Attitude. Desire. Curiosity. Spirituality. Quiet. Stillness. Challenge. Faith. Belief. Limitations.
There are many reasons I am inspired to walk The Way next year. I can't put my finger on just one reason, yet pushing past my own perceived limitations seems to encompass just about all of my reasons.
Some beliefs serve us well; they provide a compass for living a 'good' life. Many come from childhood and guide us in our interactions with others and with ourselves helping to navigate our emotional lives. The Golden Rule, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Lord's Prayer all come immediately to mind as shapers of some of my core beliefs. With careful awareness and examination there are other more sinister beliefs carried from a young age that are not useful and down right debilitating if not weeded out as I grow. I fought the sensation of belief that my parents weren't delighted that I decided to work as a musician - one of my primary sources of knowing who I was and of validation as a human - and that belief simply wasn't true. What other beliefs will I come to be aware of as I walk that are either very valuable or not useful? My hope is that I will learn to let go of what's not necessary and find room for those beliefs that are life-affirming.
Spirituality vs Religion. I have always held a deep and profound 'knowing' of God - and I'm using the Christian Name here, knowing full well that there are many other names for the One. So walking The Way is not an attempt on my part to find The One; yet I will walk with an open heart so that I may find an even deeper sense of profound Love. I know that can be found in religion even as I reject on principal some organized religious practices. I look forward to meditation in beautiful cathedrals and monasteries along The Way whether or not I can understand the language. I'm curious to see how my heart reacts.
Quiet Stillness. I think this is more of an internal preparation although even as I write this post on my front porch this morning in 'quiet', I am aware of the sound of the wind, birds, cicadas, traffic in the distance, the squeak of the porch fan and the setting down of my coffee cup. I expect while on The Way I will more easily grasp the stillness that is a grounding force for my soul, find the questions I most need to ask myself; where have I been, where am I now, and where am I going, and in the stillness perhaps I will more readily hear the answers to some of those questions.
Challenge & Attitude. Next year I will be fifty years on the planet, and I've had just as many challenges as the next guy. I've approached some of them with the attitude that I was fully capable and others not as much. Walking The Way will be a challenge physically, mentally and emotionally with my attitude forecasting the outcome. It's a open invitation to myself to live the kind of life I want to live no matter my age or circumstance.
Finally then Curiosity. What drives people from all over the world, including myself to walk mile after mile for days and weeks to the burial place of St. James the Apostle? I suspect I'll find provocative answers along The Way.