The "Inner Camino"?
Favorite questions from future pilgrims often focus on gear and travel plans, and that IS important to your trip. Those of us who have walked know there is more. And it is often called the “Inner Camino." Life-giving transformation can take place on your inner journey. Consider this statement:
It’s not so much what you take to the Camino, as what you leave there that brings beneficial change.
Our website and books contain advice about planning and preparing physically for your walk on the Camino. We give tips on favorite gear, guidebooks, apps, routes, and ways to get there, and commend all of that to you as you plan.
But there is something besides tired feet and beautiful landscapes that occurs on the Camino that we try to describe to future pilgrims. It might even be more important than logistics and gear. What’s that, you ask?
Preparing for the Camino journey of your inner person/spirit/soul.
People are in different places when it comes to spiritual journeys and beliefs, and we can have a language deficit in talking about spiritual topics. This is a journey that comes with new vocabulary. I have often thought,
I don’t have the words to express what my spirit felt or thought.
What I can offer to everyone who is planning to walk is a simple way to approach each Camino day. Ask yourself each morning as you are setting out,
“What do I want to leave behind (in the past), and what do I want to add to my life today?”
Decide to leave shame behind, and seek forgiveness. Put off regret and add an action plan to make restitution if need be. Set aside fear, and think about some of the promises God makes to us. Walk out of what trips you up or encumbers you into more of God’s love. With each step, think about walking out of the negative memory, and into the newness of what God wants to do in you and for you.
There is something special about the physical activity of walking, moving from one place to another, that keys into our thought process and our memories and facilitates this transformation. (If you want to read the science behind this check out the work and books from Dr. Caroline Leaf.)
As you prepare for your Camino, keep our simple tip in mind for how to begin each day. It’s even good to do once you are back home. Buen Camino!
Wick and Helen Van Wagenen first walked the Camino in 2007, and God has used every part of their experience to shape their lives since then. They are grateful for the opportunities to make many more trips to research routes, test gear, and volunteer along The Way. The Van Wagenens and their family and teammates continue making new trips, and enjoy helping others make the trip of a lifetime. You can contact them at Info@CaminoProvisions.com.