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Push & Pull

Journal entry: Sunday September 8th, 2019

Today in preparation for our Camino adventure we had an inspirational and yummy potluck at St. Bartholomew's church. We watched a film that was released in 2016 titled "I'll Push You". It's a brave and beautiful documentary about the real journey of two friends that walk the Camino. The catch is one friend is a quadriplegic. So the whole experience had a powerful and significant struggle to it. I'm hard pressed to imagine anyone watching this movie without shedding multiple tears.

I've been rapidly learning the vastly layered power of the Camino. Rich in a millennium of stories people take this pilgrimage as an incredible place of rediscovering yourself. Having spent time doing nonprofit and missionary work I'm so used to the results of doing things for others yet the Camino seems to be about doing work on yourself. 

One of my favorite understandings about the Camino is the simple scallop shell. Apparently the inspiration for the Shell oil company. This shell has a wonderful symbolism to it. For example during the medieval times when a prisoner who had the desire to make penance for their crimes the Pope at the time would sentence them to walk the Camino and return. Now that's twice the distance of the some odd 500miles that makes up this journey. There and back so that's a 1000mile trek! And the proof that this prisoner had completed this experience was you guessed it a scallop shell. Now this shell offered much more uses than just proof of the Camino. It was used for alms, drinking water, and as a type of flat wear for food. The scallop shell was the pilgrims multi-purpose utensil. Also in medieval times these were anything but safe roads. Bandits and villainous characters lined the way. So when these rehabilitated prisoners had returned having pulled a scallop shell from the sea that was no easy task! 

There's an astounding beauty to the labor of purification. I understand it's not a popular idea yet when we overcome obstacles despite the odds that's when we really show our true selves and the power of the human spirit. I'm excited for this adventure and for the immense blessing I'm being given with this opportunity. I know there is a great deal of work for me to do on my inner self and this is such a gift to break free from all the busyness and to put it frankly artificial aspects of my life. I anticipate tears of joy and pain. Physical toil and emotional catharsis. Spiritual empowerment and soulful centering. A renewed depth on life and radical authenticity in my relationships. Ultimately I pray I can return even more changed than I am inspired today!

Just two more weeks before I can officially say "Bon Camino"! 😄