Have you ever dreamed of doing something so different, so outside your comfort zone, that you dismiss it as quickly as you dreamt it? This week’s guest post is by a woman who, instead of dismissing a dream, is chasing it…all the way to Spain. Callea Sherrill is an architectural consultant living in Loveland, Colorado. She has a passion for spirituality, quantum physics and the paranormal, and especially the connection between the three. In May 2013, she is taking the journey of a lifetime on the Camino de Santiago in Spain – on foot. Find out more about her journey at From the Couch to the Camino.
In May and June, I am walking 500 miles across Northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago. Alone. The first question I usually get when I tell people this is, “Why?” Often followed by, “Are you crazy?!?”
The answer to the first question is, “I don’t know.” The answer to the second is, “No.” At least I don’t think so, but then again crazy people don’t usually know they’re crazy, right? So don’t go by me.
This journey is way beyond my comfort zone. Everyone steps outside of their comfort zone once in a while. But if you’re anything like me, you cautiously step through the door into the unknown, pretending to be braver than you are, while secretly making sure you can still reach the safety of that which is known, with an outstretched toe wedged firmly in the door. Just in case the whole “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” thing doesn’t work out. And you know what? It probably won’t. At least it won’t FEEL like it’s working out. There’s a reason it’s called the comfort zone. Because it’s comfortable! To venture outside of it is, well, uncomfortable.
This all began for me in November of 2011, when I saw the movie, “The Way,” with Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen. It tells the story of a father who walked the Camino in honor of his son who had recently died along the route. The story was inspiring and the scenery in the movie was spectacular. But it never entered my mind that I’d want to do what Martin Sheen had done. I’ve always wanted to visit Spain. By bus. Or by train. Not on foot! Little did I know this was just the beginning of what the Universe had in store for me. By April of 2012, I had seen the movie twice more, and through a series of serendipities and synchronicities, I had also decided to take the walk.
The Camino — Spanish for “The Way” — is traditionally a religious pilgrimage, undertaken by hundreds of thousands of Catholics since the 9th century as a way to pay their respects to St. James or, as he is known in Spain, Sant Iago. There are many routes from which to choose, with the most traveled being the one I’m taking, the Camino Francés. While you may begin your journey in different places, all routes end in Santiago de Campostela at the Cathedral of St. James, which is built on the site where the saint is buried. Today there are as many reasons to walk the Camino as there are pilgrims who walk it. For me it is a spiritual journey. The moment I made my decision, my spiritual Camino began.
I started training for the physical part of the trip on May 1, 2012. I’m not sure how serious I was at the time, but I found myself telling people I was leaving on May 1, 2013. I secretly reassured myself with the fact that I had a year to prepare. Or back out. Oh yes, that toe was wedged firmly in the door of my comfort zone. The physical part of this past year has been rigorous, especially when you consider the fact that I got up off my couch to do this thing. But that’s nothing compared to the mental and spiritual preparation.
I have tried several times to quit, but each time I started searching for an excuse, something miraculous would arrive, reminding me that I am completely and totally supported in this. My job is to worry about the “whats”. God is more than generously providing the “hows.” And I have stopped worrying about the “whys.” I’ve learned countless lessons along The Way, with many more to come. I learned to trust God again. I learned to trust myself for the first time. I learned that I AM enough. The door to my comfort zone is closed and locked and I threw away the key.
In May and June, I am walking 500 miles across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. Alone. I have no idea why. And I am totally fine with that.
Have you ever followed a dream, without necessarily knowing why?