“There is too much hurry and worry in our lives.” ~Joyce Rupp
Prior to arriving in Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago trail we promised ourselves to go at our own pace; to not get caught up in any kind of expectation of how many kilometers to walk a day or whether we’d make it to the “best places” to land. We were determined not to carry any anxiety or stress mixed in with our pared down backpack items. And for the most part we were successful.
In the beginning we worried about finding the path in the morning, so we tried to be packed with our breakfast of pastries eaten and ready to go when most people in our albergue were setting out. After a few days of finding the guiding shells and arrows on our own and also realizing there was usually a steady stream of others both ahead and behind us, we settled down into a place of trust about finding our way. People of all ages walked past us continually – sometimes the same person several times a day! Some slowed down momentarily to chat; others simply said Buen Camino on their way past. We all had reasons to be walking at our own particular pace. For us, as Joyce Rupp wrote, “We discovered that our outer action of slowing down our walking also influenced our inner tempo.” We found Rupp’s book, Walking in a Relaxed Manner, upon our return from the Camino and this lovely read has helped us continue to process and shed light upon our own experiences.
We’ve recently been reminding ourselves to “walk in a relaxed manner” through our daily lives here in Cape Breton. As we settle into life in Tiny, it’s easy to feel stressed about the small things that pop up that aren’t working quite right – like the weird dimmable LED light bulbs we spent a fortune on that flicker oddly every once in a while, or the sauerkraut smell that seems to be filtering back from the recently pumped septic system that isn’t all put back together quite yet.
We also sometimes feel ourselves falling prey to cultural expectations of having it all together all at once. We don’t have our Tiny life all figured out yet. Some of it remains a mystery still! We have most of our systems figured out, though we did just re-oil our countertops when it seemed that they were absorbing stains more than they should. We talked to Matt, our builder, and he said that the initial treatment had probably just sunk right into the fresh new butcher block and might need reapplying several times more in the upcoming months, until it becomes really saturated.
And we have found some work, but not enough yet. We wonder how much is enough? How do we not allow part time work take up more space than it deserves? We are settled for the winter but will need to move next spring or summer – where to??
It’s so easy to get caught back up into cultural norms thinking we should be stressed about all these things (and more!) It’s hard to not feel we need to understand everything and it all needs to be perfect NOW. We try remind ourselves on a regular basis not to get stressed about any of it. Things will work themselves out over time. They always do. We trust they will. As Joyce Rupp writes:
“I had to slow down, change the message I gave myself about achievement and responsibility. Walking in a relaxed manner on the Camino was a great catalyst for that attitudinal adjustment.”
Our intention is to just keep walking in a relaxed manner through our days, knowing that we need “…to constantly give our attention to going slowly in spirit as well as in body”.