Time spent in the stillness of nature unlocks the mind, reconnecting mind, soul, and body with the greater whole.
I’ve just come back from my annual pilgrimage walk on the Camino in northwestern Spain.
There are few things so healing and rejuvenating as spending time in the green and blue spaces of nature.
My very first walk on the Camino de Santiago was in 2006. I needed time out after feeling totally stressed out from job and relationship challenges.
Nature is a healing place
That first walk opened a window that completely changed my life. The first big epiphany: Reconnecting with nature liberates the mind from the treadmill of the same thoughts, fears, and feelings.
When body and mind go into synchronicity with nature, self-important ego thoughts are transmuted into calmness and stillness.
You feel part of a bigger whole. The universe starts whispering to the truth of the soul.
Let your breathing follow the natural rhythm of waves breaking to shore. Feel the calming effects of crystal clear waters swirling around a rock. Hear the choir of birds in the woods. Each with a different song, forming that symphony of unity.
Your body tells the truth
Your body is the collective memory of all that you have experienced. The seeds of underlying tension and pain can go far back to a traumatic childhood experience.
It’s those suppressed feelings from the past that deplete the energy that you need to accomplish your dreams. When you do a pilgrimage you may walk more than 20 kilometers (12 miles a day) with a backpack.
Your body goes through a cleansing process both physically and emotionally. You will be letting go of old stuff, walking things off, with every step.
Uncontrolled emotions could surface. You have those flat-on-the-ground moments when you question everything in your life and why you are doing a strenuous walk in unknown territory and sometimes in bad weather conditions.
A pilgrimage walk is no wellness holiday. It can be taxing physically and emotionally. But also pure bliss, joy, and exuberance. There are always lessons to be learned. The Camino de Santiago is a fast-track analogy of life.
You eventually surrender and accept the impermanence of all things. There is no story without a struggle. You have moments of bliss and moments of sadness.
Life is a rollercoaster. Life is grace as you take that walk into the morning light after the darkest of nights.
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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