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Camino as a source of joy

#1
I am not a very deep thinker, but I know that walking a Camino is an enormously important part of my life. People always ask me why, they think I am not happy if I always have to escape to the Camino, wonder if my family life is rotten, etc etc. I have a hard time explaining.

Well, today driving to O´Hare airport, listening to the radio, I heard part of a TED talk about joy. Joy is not the same as happiness, I learned, and as I listened to the speaker describe joy and how important it is to human thriving, I realized that the Camino is that for me. Nothing fancy, just a steady stream of simple glorious moments.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ingrid_fetell_lee_where_joy_hides_and_how_to_find_it?language=en
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#2
I am not a very deep thinker, but I know that walking a Camino is an enormously important part of my life. People always ask me why, they think I am not happy if I always have to escape to the Camino, wonder if my family life is rotten, etc etc. I have a hard time explaining.

Well, today driving to O´Hare airport, listening to the radio, I heard part of a TED talk about joy. Joy is not the same as happiness, I learned, and as I listened to the speaker describe joy and how important it is to human thriving, I realized that the Camino is that for me. Nothing fancy, just a steady stream of simple glorious moments.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ingrid_fetell_lee_where_joy_hides_and_how_to_find_it?language=en
Amen to your thoughts @peregrina2000.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#3
Today as I worked in the garden doing my own not-very-deep thinking, I realized that I was doing Camino preparation. (When I go away in the spring, I miss the "opportunity" to do some chores - when I get back, it is already late spring and too late to divide and move plants, for example, and get ahead on the weeding.) I enjoyed the work even more today, thinking about how satisfied I will be when I leave for Spain.

So many activities are Camino preparation!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#5
Long may it be so that such simple joy continues...

On every camino there are stretches which seem to be in another world. Past are the hoards of camera-clicking tourists and/or pilgrims as well as any urbane atmosphere with a bar at every corner. All is reduced to simple basics; I am alone on a seemingly endless gravel path beneath the vast dome of an immense sky. The only sound is the companionable crunch of my boots and perhaps distant birdsong.

Happily for me while tramping along and alone I often sense that special moment when everything 'clicks' realizing that this is, indeed, MY way and that all is and will be good. ...Perhaps such secular transcendence felt while walking might be akin to what runners call 'the zone'. Your body can handle the task while your spirit glows with the effort. Neither easy, nor impossible; all simply is. ...Thus, thankfully you continue.

MM
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#6
Exactly.
Joy is something that I often feel walking out into a new day on the Camino - with everything I need on my back and no set end in sight. And along the way even if experience in the moment is difficult or painful there can be an underlying quiet contentment at the same time - which is more how I feel joy than jumping up and down clapping.
Just...ahhhhh....
:)
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
#8
I am not a very deep thinker, but I know that walking a Camino is an enormously important part of my life. People always ask me why, they think I am not happy if I always have to escape to the Camino, wonder if my family life is rotten, etc etc. I have a hard time explaining....
Long may it be so that such simple joy continues...

On every camino there are stretches which seem to be in another world. Past are the hoards of camera-clicking tourists and/or pilgrims as well as any urbane atmosphere with a bar at every corner. All is reduced to simple basics; I am alone on a seemingly endless gravel path beneath the vast dome of an immense sky. The only sound is the companionable crunch of my boots and perhaps distant birdsong.

Happily for me while tramping along and alone I often sense that special moment when everything 'clicks' realizing that this is, indeed, MY way and that all is and will be good. ...Perhaps such secular transcendence felt while walking might be akin to what runners call 'the zone'. Your body can handle the task while your spirit glows with the effort. Neither easy, nor impossible; all simply is. ...Thus, thankfully you continue.

MM
Thanks to you both for those insights! I sometimes struggle to explain what camino walking is all about to friends and family and these insights will really help me to explain what it is all about (and what not).
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
#10
Joy has been a huge part of my life. It would take a book to explain what it has done for my life. I just look for it and want to feel it in all that I do. I do find it a bit like contentment in all such things. I try to recognize those things or feeling that impinge on my joy and working on changing me so that even the irritations are no longer but become moments of joy.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles Nov 2018
#12
Yes the Camino is the purest most simple source of JOY for me. JOY is the sum total of absolute contentment, utter inner peace, complete acceptance of myself, others and the world around me while living in the present moment.

What is even more amazing for me is how I bring a heart full of such JOY back home with me. In the weeks and months after a Camino people repeatedly comment just how relaxed, how much younger, how happy I seem. I’ve been told more than once that my eyes sparkle. I don’t “escape” to the Camino but rather return to fill up my cup of JOY so that it runneth over to those around me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Aug 2016-Oct(2016); Leon-Sarria, Ourense to SdC May (2017)
#14
Thank you thank you thank you all for sharing what walking this pilgrimage means to you, mostly, JOY! I share many of the experiences you all have written about and it is so comforting to know that there is a community out there who I can relate to. When I walk, a deep joy heals my heart and awakens my soul. It has changed me and I take the gifts of the Camino with me wherever I go. Each time I return, it feels deeper and more sacred. Ultreia!
elle
 
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#15
Exactly.
Joy is something that I often feel walking out into a new day on the Camino - with everything I need on my back and no set end in sight. And along the way even if experience in the moment is difficult or painful there can be an underlying quiet contentment at the same time - which is more how I feel joy than jumping up and down clapping.
Just...ahhhhh....
:)
"Quiet contentment"...well said. :cool:
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#17
Same for me.
Religious/spiritual joy for 30+ days. That is it. I look forward to getting up every morning and walking the path, following the arrows and shells, and guess what. If my body tells me to take it easy that day, or the weather is just atrocious, I do a short day. No pressure, no worries, no competition. Santiago is not going anywhere. At least not before I arrive.
If it brought me no joy, I would not do it.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#18
If it brought me no joy, I would not do it.
Not knowing what each of us thinks "joy" is, I would do it for a lot of other reasons!:)

I think of joy as Snoopy's happy dance. While I felt that way a few times, the frequency was dwarfed by the times I was simply exhausted.o_O
 

catperson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#20
What a wonderful ted talk! It almost had me in tears as all my camino memories and experiences of joy came back to me. I particular liked her statement re the vast differences and polarization of the world, yet underneath we can all find joy in the same things however simple and small. Oh how true this became on the camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
#23
Joy! Oh yes, there is joy on the Camino of Life whether in Spain, Portugal, or at home. For me, joy is a deep-within fountain that just never stops. Happy is the Snoopy dance when sometimes the fountain comes on out full force into NOW consciousness
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#24
I would not say that the camino is a source of joy to me, except in small and occasional doses. But it is a source of peace, the quiet mind that I can scarcely ever reach in my daily life. Just walking by myself brings me to peace most days on the camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#25
A podcaster I follow recently posted on her account: "Comparison is the thief of joy".
I think that is one of the reasons that the Camino is so joyful. I love that people rarely introduce themselves by their jobs because it is really quite irrelevant in such a different environment.
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2012 Porto
2013 Le Puy
2014 Francigena
2015 - 2018 More ...
#26
A great thread.
It is comforting to read these comments and realize I am not alone with the draw of a long distance walk. Very few people in my life at home understand this walking thing. To me it is so big, such an important part of my life, and I feel so fortunate to have discovered it at age 57, 7 years ago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Aussie Camino 2015
West Highland Way 2015
Portuguese 2016
del Norte (2018)
#29
Thank you Laurie. A great talk. It’s interesting to observe that on the Camino it is the natural world and the folks we meet along the Way which are regularly the occasions of joy. From a spiritual perspective we also experience a sense of deep gratitude for these and the joy they give us. This is a reminder that we aren’t alone and that there is a greater being who clearly loves us by giving us these gifts. This, for us, is who we discover on the Way.
 

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