even be good idea for you to get an audio version so that you can listen to it along the way.
Connect With Your Spiritual Community – If you have a regular group that you like to attend to, the time before your trip is a good time to get very regular with that. Attend your church services or participate in your group. Share that you are walking the Camino and ask for prayers and support. Tell them about why you are doing it and what you hope to get out of it so that when you return, you can share your experiences.
Get a Blessing – Seek out the appropriate person in your spiritual circle to bless your journey. This can be a powerful way to establish and formalize that intention you have worked to create. You can keep it short and simple or create a meaningful ceremony that brings more depth to your departure. It is also a wonderful way to create a conversation with a trusted spiritual leader.
Select Something to Carry – If you have an item that is meaningful to you that you feel has attached to it the spirit you want to carry, consider taking it with you. It can be anything from a cross to a heart shaped rock. It is a physical reminder that you can set beside your bed every night to remind you of why you are on this trip of a lifetime. It can be used as a basis of daily prayer as well.
Just Show Up – Of course, some might say that I have overthought this entire topic. It can be said that the trip itself is the essence of the entire spiritual experience. Just showing up can be plenty. Just show up and let the Camino be the spirituality you seek.
I dedicate this article to all the wonderful spirits that have walked the Camino. Thanks for taking the time to read this. My hope and wish is that we each take time every day to nurture our spirit. It is indeed the most precious part of you.