THE DAY HAS COME!!

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The day has come for me to depart on My Camino. I am a mix of emotions, happy, nostalgic for leaving my Mom and all that I know if even for 10 days.  I feel like smiling, I feel like crying, I want to go with no expectations of what the Camino will give me, but hopeful that whatever it will give me will be what I need in my life at this moment in time.

This is a something that I only had in my dreams and I am amazed that I did it, I booked it and I am actually getting on that plane today that will take me to places that I only saw in pictures and only daydreamed for years. I have a feeling this will not be my last.  I hope my children will one day understand that this is Mom’s time to live a little. I pray and ask that God and the universe puts the right people in front of me that might say the right words to keep me going, maybe the right people to see that I am at the right place at the right time.  I ask to be inspired to write the right words to share my experience with family and friends.

I can’t wait to just Breathe!!!

 

Beauty out of ashes!!!

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My intention for this Camino is to be free, free from the past, free from the pain of what could’ve been, free to finally be who I truly am and go through life LIVING and not just existing…I can now share my poem as we are all in one way or another looking for beauty from the ashes!!!

OUT OF THE DUST
So many layers of ash
Fell over me for years.
In a coma my soul has been.

Out of the dust
Layers of ash from the past,
Pushing the ash as I walked
Dust only blinding my path.

Out of the dust
Plowing through the ash in my soul
I’m coming out of the coma,
Veil of ash lifting from my eyes.

Out of the dust
Coming into the present,
Creating beauty from the ashes
I now walked out of the Dust.

Isaiah 61.3
Written by Cecy de Leon

“Tell my heart to beat again”

08/03/2016

The Universe gives you what you need to see, hear, feel at the right times. This morning as I’m driving to work a familiar song came on the radio (I’ve posted it for you to enjoy), I’ve heard it before, but you know, you learn the chorus parts first right…I really had not paid attention to the lyrics, that is, until today and boy did they really talk to me.  God has a tendency of sending me my messages a lot of the times through music and this was no exception.  A little background so you can see why this song hit home today.

I have been divorced for 14 years now, I have been able to pick up most of the shattered pieces that part of my life left me in, then after so much pain, so many tears, someone else came into my life after my divorce, this person made me feel alive again, gave me hope, helped me restore my heart. He was one of those people that come into your life for a reason and for only a season. After years of hoping that our lives would cross again, I finally had to let go of him too.  I am grateful for the time spent together, grateful to have known what it felt to feel loved, he showed me what I do want for my heart. Yes, the day he left, I felt my heart-break in a million pieces, he didn’t do anything wrong, but, deep inside my soul, I knew that I would never be with him again. At first, his job took him from me and then distance took a toll on our relationship, at the end of the day, we just weren’t meant to be.  We remained friends for a long time after “US” had ended.  Wandered through life after that, searching for “someone” to fill the void that my heart felt. I didn’t realize that I couldn’t continue to put my happiness on someone else; I had to look inside myself and learn how to make CECY happy. It has taken years for me to get to where I am now and I am still a work in progress, I still have to mend the most important piece, loving myself, just as I am, without judging what reflects back to me in the mirror.  This has been the toughest journey for me.

As my Camino gets closer and closer, my mind is racing 1000 miles an hour, wondering what I will feel when I step on that plane. Knowing that the bus with wings will take me across the sea, thousands of miles away from everything I know.  The day is coming when some dreams become a reality.  I am sure tears will be flowing, I am sure I will be having a mixture of emotions because I am actually getting on board by myself. I am leaving the comfort of home, family and friends.  My mind is chaos…

  • What is my intention?
  • Will I find clarity?
  • Will I FEEL anything?
  • Will I find peace?
  • Will I find myself?
  • Will I finally find the real Cecy?
  • What I really am all about?
  • Will I leave my past there?
  • Will my heart finally be WHOLE again?
  • So many questions in my head swirling and I just feel I am going in circles.
  • When people ask me who I really am, to be honest, I don’t really know.
  • What’s my passion? I am not sure, when I think about it, several things come to mind

And then I hear this song, “Tell your heart to beat again”, talking about being “shattered in a 1000 pieces”, feeling like I am never going to go back to who I used to be, to that free-spirited girl who would dance to forget any hurt, any pain, to the Cecy that felt her heart beating in her chest with every dance step., a girl that grew up in the shadows and still knew how to smile. This song, telling me that “yesterdays a closing door” speaking truth that “I don’t live there anymore”.

So today, I will breathe in these words and as I get off that plane in Porto, Portugal, I will close my eyes and BREATHE deeply, I will go rest and when I awake the next day and walk out into a new day,  I will take my first step thinking about the new journey that will begin at that moment.  I will leave the darkness and feel God’s grace in my soul.  I shall acknowledge that “my story is far from over.”  The journey of the second half of my life will begin there.  That my life is not over, it’s just falling into place. That I am where I’m supposed to be and I will take a deep breath and “TELL MY HEART TO BEAT AGAIN”

I know this was long, but it’s what my heart told me to get out of my chest into paper. Tell me about your day, what sign/message did you see or hear? Please share!!! Hope you enjoy the song.

Yikes!!!!

My new found word!!

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The time is getting closer and closer, 49 days to be exact and boy the jitters are kicking in. The self-doubt as to whether or not I’m going to make it when I arrive.  Not doing the entire Camino, but for someone that has had a sedentary lifestyle, it makes you wonder, right?  I tell those that say that I WON’T make it, that if I can’t walk anymore then I will take a bus, a train, a taxi…but in reality I DON’T want to do that.  I tell myself the Camino will Provide.

Other things invade my mind and my heart…with the “short” days I am going to walk, will I experience any “Magic” on the Camino, will I find the clarity I am searching for? I’ve tried to do more of the meditation, yoga, anything that will help me begin the journey to the Camino with an open heart and an open mind. I don’t want to arrive with certain expectations only to be disappointed if this or that doesn’t even happen to me. I have faith, or maybe I really don’t, in search for that too, I know that I am looking for deeper meaning in my life, my life’s calling. But what do I really believe in? What’s my purpose? Why can’t I be disciplined on anything, whether it’s meditating every day, writing on my journal every day, going to yoga classes consistently… my body is changing, I can feel it, pain coming on like a tsunami, without injury, but, I don’t have time for pain, I don’t like how I look, I don’t like what I’m feeling.

I will go on my Camino and just hope that SOMETHING happens and changes the way I see myself and I see life!!! That’s my intention.

Something inside has been yearning for change, it feels like I’m running out of time, I don’t know for what, but that’s what I feel.  I have a need to understand what is holding me back from finding my true self!! Have you ever felt this way? If so, can you share your story?

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Found the rock!!

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There is a place along the Camino de Santiago, between the towns of Foncebadón and Manjarín (Camino Frances), where a wooden pole, about five feet high stands and carries an iron cross high above this pole, it is called Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross). It is said to be a replica of the original cross which is preserved in the “Museo de los Caminos” in Astorga. Over the years a mound has formed with rocks and other objects left by Pilgrims from all over the world.  Legend has it that at the time the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral was being built pilgrims were asked to bring stones as their contribution to the Cathedral. It is also said that the tradition is to throw a stone with your back to the cross. Pilgrims bring this from their home or they pick up a stone along the Way before arriving at Cruz de Ferro.

In 1982 a chapel dedicated to St. James was built by the Cross which for some years has celebrated the feast of Santiago/Saint James bringing people together.

 

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The stone may symbolize the heavy load pilgrims carry in their hearts and souls. Some might just carry it because that’s what they hear pilgrims do or it’s a tradition. In the movie The Way, a rock was given to “Tom”, he asked what that was for, and all he was told was that he would know what to do with it at the right time. Just like “Tom” in the movie, some people don’t even realize what they are carrying inside and it’s amazing to see how a small rock can sometimes help you understand and release some of the weight they carry, whether it is a sin, broken hearts, the loss of a loved one that you didn’t get to say goodbye too, etc. So many things we carry in our hearts and it overwhelms us because we don’t cry, we won’t talk about it and the biggest one…WE WON’T LET GO!!

I am not walking the Camino Frances and will not be “dropping” my rock “my weight” at the “Cruz de Ferro” (Iron Cross), but I have found my own rock to carry with me, I believe that on the Camino Portuguese I will find a place to throw it and “let go”. I believe the Camino will show me the right time and the right place.  It’s funny but the rock that I ended up picking up is not just a flat smooth rock, it actually looks like a mountain, it has cracks and crevices, if you touch around it, some of the “bumps” are really rough, the bottom of the rock is not smooth either, it’s got ridges. There is a large crack that seems like the rock could break in 2 pieces, as you look past the middle of the rock it starts to smooth out.  As I looked at it, it reminded me of how my life looks so much like this rock.

My foundation was not smooth, I had a good childhood, but it didn’t come without dark clouds hanging over it, just like so many childhoods our lives had “bumps”. When I grew up and left my hometown to marry and begin a family, it began as a fantasy that besides my children it’s hard to remember the good times, just like the rock, a time came when I felt that my heart was being broken in half, the tears that flowed made dents in my soul, the middle part of my adulthood was rough and had edges (brokenness) that cut through my soul, at one time I did feel like I would break in half,  as I got older and my children grew, life began to get smoother, it still shook me at times but I have arrived to a place in my life where things are changing, my kids are grown, have their own families, and I am left to care for my Mother, she is good, just her mind can play tricks on her some days.  I’ve felt guilty for decisions I’ve made throughout my life, but I am learning to let that go and see life through a different set of eyes. When I reach the peak of a mountain along the Camino, my journey will be smooth like the top of this rock and a whole new journey with a new perspective will have begun.

A friend looked at this rock and said it looks like a piece of poop!! Haha, when I told her what I saw of course she said I was weird. I don’t know where this comes from, what do you think would you take a rock, a rose’s stem and see what I see? Hope you share your thoughts on how you would use something so simple to create a “ceremony” to release what you carry in your soul.

FROM A DREAM TO A REALITY!

You have been seeing some posts regarding the Camino and how it’s been calling me, tugging at my heart. I began buying some things but doubts still filled my head, will I really be able to go?  Well on January 26th I made it official, flights were on sale so after looking at flights and prices for a few months I finally hit the BUY button!!!! I don’t think I have ever felt what I felt that day, having booked my flight literally took my breath away, I printed out the itinerary and looked at it with my name on it. I wanted to burst out and cry, but tears of joy. I was also nervous because now it was more than just a “plan” or a “dream”, this paper in my hands meant that I had made my reservation to make it a REALITY, so all the excitement of just “thinking” about going and now actually buying the tickets made it all just so surreal!!!

Have you ever felt this way? To have a dream be closer to being a reality is a giant step not just for me but for so many people out there. We always hear dreams do come true but for so many people those dreams never become a reality, what do you think people should do when they have lost hope of making some of these true? I would love to hear some of  your stories on how you made some of your dreams come true!! Thanks for stopping by!!

 

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The credential below  is called the Pilgrims Passport, you carry this with you along your walk, you are supposed to get it stamped, at the hostels, café’s, churches, etc…this is proof that you have walked the Camino and if you walk even the last 100km you get a “Compostela”…a certificate validating your journey!

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In our lives when you receive the gift of seeing another morning, you wake up with a “blank” page, for me, this means another day of forgetting about the previous day, a chance for me to leave the pains of the day behind, to correct any mistakes I might’ve made, to start the day with a new light and new hope.  I have another chance to thank God for blessing me with the breath of life!!

My journey through Spain will start with a blank credential, it reminds me of when I took my kids to Disney, my daughter had an “autograph” book, she began with a blank book and throughout the day she took a picture with the characters and then they signed her book, the excitement on her face was priceless.  I know this may not be the best comparison but just like my daughter felt when she looked up at Mickey Mouse and the princesses, throughout my walk I will be looking up and thanking God for allowing me to walk through these places, the excitement and the honor of being able to be present in that moment will be priceless. As I wait for the day when I take off comes, I am living the Camino through the eyes of other pilgrims already walking or have walked the Way. There seems so much to see, I am aware that I will not see everything but I feel that I am walking and living what I am supposed to in 2016.  This will give me a glimpse of more journeys’ to come because I believe that part of my soul will be staying behind on those mountains, those valleys and any “albergue” I will be staying at throughout my walk.

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At the end of my “first” Camino my pilgrim passport should look something like the one below. Of course, the longer the distance, the more stamps you will collect.

The Shopping Begins!!

 

Some of the following posts will be a bit more light-hearted, I want to transmit my “kid in a candy store” emotions while getting what I need!! Let’s take a ride and enjoy my silly side!!

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January 09, 2016

On January 9, 2016 I walked into the REI store, it was a bit overwhelming, sooo much stuff to look at, sooo many choices. I asked a salesman if he would help me with choosing a backpack, I knew by my research that I would need to get “measured”, yes, I’m going into an unknown world for me, (laughing). I didn’t realize all it took to get prepared for a “backpacking” trip, geez…he was very nice, of course the first thing he said was “you need to get measured” nooo, really!!! So he helped me strap the backpack measuring thingy (haha)…and he concluded I was a medium, I haven’t been a medium for ANYTHING in a long time…so that was exciting!!! Lol. We then proceeded to go and look at some of the backpacks, he showed me one it was “PURPLE”, and yeah I liked that!!! I put it on and as he is helping me with the million and one straps this thing has on it, I felt so lost and a little silly that I had no idea what all those straps were for. It felt good and seemed to fit well, he explained to things to look for when shopping around. He then proceeded to show me some bed liners and showed me how it would fit in the backpack. I am sure I had the “dear with headlights” look on my face, I sure felt like one. I took a deep breath and decided NOT to purchase the backpack yet and walked toward the back where the shoes were, not as overwhelming, but not a lot to choose from either. I tried on a pair, went a half size larger, just like advised on a forum for the Camino https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/, they felt good, walked a few steps and decided to take them home with me. I also bought a pair of socks, a hat and some “kool-ties” I found on sale, some cute stuff haha.

 

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January 11, 2016

On January 11, 2016 I took my shoes with me to work, I have been walking around our parking lot, so I was going to test my shoes…oh boy, not the same feeling like when I was at the store, they felt heavy and huge on my feet. I felt like I was walking with weights on my feet or “Donald ducks” big orange flippers!!! Not a good feeling, my leg also starting hurting I couldn’t even finish my 5 laps (3.5 miles). The next day I switched back to my regular walking shoes and my leg was fine, so I will be taking the Anhu shoes back. When I got home I had received my trekking poles, it was funny because I ordered them “purple” but there isn’t even a hint of purple on them, they’re PINK!!! I also received two “pilgrim credentials” with their own little protective plastic cover and a small journal with the Camino de Santiago Logo. Yes, this is all before even booking my flight.

 

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The Why, from friends and family!!

 

 

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I’ve been asked the WHY! The answer is complex. If I say, nature, finding something that goes deeper than myself, finding a purpose, an answer in the solitude while walking, some will come back and say, well why go so far? Why not find a place closer to home? The truth is I don’t know how to answer that. All I know is that all of the above is MY WHY. I see things and feel things differently than others might, but I can’t help who I am and what I carry in my heart. I can sit and write for hours, others just don’t enjoy even writing a few sentences. Some might enjoy just watching TV, or going fishing, well don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching TV, but I’ve come to a point where I get bored just sitting there, I get tired of watching life go by from the inside. For me, there has to be more to life than being a Mother and a Grandmother. I’ve raised my children as best as I could on my own, I am trying to be the “bestest” grandmother my babies could ever have, but without them, WHO IS CECY? What are her dreams, her passions, the real Me? What will be her legacy? How does she want to be remembered when she’s gone? I would like to be able to teach my children and grandchildren that anything can be accomplished, that they should be more aware of their minds and their hearts, to reach for the stars while they are young, to pursue their dreams. I want to teach them not to go through life “stressing” over the little things, that love and family are the main things in life but that even though life is not easy it is our one chance to live in the moment.  That we get wrapped up in material things and the more we have the more we want and that is when the real things are missed.

How would you answer the WHY question? I know I’m not the only one that is asked this question, especially a woman that is planning to walk the Camino alone, what would your description be? Let’s share what’s in our hearts and the tugging of the call.

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Happy Reading!!