If there ever was a season to believe, I think it is now. Winter is a great time to pause, light a fire (or candle) and reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going. And in this reflection, our beliefs will show up. Beliefs are funny things – just when you think you have none, they rear their heads…kind of like culture. Culture is invisible until you visit another culture and see how they handle money, relationships, food, etc. Beliefs are like that too, invisible until you begin to explore them.
So what are some of your key beliefs? Your life will reveal your beliefs via these simple questions:
- Is money good or bad, and do you deserve to have a comfortable life?
- Do others have your back or are relationships about competition?
- Is there a force inside or outside you that guides you and has your best interest at heart?
In watching Oprah’s Belief documentary, we were invited to witness some of the world’s most fascinating religious and spiritual journeys. We are born into belief and where we go is rooted in the questions we ask. One common theme amongst all the stories shared, was a desire for something new, often accompanied by a pilgrimage or rite of passage (Burning Man, a Bar Mitzvah, requests for healing, The Camino de Santiago). Dissatisfaction, a problem, or feeling like “something is missing”, is often where the journey begins.
I took a pilgrimage myself. In 2013, I left solo for France to walk the Camino de Santiago. I was greeted by Paris where I explored her beauty and allowed myself to adapt to the new time zone for a few days.
I then ventured to San Jean Pied-de-Port, France to begin walking 500 miles on the Way of St. Frances, with everything I needed on my back. Each journey begins with a single step. It takes faith to step out, not knowing how things will turn out. On my journey, I met amazing people, I got blisters, I said wonderful hellos and some very sad goodbyes. I learned that ANYTHING could be accomplished if you just break it down into smaller steps.
One of the places along the Camino is the Cruz de Fero, a place with a large steel cross where people lay their burdens along the walk. It’s a place to leave a stone or item representing that which you will leave behind. I believe it’s one of the reasons this walk is so popular, as we all need some rituals and our present life is often devoid of them. We also all need to acknowledge and lay down our burdens too.
I came home twenty pounds lighter, with a big heart that felt wide-open and a deep sense of peace.
I know we can’t all go walk 500 miles, but do take even 15-30 minutes between now and the New Year, to reflect upon any burdens you’ve been carrying…release them to paper and think about what you’d like to create for yourself in 2016. Allow your beliefs to expand into your present day self. Below is a worksheet you can use as a guide!
Have you ever had a calling? How did you respond? Please share in the comments below!