Coming of Age?

The Intro

My apologies for not having posted during the last few weeks. I was in Portugal for a few weeks and must say it was a very enjoyable trip, I really enjoyed Portugal. This gave me time to think and reflect as well as see, experience and enjoy new places.

My plan earlier this year was to walk the Camino from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela and continue to Finisterre. Things didn’t quite work out the way I had initially planned, I tore the meniscus in my left knee and had to give it time to heal. It is completely healed now, but to be on the safe side I chose not to do the trek.

I still walk approximately a hundred kilometers per week. Sandra knew I was planning on Portugal, since I was not going to walk the country, she decided to gift me with a trip to this beautiful country. We had a wonderful trip.

While in Porto I met a few Pilgrims who were enroute to Santiago and talked with a lady from Germany who had just returned from Santiago after completing the Portuguese Camino walk.

I mentioned it gave me time to think and reflect, well, I was thinking and reflecting to a certain degree on my Camino walk from France to Santiago two years before. On that walk there were two predominate questions. Why are you walking the Camino and when did you start?

I really did not have a bona fide answer to the first, but to the second my answer would always be “I started walking my Camino, in earnest, seven years ago.” This always garnered a certain amount of curiosity, knowing that I had not been walking in Spain  for seven years.

My plan was to do the Portuguese Camino next year walking from Lisbon to Santiago, however while in Portugal or shortly after returning home a decision has been reached that I may not go back to walk the Portuguese Camino. I may go back to Portugal again, but most likely, not to walk the Camino.

Camino means “way or journey.” Life is a pathway or journey, I travel on that path every day. The French Camino was an exciting journey, a challenge, that I found to be very rewarding. The trip was enlightening, but so was my time before walking the Camino and since walking the Camino.

After I completed the French Camino, I was in Santiago for a couple of days. Before leaving, I was downtown doing something I enjoy, shopping. I met a couple that I had met on my Camino walk. We stopped and chatted for a few minutes and when we were parting I said “Buen Camino” which was a common salutation on the Camino. There reply was ” we are not on the Camino now.”

I gave much thought to that statement and again while in Portugal. This may have been the catalyst  on my decision to scratch the Portuguese Camino.  My Camino is everyday wherever I may be. It is my life journey. I don’t have to go anywhere to walk a Camino, I am walking it everyday.

My Camino

In the last post I promised to expand on teamwork, whether it was a family, company or a sports team. The importance of knowing yourself and how it would enable you to function to the fullest in that arena.

The five areas that I was going to expand on was value, belief, independent thinking, teamwork and care for others. I am still going to do that, but later down the road.

Giving it much thought and from feedback, it has become apparent that I should perhaps expand on how, what is written, in my previous posts came about.

My greatest desire is that something I write may challenge, encourage or comfort you in your Camino.

I will expand on how I arrived at some of the statements I have made in my previous posts. Some say it is too deep or I don’t quite understand what you are saying. I get it, but my desire was never to give anyone an understanding of what I was saying but rather to challenge YOU on your journey.

I am sure you have noticed the title of this blog is “I don’t have the answer” and my tagline is “but you do.” That is not a desire to have a catchy title, it is exactly what I want to portray. A blog for your benefit from my experiences. You see, your experiences are as profound and meaningful to you as mine are to me.

My writings have not been an academic experience, it is the result of my personal experience and how they have impacted me in knowing myself and becoming my own person. I have not rejected academia, in some instances it has helped me understand things that have taken place in my life that I did not quite understand. I have not rejected what other people say, again in some instances I have found answers from the most unexpected people under the most extenuating circumstances.

What I am saying, any questions you may have, answers can come from the most unusual or usual places. Don’t discount anything or anyone, there is a purpose in every moment of our day, in every situation and in every person we come in contact with.

An important thought, You have two ears and one tongue.

Todays Wrap.

In my next posts after this one, I am going to expand on my experiences and my reasoning and meditating that gave me the understanding that I have and most importantly the reality of a very happy, complete and comfortable life that has left me with an inner peace that no one can take from me.

The same can be yours, there is nothing to learn, it is exactly according to the blog title “you have the answer.” It is necessary to tap into it and realize it is a process. I mentioned walking the French way Camino two years ago, “that I started my Camino walk, in earnest, seven years ago.” I am now going into year ten and the journey continues.

If you would like to continue or come on this walk with me, ask questions, make comments. I will attempt to answer everyone. If you enjoy this blog share it with someone who you think may have an interest.

Your experiences are yours and positive or negative they are guideposts to reach a destination that will excite you, but the journey itself can be pleasant and enjoyable. It is really about “YOU” finding your way through the maze of this world.

I began “coming of age” almost ten years ago. I was in my sixties. I am not going to expand on this now, I’ve been too verbose getting to this point. Until next post, later this week, where I will continue on “coming of age” have a great day and week.

Thank you for reading this post, I do hope you can glean a gem, for you, from it.

Into The Light.

A Walk In The Park.IMG_1647

This photograph was taken in Central Park, New York City. It does not look like a typical walk in the park, it is actually a tunnel we were walking through. The focus for this post is the light at the end of the tunnel.

There are times when we feel boxed in, we are suffering from tunnel vision. The sad part is many people feel that is the natural or the norm and think that there is no way out or nothing different.

If you are familiar with Yoga, it is not unusual to hear the instructor speak of the light within them, connecting with the light within you. The purpose of this blog is to challenge or encourage you to let the light within you be your daily guide now, not sometime in the future.

To get into that light, it is a walk in the park, but not necessarily the way you may think, matter of fact traditional and critical thinking has to go out the window and lateral thinking becomes more of a daily exercise.

The Prerequisite.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel today, even though it is possible to be enclosed in a dark tunnel, in the worst situation as long as you can see that light and keep moving towards it, everything will be OK.

The light is your comfort in your darkest hour.

The prerequisite, is to know that light is in you, not someone else. Another person’s light will not give you the brightness you require to maneuver all the dark tunnels and rocky roads that you will have to walk through or over, to reach the full beauty of the park.

The natural is the tunnel with very little light, the supernatural is the glimmer of light that gets you through the tunnel out into the full beauty of the park. It may be a good idea to go to the post on Natural and Supernatural .

That is an expansion on the natural, which is the tunnel and the supernatural which is the fullness of the light without the confines of a dark tunnel. It is not necessary to wait until a person dies to see the light.


Think for a moment the yoga teachers comment of the light within them, connecting with the light within you. There you have the makings of teamwork.

A team is more than one person, for the purpose of this post lets look at the family, a business and a sports club. The common denominator of all three is to be successful and be winners.

The light within one person connecting with the light within another person seems to be a stretch, in that there are so many differences in our world.

Actually, taking in the population of the world, seven and one half billion people, we are ninety-nine point nine per cent the same.

That gives us one tenth of one per cent opportunity to establish ourselves as unique as our DNA. It may be necessary to go to the supernatural to establish our own individuality.

To effectively function in a team, it is necessary to know ourselves.

In the family, the mother and father can know their role and not know themselves. The children rely on the parents. The children, as they get older will not be doing what parents told them, they are going to be doing what you did. That puts an added responsibility on parents to know themselves.

In a business there are managers, employees and customers, all are important, yet if the business does not make a profit it will not survive. The sustainer of the business is profit, yet it depends on managers, employees and customers and each being fair to the business. That puts a responsibility on all concerned to know themselves, to be fair to everyone.

The Sports Team is a group of players who no doubt have a purpose of winning a championship. Each player plays a position or have a responsibility and how each person performs in that position will affect all the other players. When each player know themselves, their contribution will be positive, even when a player is in a funk.

Closing Remarks.

More than we realize, we depend on others to tell us what to do, or on the other end of the pendulum we don’t want to listen to anyone. In both cases we end up being the losers, we have to depend on ourselves. If we depend on someone other than ourselves we lose, if we fight against someone we lose.

Depending on someone or something outside ourselves is considered positive, being against is negative. The key word here is not the negative or positive, its control. One controls positively the other negatively.

To truly know ourselves is to be neither for or against anyone.

There are five essential characteristics to having a successful, winning team. There are other things as well but this essential. They are value, belief, independent thinking, teamwork and care for others.

Value and belief is in yourself and allows you to be an independent thinker making you a valuable member of a team because you care for others.

It all centers on knowing yourself.

In my next series of posts, each of those five characteristics will be expanded on.

It is all about walking into the light, not later but now.

Any questions or comments are appreciated.









Natural and Supernatural


It is difficult to surmise the meaning of something from words alone. Words can be a very ineffective way of portraying a message. This is certainly so with natural and supernatural.

A word can have several different meanings, allowing the person liberty to express what has been said, according to their mindset. The listener also has to go through an interpretation of what is being said, again according to their mindset.

Every time a word is used it generates a picture in a person’s mind, it may be one of acceptance or one of rejection.

It is possible to determine something of value from what is said by anyone, if time is taken to reason out the meaning. Without reasoning, it is difficult to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

It is either accepted or rejected, neither being of great value in arriving at a conclusion that is beneficial to the person. All that is looked for is an agreement with what is known, it is possible to miss something of great importance, following that train of thought.

In this post an attempt will be made to have a person reason out what has been said. When we reason things through it is possible to arrive at a meaningful conclusion.

The only true reality is what is experienced. We are shaped by life’s experience’s not by someone’s words. It is possible that a person’s words can give us guidance in life’s experiences and help maneuver a rough path with confidence, but true meaning comes from the experience.

The Word “Natural.”

Not really to prove a point but rather to expand on what was discussed in the overview. The word “natural” in Webster’s Dictionary has twenty-eight definitions as an adjective and nine definitions as a noun.

For the purpose of this post two definitions will be considered.

  1. Formulated by human reason alone, rather than by revelation.
  2. Being in a state of nature without spiritual enlightenment. 

It is so easy to discount revelation or spiritual enlightenment, yet one or the other are essential to so many experiences, that can give us a much greater insight into who we  are or what our purpose is, or both.

Human reason alone or being in a state of nature causes a person to rely on the five senses. All five senses are controlled by outside factors leaving us at the mercy of someone or something else. That bodes the question that many people at one time or another has asked. “Who am I?” I certainly did.

The Word “Supernatural.”

This word has three definitions as a noun in Webster’s Dictionary.

Of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible, observable universe, is the definition we will use.

When we move out of the visible, observable we move away from the five senses and when that takes place it is open to all kinds of images, connotations and explanations that in most instances will endeavor to link or relate it to something known.

In many instances it will conjure up fear. It is fear of the unknown, and can have a tremendous negative control. Fear incapacities a person and that prevents a person from truly exploring the unknown, that has the potential to take us of the path of life

Another Approach.

“Supernatural” can be a compound of two words “super” and “natural.” This puts a whole new meaning on the word when you break it out.

“Natural,” we have covered.

“Super” has four definitions as an adjective, two definitions as a noun and two definitions as an adverb. With all those definitions the parameters can change tremendously.

The definition used in this post is, very large, powerful.

When we take this combination and apply it to a person the supernatural is basically, a very large or powerful person, not from a physical perspective but beyond the visible, observable universe.

Taking that into account, there is much more to a person than it is possible to see. In other words, we are more than we think we are, that is the “you” process of this blog.

It is all about getting to know “YOU.”

Now The Supernatural.

We went into a lot of dialogue on words for a reason, the natural is what we would consider the norm and supernatural has many meanings. The dialogue on those words were for a reason, to prevent you from immediately formulating a mental picture in your mind.

When we go to supernatural, we could be talking about a Higher Power, God, Super Ego, Neuromodulator, it depends if we are coming from everyday lingo, religion, or science.

Everyday lingo usually uses higher power, organized religion has a name that centers around a higher being and science has the super ego if coming from a Freudian perspective and Neuromodulator if coming from science is centered around the brain.

All of this is words, but the main thought is people have the capacity to be much more than they are, it is the Supernatural part of the human.

Now we are going to change the definitions of the natural that we looked at earlier. Human reason alone rather than by revelation is going to be changed to human reason aided by revelation. The state of nature without spiritual enlightenment is changed to the state of nature with spiritual enlightenment.

We need to consider in the first part revelation relates to the specific need of that particular individual, it is personal. Interpretation is by one person for the masses.  Revelation respects the individuality of the person, interpretation doesn’t.

The same applies to spiritual enlightenment, it enhances the person, allows a person to see more of who they are rather than waiting for someone to tell you who you are.

What Can I Expect From The Supernatural?

The supernatural side of a person is beyond the visible or observable. That is the part of us, the spiritual and revelation, that respects our individuality. It actually gives us our individuality.

We cannot gain any degree of individuality from someone else, not even from ourselves. 

We are able to experience the supernatural, it comes from the spirit by revelation, like we have said it is not visible or observable but is possible to experience. Your experiences are your truths.

The “Supernatural” is a powerful force if we choose to tap into it. It is a faith journey but it does bring us into a whole new realm.

One of the first arguments many will bring up, I don’t have faith. Think of this, the air we breath is not visible or observable but we do experience it. Take away that air for a short time and you quickly realize how important it is.

The Supernatural is the higher power and it respects the natural.  The natural is the lower power and does not respect the higher power. It makes an effort to have us believe that the supernatural has no power because it is not visible like in the natural realm.


Most people at one time or another have experienced the supernatural or the higher power within themselves. It may be, it was put off as some weird experience or rationalized as something other than what it was.

When we choose to take that supernatural journey, the natural doesn’t disappear, we began to reason things out, ask questions of our supernatural self or our inner self. We are given answers and the experiences become more real and more often.

When I traveled the Camino, I had a number or very vivid encounters with my inner self or my supernatural, those encounters started before the Camino, it was because of the faith I had in my supernatural that allowed me to tackle the journey.

It is a growth period, old things pass away and all things become new. The reliance is on the supernatural to make those changes, the natural wants us to hang on to our five senses, that way we never move out of the realm of the known.

We all have an intellect within us that can take us way beyond where we are. Think of the known, where did it come from in the first place. We can learn the known or we can journey to new lands, that is our creative side.

Feel free to ask questions or make comments, I will endeavor to answer them.

Into The Ditch

The Thought.

The first thing that may come to your mind, that is an interesting thought “into the ditch.”

It was an incident that happened on my Camino walk, it has a frightening and funny side to it and for me a valuable insight. I will give you the whole story later in this post, but first there are a few things to deal with, that impacts on the story.

Earlier in this blog, the post “My Camino Companions” I mentioned my companions that challenged, directed or encouraged me during my journey.

In the post “Reflections 2” I mentioned some of the books and what they meant to me in my journey of life. I did mention there was more than those books and people. My late wife, seven children and my present wife have had an amazing impact on my life’s journey.

My experiences with my family have given me an amazing amount of information about myself and has been a tremendous eye opener in what I was lacking as a father and a husband. There has been challenges and encouragements.

Another Companion.

On my Camino walk, the guide-book I used was John Brierley’s account of the French Way Camino, which he had walked many times. I guess you would say that was my main companion.

The book didn’t mean much to me, until I got on the Camino, then it became relevant. There was much that was not of interest to me, but there was important and relevant information for me as well.

The book was a great help, but what is important to understand “I had to walk the Camino” I had to experience it. No amount of reading John Brierley’s  book could take the place of the experience, it wasn’t meant to take away the experience, it was meant to enhance the experience.

My other companion on my life’s journey has been and is “The Bible.” Don’t shut me down or think that we are on the same page because I mention the Bible. The Bible creates a closed concept within a person’s mind. Some will have a great conviction for it and others will argue against it. It is the same with the word God, it has been so misused, it has become empty of meaning.

God is a Spirit and a Spirit is an energy force. That is the Super Ego that I mentioned in my last post.

The Bible is like John Brierley’s book. The difference, John Brierley’s book is giving direction for a physical journey. The Bible is giving direction for a spiritual journey. Both give things to look out for on your journey, but neither are relevant unless you are experiencing the journey. No amount of study or reading can take the place of the experience.

Stay With Me.

In my posts I will seldom mention the Bible or God, both are names and do an injustice to the direction and power that emanates from this source.

I could have read and learned everything about the Camino from John Brierley’s book, but the experience of walking the way, made it real. The same with the Bible I can learn everything in it but nothing can take the place of  walking the spiritual walk, that makes it real.

I will use it sparingly, because it is so much misused and misunderstood. I misused it myself, with great conviction as if I knew what the journey was about and really I had no idea. Oh yes, I was sincere, but I have found it is so easy to be sincerely wrong, if we don’t know ourselves.

I don’t read the Bible, I haven’t for the past fifteen years. I did study it, but have come to realize, it wasn’t that I didn’t know enough about the Bible, I knew too much, that in some ways was why it has taken me so long on this journey.

I had more faith in the book than the experience.

I could talk the walk but I couldn’t walk the walk.

It’s a whole new world when you walk the walk, and it’s exciting, the book takes on a whole new dimension. The understanding comes through revelation rather than interpretation. This method respects the individuality of each person.


If you haven’t opted out and are still with me.

In the previous post I mentioned “lateral thinking.” That is solving problems using an indirect and creative approach via reasoning that is not immediately obvious. It involves ideas that may not be obtainable using only traditional step by step logic.

That my friend is how you are going to get to really know who you are. I have found that out the hard way, it doesn’t have to be the hard way. It is a choice we make. For me I ran into a brick wall, that is what it took for me to make a choice, that put me on the right path.

I would like to think that possibly through some of my posts, you may see where you could also make a choice without hitting a brick wall. Hitting a brick wall is painful, believe me.

When you are asking your inner self a question, the answer may come in the most unexpected way or from the most unexpected person.

If you want to build a better mousetrap, how would you go about it? Your not going to look at the trap and copy it, you have to pull it apart, look for what is valuable to the trap as it is, then consider what you can add to it to make it a better mouse trap. You are reasoning through the process.

The same goes with everything and everyone around us, don’t have a closed mind. There may be people who know more than you, there may be people that are better than you.

But it is not about them it is about YOU. 

When you are looking at others, it’s possible to short change yourself or to put others down by you feeling superior.

Now, “Into The Ditch”

It was about two weeks into my Camino walk, the weather had been beautiful, apart from the second day crossing the Pyrenees.

This particular day there was thunder and lighting and a heavy downpour of rain, it rained for most of the day. It was the first day that I walked in the rain. I put on my rain gear and put a cape over myself and my backpack. I actually enjoyed walking in the rain and my rain gear did an amazing job, because I was as dry at the end of the day as at the beginning.

I had been walking with a friend for several days, we had parted company and I had journeyed on. That evening I got a message on “What’s App” from this friend. Several of us kept in touch with one another on what’s app. The message seemed as if the person was in distress.

She started out early in the morning before daylight in heavy rain. When the thunder and lightning started, the lightening was frightening for her and made her very uncomfortable to say the least. She was afraid of getting struck by lightening, so she got down in a ditch, and was so frightened that she was crying when another pilgrim came along and helped her up and accompanied her to the Auberge.

I called on what’s app, to see what the problem was. She told me how frightening it was for her, and it was I’m sure. When she told me about getting down in the ditch in the water, I found it sort of funny, I could picture her in this wet ditch. I didn’t let on, that I found it funny because I know it wasn’t funny for her, it may have been a wise thing to do at the time, since she was on the Meseta, which is mostly open ground.

Several days later, I met up with her, she told me as she was walking, to try to overcome the fear, she was singing hymns and reciting Bible verses.

That got me thinking and helped me realize how much I had depended on the Bible myself, not fully realizing the power of a spiritual walk. The talk and walk are so different. No amount of knowledge could give me the comfort I needed in difficult times. I did ask if I could use this story in a post and my intention was to title it “into the ditch,” she gave me the OK, I thank her for that.

Seeking Direction.

My daughter Kim, said to me awhile ago, almost every self-help book you read either directly or indirectly draws from the Bible. That is so true, sometimes it is veiled, other times it is not.

I respect the fact that some people don’t want to hear about God or the Bible. There are other people who run their life by it, I respect that as well. Both are right because it is the choice that has been made, all be it, different choices.

Knowing that choice brings consequence, and having weighed the pros and cons of their choice, both are happy I’m sure.

This blog is about my experiences on my Camino (journey of life), each person has different experiences. All of our experiences are meant to guide us to a fulfilled, happy and peaceful life.

On numerous occasions I’ve said “I don’t have the answer” that also being the title of the blog and my subtitle “but you do” is meant to encourage or challenge you, not from any direction you may feel I am giving.

I have no intention of giving direction, just relating some of my experiences and what impact it has had on my life. You may relate to something I experienced.

In my blog I have posts that compliment and in some instances may duplicate some of my thoughts on this site. What I am going to start doing after the next post in “The You Process” is explain what I have come to realize on this journey and how the process unfolded.

I will continue to expand on, how I see things now, in respect to love, family, peace, happiness, father. Much of it is different then I thought.

I have also come to realize how difficult change is. It is not something I embraced, but change did take place.

If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Next post: Natural and Supernatural.

An Apology

I’m sorry that I have not posted for several months. I notice that people are either checking in or new people checking out the blog.

I am trying to understand the building of a website and how to improve my blog, for a person that is not technically inclined that is not the easiest of tasks. I have started another blog It is on another platform and is doing somewhat better than I have been doing with this one.

However, for the time being I am going to continue with this platform and try to enhance the construction, if I’m not successful, I will move this blog to the other platform, but the posts will continue.

A few months ago, I tore the meniscus in my left knee, this took me out of commission for a couple of months. During that time I began learning the in’s and out’s of building a website and how to be more effective in blogging. That was the website and blog I was building while neglecting this one. Again, I’m sorry, to those who were following me.

However, my knee is mostly healed now. I’m back to a walking regiment of eight to ten kilometers per day and gradually increasing it. My plan was to do a Camino walk across Portugal this year and blog about it, relating to life’s experiences. That will be put off for this year. I will still go to Portugal, but not to walk. I will walk, but not across Portugal, that hopefully will be another time.

Life’s experiences change daily and sometimes hourly, no two days are identical. The most important thing, is to realize there is something new to learn everyday and we have to capitalize on each new experience in our growth as a person.

If you have read the posts on the backpacks, you realize, unknown to ourselves we are loaded down with an unnecessary load that causes us stress and as you know stress causes sickness.

I was amazed reading one day, about the effects of smoking. My father was a smoker and when he was stressed, he always said the smoking helped him relax. The article I was reading, found that from studies done, that smoking actually increased stress.

I got to thinking about those two opposing views, one from the study and the other from my fathers’ experience. They were conflicting, or were they? I realized that we all in one way or another operate with a stress load, for some it is heavier then others. It was like my backpack experience in my first backpack post, it wasn’t until the backpack was off, that I realized the load I was carrying.

I began to realize from those to different analysis, especially because, we as a people hate change because it takes us out of our comfort zone. Getting rid of that backpack of stress is not going to be an easy task.

It involves, first of all, stepping outside our comfort zone and secondly getting use to, what maybe, a completely different way of life. A better way because stress is gone, but nevertheless a different way or path.

I found out first hand, while walking the Camino, you had to have a confidence in yourself, to go where you have not gone before and with a different mode of travel. My mode of travel for any distance was always by car and if a long distance by plane. For my Camino journey it was by foot, a much slower means of travel, but so rewarding.

This thought is what prompted me to set up this blog “I Don’t Have The Answer”  and the subtitle,But You Do.” 

Human nature is so prone to rely on someone or something other that ourselves for answers.

The purpose of this blog is to encourage or challenge or perhaps on times make you angry, but to rely on yourself rather than any other person. To have confidence in yourself, truly. 

I have said and will say again, I have no answers for you, neither does anyone else, but you do have the answers yourself.

In the past I have went to various conferences’ on self-help and found myself on various occasions, pumped, after listening to a motivational speaker. He or she motivated me, but a day or two later my high soon became a low, or I was back to the usual grind. I found I needed to have the motivational speaker with me, or buy a CD or tape and listen at various times to keep myself motivated. That was like putting a band-aid on a broken leg, I needed something more lasting, where I did not have to depend on an outside source.

I found it.

So can you.

Not depending on any person, other than yourself, you have to know yourself. If you are familiar with Robert Louis Stevenson’s book Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one would assume you were dealing with two different people, yet it was the same person. Mr. Hyde was the real person and Doctor Jekyll the front for Hyde.  One was the ego the other the alter ego, one in themselves.

But, we are dual persons rather than dual personalities.

Getting to know that other person, your super ego, is what is required.

We all have a different DNA.

I have a twin of daughters, they grew in the same womb and were born five minutes apart. That is as close as you can have two people alike and yet their DNA’s are different,  even their personalities are different. That is the uniqueness of our individuality.

When we desire to be our own person, and more and more people are desiring that.  We can automatically think that is easy. I mentioned earlier in this post about two things that would have to be dealt with in becoming your own person, stepping out of your comfort zone and maybe taking a somewhat different path. The first thought that may come to your mind is, I can do that.

It may not be as easy as one would think. The population of the world is over seven and one half billion people. There are different colors, cultures, languages and creeds yet we are ninety-nine point nine per cent the same.

That gives us one tenth of one per cent different, from the remainder of the seven and one half billion people in the world.

That gives us little room to establish our TRUE uniqueness.

Maybe we do need a SUPER EGO. That makes us triune rather than dual.

It is easy to deceive ourselves and think we are something or someone we are not. To find out who we are, it will be necessary to take responsibility for ourselves. We have been given choice and every choice we make has a consequence. If we don’t like the consequence, then we can’t blame someone else. We have to take the blame for ourselves.

That requires us to be more lateral thinkers rather than traditional or critical thinkers. A traditional thinker will think traditionally and with that type of thinking it is easy to blame someone else. A critical thinker will try and find what is wrong with the thought or statement and give an explanation for it, still not seeing oneself.

Lateral thinking is a manner of solving problems using an indirect and creative approach via reasoning that is not immediately obvious. (Wikipedia)

Now we have to step into a non traditional way of thinking. It means taking our eyes off the obvious and stepping into unknown territory.

We need help in that area, but we have all that is necessary to take us along that path or way. Some of my Camino experiences which I will expand on as I continue to post on this blog, are some of the experiences that helped me.

As I have said before you do not have to walk the Camino, or consider my experiences, that was for my benefit.

Each person’s experience is different. Reason them through and you will find the purpose that will help guide you to your destination.

I appreciate any thoughts, questions or comments so please let me know what you think.

My other blog has a number of posts if you would like to visit. I am going to explain in more detail the process of finding your TRUE self. There is a post entitled “The Process” which elaborates to a degree what is involved in that process.

Have a great day.

It is snowing outside today. Earlier this afternoon, I took a break from writing this post and went cross country skiing.  I had a five minute walk to a trail where I could began skiing.

There is nothing better than getting out and communing with nature.

Next post “Into the Ditch”

The Backpack (part2)

This post on the backpack is somewhat different from the first, but it was an incident on my Camino walk that made a significant impact on me and how I viewed things.

It was a beautiful sunny day in Estella, on the outskirts of the town, an earth track led up to the rear of Bodegas Irache, with its famous wine fountain. Here pilgrims could fortify themselves for the journey ahead. There was a small courtyard at the back of the Bodegas, on the wall of the building were two spigots, one dispensed cool drinking water the other red wine. An interesting place which, for obvious reasons, was popular with pilgrims. The fortification for the journey ahead was a welcome respite.

I left the Bodegas and continued on the trail, leaving the town behind. On the outskirts of the town was a small play area for children. I noticed a young family with a little girl playing in the park, I thought nothing of it, but for some reason I did take notice, thinking they were locals. Later in the day, I met them on the trail outside of Villamayor. I had stopped to eat, when they passed by, there were two little girls, the mother and father. The father was towing a small trailer and carrying a backpack, the mother had a backpack and the oldest girl had a backpack.

A short time later I caught up with them, pulling up the rear of the little entourage was the mother. I spoke with her and learned they were walking the Camino with their three daughters, they were from British Columbia. Their daughters were six, eight and ten. I had to stop at a watering station and fill my water bag, the family moved on and entering Villamayor I caught up with them. I talked with them for a while and then proceeded to pass, as we were starting a relatively steep incline. Up until that point I noticed two children, as I was passing, I glanced in the small trailer the father was towing and noticed a little girl. She appeared to be sleeping, the mother said she was born with a rare disease, she can’t walk or talk, she is the eight year old. The mother told me they were walking ten kilometers a day.

I bid them a safe journey and told them I thought they were a brave couple. I then continued up the incline and at the top I stopped and looked back at this brave family and to offer up a prayer for their safety. As I stood watching them, a strange feeling came over me, which reflected on me, as much as on them. It brought tears to my eyes. The thought encompassed them and me. The ten-year old daughter was carrying a backpack, the mother and father were also carrying backpacks. I thought, that little girl should not have to carry a backpack and neither should the mother. The father should be carrying his wife’s but he already has a backpack.

Then I saw myself, in the past, I had been loaded down with my backpack, my wife carried a backpack and so did the children when they were young. I realized I should have carried my wife and children’s backpack but I was burdened with my own. I had to get rid of mine to carry hers. She had more than done her part when she labored for each one of the children, it was my responsibility to labor and take her backpack. I think that was when I realized there is more to being a husband, I also had to be a father and then I would be carrying her backpack and the children’s.

It was too late now.

Strangely it did not bring regrets, it was almost as if I realized the responsibility I still have as long as I have a wife. I mentioned in the previous post my backpack was weighed down with fear, doubt, anxiety and a host of other unnecessary things and was very stressful. Just as it is not a cake walk for a woman laboring for a child, it is not a cake walk for the man if he is going to carry his wife’s backpack. He labors as well for his backpack to be unloaded from the heavy stressful load and loaded with love.

All his wife has to carry then is love and love causes no stress.

I realized that day, the responsibility of being a husband and father. Fatherhood belonged to me and only me, I was the spiritual component of the family.

A couple of days later I met a person that stayed a night at an Albergue with this family and learned that the child was born with this rare disease and had to be fed intravenously, they couldn’t remember what the disease was. Each day the couple would send a backpack ahead to their next stop with everything needed for that little girl.

The Backpack

My Camino walk was the first time I backpacked, it was an interesting experience. I did not know what type of a pack would be appropriate for the walk. It took two tries before getting it right and only then because of the helpful people at Hiker’s Haven. It was a thirty-four liter Osprey backpack, for me it proved to be a perfect fit. It was all adjusted and fitted for my frame, with water and all my belongings for the trip, the weight was slightly over eight kilograms.

I walked a couple of times at home, wearing the backpack with a weight equivalent to the weight I would carry on the Camino. I was satisfied that walking daily on the Camino I would become adjusted to the backpack and its weight.

My first day was only a short walk from Pied St. Jean to Orisson, where I had the only reservation I made for the trip. I could take my time and get the backpack adjusted, so it rode well and was comfortable. I removed it several times and finally got it riding on my back and hips. It was comfortable and after a day or two, it was almost as if I was unaware of it. When I put it on in the morning I was aware of the weight, but it carried well. When you carry all your belongings and everything you need for each day you tend to be very careful over the backpack. The contents are precious, each evening before retiring to my bunk I would have everything packed and ready to go for the next morning. The only items left out was my sleeping bag and clothes for the next day, always very attentive not to leave anything. Well, most of the time!

I was staying at a very nice private Albergue on the back of a hotel in Villa Franca. There was a cabinet that reached to the top bunk, where I was sleeping. That night when I retired I put my eyeglasses on the top of the cabinet. The next morning my Texan friend who was in the bottom bunk and I were leaving at five thirty. I did my look around, making sure nothing was left behind. It was dark and my headlamp was on red so it would not bother the other pilgrims who were still sleeping. I checked, had everything and we were of. The first part of the walk was all uphill, which was good, the morning was cool and we were at our peak strength.

About two and one half kilometers out, and just starting to break daylight we stopped to read a plaque. I couldn’t read it, not because of the light, but I had no eyeglasses and I need them to read. I remembered putting them on the cabinet the night before and the only place I never checked before setting out on the days walk. I had to go back and quickly, my friend said she would wait for me and keep watch over my backpack, so I would not have to carry it. The return to my starting point may have been my fastest time of the whole Camino. I wanted to retrieve my glasses and return as quickly as possible, because my friend caring for the backpack would also find it very cold in short order. The uphill climb had made us warm even though it was a cool morning, staying for along period in the one place would be very uncomfortable.

I was successful in retrieving my eyeglasses and throughout that day as I was walking, I was reflecting on that return trip to the Albergue. I felt so light, it seemed as if I could fly. I had been carrying the backpack for about two weeks, it had become so much a part of me, I wasn’t aware of the weight until I was released from it. The lesson I learned from that experience related to life, my life. Most of my life I have been carrying this cumbersome load and it had become so much apart of me, I was not aware of it. In my backpack was fear, doubt, anxiety and a host of other unnecessary things, not a lot, but enough to weigh me down and stress my body with that extra weight. I was aware of those things before and had tried to rid myself of  them. That day I realized it was not what was in the backpack that I had to rid myself of, it was the backpack. That would mean a whole new approach to my journey of life with nothing weighing me down. That is the journey I am on and inviting you to take as well. I couldn’t take my backpack off, because there were things I thought I needed , but didn’t.

Next post-The Backpack (part two.)

Reflections 2

I mentioned in reflections 1 that each week on my Camino trek I would take a day off, for additional rest and reflection on the past week.

In this blog I’m following a similar pattern. The blog is about you, so as much as possible there is an avoidance to my own experiences in traveling the path of life, it is my path, and yours may be entirely different, at a different time, or at a different speed. The journey is very personal. It is a journey to know yourself. It then becomes easy to make the right decisions in your life and not have to “knock on wood” and hope it was the right decision. In my reflections, I am going to stray a little from that pattern and mention some of the personal aspects of my experiences.

Several pointers that I have found very effective for me, listen to other people. They may not have direction for you, but can definitely help you stay on your path or encourage you to keep going or in some instances challenge you to take a somewhat different path.

This week I  attended a memorial service for a friend that I met over thirty years ago. He passed away at the age of sixty. His life was not an easy path. For a good part of his life he was an alcoholic and lived a life that literally persecuted his body. Shortly after I met him, one morning, I will say morning, because it was 2 a.m., I got a call from him. He was at a Pizza place, and anything but sober. He wanted me to come and help him. I went and listened to what he was saying, the conversation, I am sure he was not aware of, but some of the things he said made perfect sense and helped me realize that we all have a higher power within us, if we will only listen.

It may come from ourselves or another person. This particular incident gave me a full awareness, to never judge a person but listen to what is being said. That for me was a gold nugget that has helped and literally changed some of the direction I was traveling. If I were to describe this guy I would say, the most unforgettable character I ever met, he would disappear for a year or two and then reappear. The last ten years he did get victory over his drinking, he was a well-liked person, sometimes he could really try a person. He challenged me, without knowing it, to think differently, he was definitely a companion.

When I read a book that for some reason resonates with me, it is as if I know what is been said, even though I have not read the book before, this excites me. Sometimes things pose a question for me, what is been said, catches my attention, I will reason and commune with myself to find an answer. “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert had a remark about “Soulmates” that caused me to look for an answer to that statement, it took a while but I got the answer for it. “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge had a chapter on love. I was able to articulate something about love, which in some ways I knew but yet didn’t. “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield , the book was published in 1993, I never read it until 2012, the nine key insights into life that he writes about, it was as if I already knew them, some of the insights for me, were not well developed, but I was on the same path, this encouraged me. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill made me angry. He talked about the secret, but didn’t tell me what it was, and I wanted to know, he challenged me. I have since found the answer, but no one could tell me, I had to find the answer for myself and it definitely is a secret. If a person finds the secret it is not because someone told them.

The secret can only be experienced, and experiences are personal.

That is a sampling of the companions that have challenged, encouraged or caused me to search for the correct path and further me on my journey of life. No one had an answer for me, but in some small way or maybe a big way, put me on the journey I am on today. Through the years there have been so many people, instances, situations, heartbreaks and victories that have been my companions, some I have known, some I have not, but it was always what I gleaned from the situation that allowed me to better understand myself and be at peace with myself and those around me. The most significant, I am not covering in this post, it would be too extensive. It is my late wife Norma and our seven children and my present wife Sandra. This is who I have learned the most from, about myself, my responsibilities as a husband, a caregiver, a father and a lover, In my next posts I will bring to light some of the literal companions I met on the Camino and the life’s lesson learned from them.

The Eagle

The eagle is a beautiful and amazing bird, a bird with eye sight that is so much stronger than humans and an ability to fly higher than any other bird. Folklore says to align yourself with the eagle is to take on the opportunity and power to become so much more than you now appear to be.

That is the purpose of this blog, to rise to a higher height than you are currently at.

There is a story about the eagle that says after forty years, the normal life span of an eagle, it goes through a transformation. Its beak, feathers and talons become ingrown making it impossible to hunt. To further its life, involves shedding its beak, plucking out its talons and feathers and with a new beak, talons and feathers it can live another forty years. This process takes one hundred and fifty days. There is a dispute to the accuracy of this statement, but the point is the transition. If it is not so for an eagle, think of a caterpillar going through its metamorphosis to a beautiful butterfly. We can learn from nature, its amazing ability to recreate and transform itself into things of beauty and longevity.

In the previous post, “Three In One” there was an attempt to articulate on the fact that humans are complex, there is more to us than meets the eye. The “I” is what we rely on to guide “me” the physical body. This involves learning and you have to be always on your P’s and Q’s, so people like you, and consider you a good person.

Then there is the “You” the higher person within everyone. That is the power to recreate us into a being that allows us to rise up like an eagle, with eyes that see more and ears that hear more, to reach higher heights than we ever thought possible. There is a transition involved, where the natural is to rely on the “I” to guide us, we can choose to have “You” give us the guidance. This involves old things passing away and new things taking its place. “You” becomes your strength and guide instead of “I.” This transition is accomplished in a way like metamorphosis. You choose “You” and let the work began. It starts from within.

One thing that we all have is the power to make a choice, and wither we think about it or not, every choice brings a consequence. It is wise to consider the cost of the choices that we make, but so often “I” leads us down paths that are dead ends, paths that cause pain and hurt to ourselves and others and if we have to backtrack, the going is rough and unfortunately many never find their way back. If you choose “you” to guide, it may seem like a dead end on times, but it is not. There will be hills and valleys, rain and sunshine but you will make it to a destination that gives peace, comfort and love.

At the start of this blog one thing that was emphasized, to go on this journey it is absolutely necessary that you be honest with yourself.

In our society, blame is the norm when things are not working out or going the way they were intended. When there is blame, it is certain there is bitterness, fear and doubt. Give this some thought, “if you have the power of choice, how can you blame anyone for what is happening in your life.” Is it possible your choice has been and is “I?” This is limiting to a lonely life. When the choice is “you,” it’s all encompassing, and embraces everyone. When addressing your friends or anyone, think about it, it’s always “How are you?” The “you” is recognized in others. Why not in yourself? This blog is being written from my experiences thus far, the lesson-is to have the courage to relinquish stale and comfortable habits and beliefs and let the eagle within, soar to a whole new domain.

Be patient with the present and know the future holds brave new possibilities, which you may not be able to see at first, but have faith, the eagle in you will take you higher than you ever thought possible, where you can see what your eye could never see.

Next post “Reflections 2.”

3 In 1

I know, your first thought, some gadget that does three different things or three in one oil or some such thing.

Sorry, it’s none of that.

Look in the mirror, you are only aware of one, but I’m going to ask you to visualize something, then we will move it over to you.

The doorbell rings, you answer the door and a courier is standing there with a beautiful wrapped gift, you are not sure who it’s from, but it is so beautifully wrapped, you are speechless. Now the big decision, shall I open it? Of course, you can’t wait to remove the beautiful wrapping paper, dive inside, find a carton, which you quickly open and find the present that an admirer has sent to you. For the moment you are flabbergasted that someone admires and thinks enough of you to send a gift. What is it? The paper is off, the carton is open and inside is a rough stone, at first you are disappointed, but wait there is a note with it and a picture, you look at the picture and you are amazed, it is a beautiful three carat diamond. The note says this rough stone, when it is cut and polished will look like the enclosed picture.

The journey that you are on is to get to know yourself and how unique and special you are. In the introduction to this blog, the promise was increased productivity, creativity, work/life balance, happiness, love, friends and most of all greater peace with yourself. Each post that is posted will have a gem, and hopefully you can glean your own gem from it, as you travel your path or Camino. When I walked the Camino in Spain, that was not the beginning of my journey, as I mentioned, my journey started in earnest seven years before, so I was becoming familiar with myself and who I could count on, yet there was some doubt, but that walk strengthened my faith in myself. You don’t have to go to Spain and walk the Camino, you are on a journey every day when you get out of bed.

I’m going to relate an incident that I experienced on the Camino in Spain, which has become more of a reality, which I use daily since returning. It was approximately two weeks into my journey, I had covered over four hundred kilometers. I left San Nicolas at 5 a.m. with the intent of walking forty kilometers that day, I was feeling good and thought it would be no problem. I arrived a Sahagun at the break of daylight. Entering Sahagun on my left was a four or five story hotel with a sign that said “Special rates for Pilgrims.” I saw the sign and wanted to stop, I have only walked five kilometers and I want to stop. I resisted the temptation and sort of wandered around Sahagun, feeling extremely tired, it was a cool morning but I was beginning to perspire and it was as if every bone in my body ached. I thought it may be exhaustion, I had been walking for sixteen days. I can’t go on, I have to quit. At this point it was necessary to commune with my Inner Self. It went like this, “you got me here, I can’t do this, you will have to do it for me.” I got back on the trail, walking very slow at first, gradually picking up speed. I walked forty kilometers that day and was less tired than when I left Sahagun earlier that morning, after walking a further thirty-five kilometers.

That experience confirmed, there was more to me than met the eye. I had experienced similar situations before and no doubt you have in your life, when you feel you can’t go on, or there is a situation that seems impossible, then you find you have a strength you didn’t realize you had and you get through it and your journey continues. I know now I have that strength all the time, I just wasn’t drawing from it. I was relying on my outer self. there is more to everyone than meets the eye.

Now, back up to that gift you received that you were able to visualize, now let’s move it over to you. The wrapping paper is your ego, the “I.” The carton the gift is in is “me” your physical body. The gift is “you” your Super Ego. That’s the three in one, although when you look in the mirror you are only aware of one. The gift will no doubt pose a question for you, why an uncut diamond, why not a diamond that is cut and polished. We rely on the wrapping paper most of the time, to move from “I” to “You” is a transition that takes time, we have to grow up in our Inner Self, this gift or present has to be cut and polished. I will expand on this transition in the next post. We don’t always rely on our Inner strength or our Super Ego, if it was given to us cut and polished, we would not appreciate it. We only appreciate and value what we have, when it comes at a cost. Next post “The Eagle.”