Buen Camino! The Path of Transformation

Anyone who receives an email from me will notice my signature at the bottom, Buen Camino! Simply translated from Spanish it means “good journey” but the meaning in those two words runs deep for me. They represent a rite of passage.  They reflect a time in my life when everything that could change did change. Country, home, relationship, family, job, life, death. The journey through was hard.  So much change at one time can leave its mark, even a scar. But, when I greet someone or leave someone with Buen Camino I am reminding them and myself that it is a good journey. A really good journey.  It may feel hard, challenging, or difficult some days, but it is still my journey and it is a good journey.

But this particular phrase didn’t just spring from my lips one day. I came to understand its meaning as I walked the 500-mile medieval footpath of St. James known as El Camino de Santiago, which crosses northern Spain, starting at the French/Spanish border and ending at Santiago de Compestela in the far northwest tip of Spain. Who was I to think I could accomplish this?  Never an athlete, not even a hiker, I decided to go. It wasn’t easy, but I toughed it out.  I stayed focused on my destination. Where I needed to go was the only part that was clear to me.  How I would get there every day was not. Other than the fact that I had to walk the path every day, one step at a time. Baby steps. Baby steps on the path of St. James.

For those of us immersed in change, we have moments when we are like the “pilgrims” of the Camino. We just want to sit down on the path and stop, call it quits. We’re tired of carrying our pack, bandaging our feet, looking for water and shelter every day. We feel ready to be done. But the only way to get to Santiago is to keep on moving, to keep on taking those baby steps. The baby steps get you there slowly but surely. So, if you are thinking of giving up, I invite you to stay on the path. What are the baby steps that you could take today to move toward your desired destination now and tomorrow? Pick one baby step and take it.  You’re back on the path of transformation, moving toward your destination.

Buen Camino!

Showing 7 comments
  • Mary

    Thank you Shannon for this timely shot in the arm.

  • Bill Basnett

    Shannon. You could not have selected a better example of one of the first followers of Jesus Christ to follow in his footsteps. Saint James, Santiago or James the Greater was the first Apostle to be martyred. Your love of Spain and its Patron Saint is to be admired. That 500 mile hike will sustain you the rest of your life. God Bless.

  • Cindy Healy

    Great post Shannon! I find that when I am stuck taking any action even a baby step makes me feel better. Spot on.

  • Kimberly Douglas

    Shannon, what a beautiful message. Reading it, I wanted to learn more about your journey and what your life has been like since our wonderful days together as the invincible team at Coke. I miss those days, and I miss you.

  • Patti Solver

    Hi Shannon,

    About three years ago I purchased the Martin Sheen movie, “The Way”. There have been many, many times in my life when I kept on going for my son and myself. I had to make it through nursing school for both of us. Taking care of him, studying, and getting him the help he needed because @ that time about 20 years ago he was diagnosed as bipolar, and was having major issues. More recently he has told me I am the reason he made it and did not end up in prison.So, everyone has a different pilgrimage. I admire you for taking that journey.
    Your Cousin,

  • Lisa Tondreau

    Beautiful, Shannon. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Mary Talevich

    Very inspiring blog, Shannon. Thanks for including me on your email list. Looking forward to more little wisdoms and encouragements.

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