May 16th 2014: Today was day 15….It was HARD!

By Shannon

Our day off in Musculdy was exactly what I needed. I feel ready to take on this final hike to SJPdP (Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port). It’s a beautiful day and I’m feeling like I can do this and today’s hike will be no problem!

I’m ready for the day!

I’m ready for the day!

As we set out, I reflect on the call I had last night with my new spiritual coach. Ever since we left the country in March, I’ve had the desire to find someone who can help me explore my spiritual side more deeply. It took me a long time to find the right person because I knew it needed to be someone who brought in more of the eastern techniques of meditation, chakras, and energy healing. I had all but given up, and then BAM, I found someone who not only fit the bill, but also who specializes in working with women who have experienced loss with a pregnancy.

On our first call last night, she explains to me that we are all like Michelangelo’s David. It is said that Michelangelo said he didn’t have the image of David in his mind before he started carving, but that as he carved away, David revealed himself. She tells me this how we all are — there’s a layer on each of us that needs to be chiseled away. If we can clear the things that aren’t part of the real us – other people’s emotions, outside circumstances, events, etc, then and only then, can the real us be revealed.

This is how I feel about this Camino for me. I believe somehow, this hike will chisel away at all the things that are not part of the true authentic me, and will reveal the me I know lies deep within. We spent some time talking about my pregnancy, my anxiety, my relationship with Eric, the things I want to change in life. We go deep really quick. She then teaches me an energy clearing meditation that shows me how we have the power to change our thoughts and perspectives very quickly through the use of meditations and visualizations. As soon as she walks me through the meditation I feel like a weight has been lifted.

Ever since our call ended, I’ve felt a little more free. I knew finding the right person to work with was essential to my Camino experience. I already know after just one session this is exactly what I need.

But my feelings of lightness and ease are hard to hold on to as we continue to walk. There is no trail on this section of the Camino, or if there is, we never found it. The signs are few and far between, so it is possible, we’ve taken some other route. We are just hiking on roads, which I hate. It’s getting hot and I’m starting to get cranky. I try to go back to the meditation my coach taught me. Only I can’t seem to switch out of the negative mindset I’m stuck in.

As we keep hiking, Eric and I start running low on water. Since there’s no water sources we decided to stop at a house we pass. We know it’s important to get water while we can in this heat because we have no idea when we’ll find water or walk by another house. A nice woman answers the door and refills our water bottles.

Then we decide it’s a good time for a lunch break. At this point, I’m starting to get a knife like pain in my left instep. I was hoping a nice lunch break and some aspirin would do the trick but alas, it did nothing.

This is me ready to give up.

This is me ready to give up.

The path becomes steep along a curvy mountain road. The pain in my foot feels unbearable with each step. I’m walking so slow and I just know Eric is thinking, “Come on already. It will be midnight before we get there if we keep this pace up.”

I think to myself, I’m never going to be able to make it to Santiago. Because of my pace and my foot pain, Eric thinks maybe it’s a good idea to hitchhike the final 8 or so kilometers. I gladly agree.

We sit on the side of the road in some shade to shelter us from the sweltering heat. After 6 or so cars pass us, I tell Eric I think we should just start walking. Otherwise we are going to be here all night. I don’t want to walk, but I know I have to somehow power through.

Hoping Eric gets someone to pick us up because I so don’t want to walk up these hills.

Hoping Eric gets someone to pick us up because I so don’t want to walk up these hills.

Just as we start walking, two cars pull up. The second car is the woman who gave us water earlier. She just happens to be going to the bank in SJPdP

The drive is short, but all uphill and winding. As I look out the window I’m so grateful that this woman has picked us up. I’m also feeling nervous about the fact that we have to cross the Pyrenees, in two days. I have my doubts that I’ll make it.

And then just like that, we are in SJPdP. Things are starting to feel to real. It’s almost like the last week was a warm up. It doesn’t yet feel like we are truly doing this.

Distance: 19,200 steps (9 miles)
Location: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France

Feeling inspired by our journey? Please consider donating to The Passport Party Project. Your contribution will help 10 young girls, get their first passport and go on their first international trip! Go here to donate and find out more.


2 Responses to May 16th 2014: Today was day 15….It was HARD!

  1. Eileen W. Eisner says:

    I cannot fathom how deep you are having to dig to do this!! You both are in my prayers!!

  2. Mommy says:

    I honor how open and true you are to yourself and to your readers. What you have been doing is definitely life changing. I am sure you have some things to teach me when I get to see you again. xoxox

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