Life is full of many ups and downs, some controllable and others not. We have to accept the good with the bad. After all, does one without the other even mean anything?
The word bliss keeps been popping into my head a lot lately, so I’ve been exploring what this actually means to me. Bliss is a magnified state of joy, and happiness. Being an artist I’m following my dreams and my passion and this gives me extreme happiness, is this bliss? I have an amazing family and husband that support my ventures, is this bliss? I wake up every day, happy and ready for another day (well almost! No one’s perfect! Come on!). Is this bliss?
All these things ARE amazing, and they all add to my happiness. They are important contributions to what I need as a human being. (Surprisingly we need more than our phones to survive! Gosh!) I’m not blissful because I have money or a nice house (Although I am thankful for the roof that shelters me from this dreadful snow and cold!). Bliss comes from connections we make, with ourselves, in relationships, and through our achievements. Living a blissful life is a journey.
A couple years ago I went on a journey, a solo adventure. Time; just for me. (Selfish?) I was gone for a few weeks and I walked the entire ‘El Camino de Santiago’ in Spain. (I’m not sure why some people think walking 800km is crazy?!) While this is an old pilgrimage, I walked with my own spiritual beliefs. If you’ve never heard of it, firstly, let me say how amazing and beautiful it is. Secondly I believe everyone needs to do something like this walk. It took me 34 for days to walk 800km. Walking was the only constant each day. The days also brought challenges, rewards and surprises.(Oh and achy muscles, and blisters…lots of blisters!!! But also wine, lots and lots of wine! It’s all about balance right?)
I learned so much about myself and other people. (And not just that I love wine, well I already new this!) I started to learn what we, as human beings need in life. I say ‘started’ as there is so much to learn still. It’s difficult, and not every day it’s possible, but most days I live with positivity and enjoyment. There is something good to be taken from most days; we just have to have our eyes open to see it. This lesson and many others, I learned on ‘El Camino’ (The Way) and they stand with me today.
After my days of walking I would journal my experiences, emotions and learning’s, and below I have written something that reflects my adventure. I haven’t shared much of my journal with anyone, until now, I hope you enjoy.
Life as a Pilgrim
The journey was long, and my body aches; sickness, exhaustion.
The tears from the sky soak through to my bones.
I made a mistake, what am I doing?
Self-doubt, worry and confusion
There’s no one to lean on, just myself.
My strength feels dry, has every drop left me?
Guilt smoothers me for the loved ones I left at home.
I’m moving; my legs are taking me somewhere.
Each step is heavy with unknown, uncertainty.
The weight of gravity pulls on my heart.
Thoughts unbearable, I can’t do this.
My breath has stopped, I’ve forgotten how.
Hope! The sun breaks through, and the panic starts to fade.
Emotions flood my existence, excitement, sadness, nervousness
I need to disconnect; from last year; from my own thoughts; from life.
Pain sets in, fatigued muscles and worn out feet.
I’m climbing, mentally, physically… mentally.
My body is strong and is learning to push through.
Every struggle is rewarded, self-worth, self-love, self-trust
The connection is forcible, minute by minute.
Listen to your body and listen to your heart.
Every moment presents opportunity.
With eyes wide open, The Way shows me what I need.
I mimic a snail, slow, steady, just my home on my back.
I feel liberated, vitalized, exhilarated.
Everything is a state of mind.
Our choices need to come without expectations.
Happiness happens from living my dreams.
Let’s leave judgment at the door, and allow a path of poppies to guide my way.
Always chasing my shadow, and never able to catch it
Control is difficult; take a step of acceptance towards tranquility.
The sun shines behind me, lighting my way.
Tears flow uncontrollably, but differently from earlier.
My life is like a jigsaw puzzle, now I’m enjoying putting together.
The universe guides me piece by piece.
Look, listen and learn.
Contemplation wonders if society flows as one river down a mountain,
Fast, together, without thought.
Surviving is not living
With simplicity comes calm, and with challenges comes rewards.
Each is their own sense of bliss.
Peace arrives and I’m at one with the path.
Occasionally we need to leave something behind to find something new.
Perspective can change depending on the circumstances.
Trust, participate, discover.
I arrive at my destination, leaving confusion behind and gaining perspective.
Only this chapter is written, not the book.
A blank page is waiting to mark my new steps.
The road doesn’t end in Santiago.
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