Footprints

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Plan Be
Each story begins somewhere and in some way, perhaps born of the inexplicable need to understand ourselves. Or like that of Forrest Gump, "for no particular reason"; the history of what our shoes have stepped on, from the first pair. This story begins in a distant place, on a pilgrimage route, on the Camino de Santiago. It is a pilgrimage of the Middle Ages that survives to this day. The route does not have a mandatory or fixed point of departure, it is difficult to specify where it starts and, sometimes, where it ends.

There is a saying that is known in most of the towns and communities of the Camino de Santiago: "There are as many roads as pilgrims." Historical routes and many other tourist routes, some of which are so old that they were already used as roads by the Romans before Christianity; Someone told me that the road starts and ends where you align yourself to walk. These routes cross France, Spain, Portugal, the Basque Country and Catalonia. When I heard about the variety of routes, some of which were busier and others more difficult to travel, I understood that it was a pilgrimage - with dozens of stops in different churches and points of interest - that unites many towns with the same objective.

Take a week to settle in Montserrat, one of the communities on the Catalan route that crosses the mountains, in a special event, a workshop. During my stay in Montserrat, I discovered my own way to Santiago, a metaphor of my quest to connect with my inner world, an own and intimate route, it seemed a coincidence with the alchemist of Coelho, who discovers that he has to travel to find something that could have found at the origin.
As I said, each story starts somewhere and in some way. At that time I expected a lot from the workshop, the simple fact of being in such a distant place for me, which is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year on an eternal pilgrimage, increased the potential of the teachings. However, from the beginning, something happened that changed my feeling completely. I saw myself in the mirror and found what I was looking for. Very rare. I walked away from the place where we were staying on a rural, peaceful road, part of the route to Santiago de Compostela, with beautiful views of the valley that surround the mountains, full of everything and nothing; everything was green around the route, under the strong Catalan sky. I had some time alone to walk and reflect. Thoughts flow better in movement.

There was a point where I realized that I was facing the yellow path of the Wizard of Oz, but that there really was no Magician, it was not necessary, because the way you do it - the heart opens and fills with strength - without the need for a Wizard at the end of it, because it is the path that is forging you and the one that fills one with magic, with that feeling of possibility. I had taken refuge under a tree, and I imagined myself transiting my Camino de Santiago interior, without moving from that place. If there was no Magician, there had to be a physical, material, real way, there could well be within that fantastic path towards our own discovery.

In the midst of that vast stillness in which the shadows began to lengthen with the sunset, a cart pulled by a donkey shattered the silence that rested on the ground. I paid attention, sure that they had not noticed my presence next to the tree whose shadow I took refuge. I felt a disembodied being, a spirit that witnessed the life of a man, his donkey, and his cart. As if they had arisen from among the stones, or from a memory that the mountains kept, they went on their way. The image of the donkey pulling the cart with its master and the sun on its back reminded me of an old fable. I was surprised by the obstinacy of the donkey, the way it pulled irretrievably without making a complaint, despite being suffering from heat and fatigue. All that was needed was the carrot of the story with which the master deceived the animal so that he could continue with his work.

Metaphors, memories, inspiration, the simplicity of the donkey and the complexity of the donkey. In this everyday rural green so familiar to me, I was not in Spain, or in Mexico, or in the world, I really connected with me completing the tireless search of the Wizard of Oz.

We can also chase a carrot, all our lives, thinking that at some point we will reach our goal. Every morning someone puts the carrot in front of our eyes so we can pull the cart. We believe that we can choose the carrot we are going to pursue, but the truth of things is not like that: life goes away in this fable, thinking that we are so far behind and far from completing the path that we have thought is the way.

The hardest thing is to realize that, over time, we ourselves become that truculent master. We put the same carrot, every morning, to force us to pull a cart that is not even ours. But we do not do it because we are ready and determined to participate actively in our lives, but because that is how we have been educated, to live motivated from the outside.

We are the past, the present and the future simultaneously, we are part of what creates and destroys, a fragment of time, a piece of eternity. On that dirt road in the middle of the mountains, I was aware that I was in the here and now, as something beautiful. The following days I felt like a baby and like an old woman; so fresh, full of life, innocent and at the same time tired, limited as if something inside me had expired and I had to renew it. I was changing inside, and my bodily experiences reflected that transition to an inner experience that I had been searching for the world, without knowing it, and that I would have had to search within myself.

At first, I was afraid, but to the extent that I accepted these sensations, I recognized that I was happy; my body became aware of itself, I turned to see and my consciousness saw it, it was like two beings who meet for the first time despite having known all their lives. I saw myself, in my littleness, with so much love and tenderness, as who sees you and makes you discover in you the things you love, and that's why you love him.

I understood that there was no need to make long trips or to have idyllic relationships, I did not need a perfect family or work justifications, nothing and no one to justify me as important or valuable. The road to Santiago, my metaphor, was really a latent heart, a rhythm that helps me to move towards the here and now, palpable and practical. This gave me a point of reference that I use in my life, when I feel separated as if I were a guest, a stranger, distracted all the time, dealing with all kinds of slopes, without planting at the moment I am, including all behaviors with which I compensate for not fulfilling or satisfying family friends and even strangers and their ideas of what I should be or do, those voices that direct me as Echoes, of what was then and there. Those voices that have an existence (memories, family memories, customs, ideas, fantasies, longings), that are reflected in the walls of our mind and affect us more than we think, these echoes are invaluable as information, as the voice of the experience, not as implacable voice of command that directs our life and work, is our responsibility to listen and refine what and how to use the information.

I decided that my Camino de Santiago would begin in everything that distracted me from life, from here and now , until the moment when I managed to align myself with the present. I had finally understood that when I define my path, I can move freely towards a broader, more dynamic, more human story, participating in the immediate instant with greater abundance and generosity.

At nightfall on the mountains of Catalonia, I experienced the divine symphony in which we all participate. Each of us is a sound and silence of the orchestra of the universe, a rhythm that is part of a whole. Very aware of the opportunity to learn to live in harmony with that divine musical flow. Let us take our place in the universe, as individuals and as a species. We have no idea where we come from or where we are going, but we anticipate it and from there in that abundance in our interior there is a compass that guides us. That is the path to full existence, each one is a trace.


PlanBe, EnglishClaudia Flores