I had an intention to fill this blog with stories, images, and insights from my journey… and up to mid-July, I was doing fine on this goal.
And then something happened.
I can’t tell you what it is, because I’m not entirely sure myself. But I could feel myself slowly losing the clarity, the groundedness, and the present-awareness I experienced on the Camino.
I noticed myself spending more time on Facebook, looking to connect.
I found myself wanting to spend time with friends whose schedules required an 8-week lead time, instead of the joyous spontaneity of connection while walking.
I found myself wanting to move, but choosing to work instead.
I stopped walking and started eating. Everything.
I felt myself withdrawing from people again. Even though I crave connection.
And all the while I kept thinking, I’m losing my Camino. I’m losing the joy and the insight.
I felt my life speeding up again, back to its “normal”, unhealthy, unsustainable pace. And I grieved without knowing how to reclaim it.
Underneath my panic that my insights were slipping away, there is a belief that I was supposed to come back all enlightened so I could bring my insights to my work and to others. So many people invested in my journey, I want to tell you I’m totally transformed and ready to take my life to a new level. Although I can see how harsh that is to myself and how ridiculous, it’s there.
I’m telling this story in the past tense, like I’ve somehow figured it all out. I haven’t.
I went to a new doctor, a naturopath, yesterday and we had a good long talk about the connections between stress, attention deficit disorder, depression, anxiety, obsessive eating, and irritable bowel syndrome. I’ve got them all. I feel good about the plan we created together and feel hopeful that this blue period I’m in will lift.
But here’s the takeaway for me: I need to take care of myself.
I took better care of my body while I walked the Camino than I ever have in my life. I was attuned to every muscle tweak, every tummy growl, and every wink of sleep. I took care of myself because I appreciated how valuable a healthy body is when you want it to walk 500 miles. I want to take that lesson home with me and apply it. It’s time to take care of this precious container I call home.
On my doctor’s 9-step plan, number 5 was the clincher: “Schedule time for yourself.”
So I am. And I will. That will include writing — because it’s so cathartic and healing for me. So don’t lose hope in my blog yet. I’ll be back.