The Way of St Jacks!
Jackie Jarvis, Director of Heart of business and business development mentor, made the 500 mile journey of the famous Camino Frances, otherwise known as the Way of St James with her partner Matt Wright in 2015.
This is the way of ‘St Jacks,’ a business blog that shares insights gained from taking time out and connecting with the spiritual energy of the Camino.
“I hope that these insights can help and inspire you in your day to day life and business and make you as happy as they made me when my mind was quiet enough to listen and really hear what ‘the Way’ had to say to me!’
Before I left for the Camino my mind was full. Too full. I had been carrying my To Do list around in my head for a long time, and not just mine, all the To Do lists of those I work with in a mentoring capacity! I felt mentally exhausted. Time was racing along and I was hardly noticing the days passing as I found myself racing from one task to the next. I almost felt I didn’t have time to walk the Camino! I remember still talking to Matt about work all the way to the airport at 3am in the morning! It wasn’t until we started walking that things began to change…
Slow down and feel more of your life
The days seemed longer on the Camino, probably because we relied on our own legs to get us from A to B. That certainly slowed things down somewhat. It forced you to really feel the journey as opposed to just making the trip. I think we needed that. The speed of life is such that it all seems to go by in a flash. It is so easy to just get lost in one thing after another, after another without really taking in what is happening.
Walking the Camino reminded me how by simplifying things you can actually increase the pleasure you get. When you de-clutter your mind and just focus on the present moment, you start to pay attention in a different way. It is relaxing despite the physical challenge.
We all need time to think. Although the more I walked the less I thought about and the more I just enjoyed the moments.
“Walk, eat, sleep, repeat”
This quite aptly conveys the simplicity of the Camino for me. That’s all you really need to do. Of course, you can do more, talk more, drink more… but stripped down to the basics, that was essentially it.
Are you going too fast? What are you missing?
Offload the excess that is weighing you down
As we had to carry everything we needed for the trip on our backs and carry it for 500 miles you would think choosing to travel light would have been important. But no, it took until the second trip for me to realise that I was just trying to carry too much. I could not keep walking 20 miles a day carrying 12 kilos. Some of it had to go.
My ruck sack meltdown made me think… How often do I over load myself with things, trying to do more and more to make sure things in my business life work and maybe other things in my personal life too. It is much easier to walk lightly through life when you don’t have such a heavy burden on your shoulders.
What is weighing you down in your business? What could you offload to travel lighter?
It is not a race … own your Camino
This was a message that came up a number of times on the journey. There were times when I felt like I was too slow to keep up, but keep up with who? Matt? People we has just met on the Camino? I would try harder, thinking I can do it all despite my aching legs and back, rush along at a pace and end up missing a beautiful view because I was at times pushing myself harder than I was comfortable with. A feeling I was familiar with from my business life.
It was easy to create a sense of needing to keep up and fulfil others’ expectations even although the others are people you have only just met. On the Camino there is no need, only the one you make for yourself or you allow others to make for you.
When I took my time and walked alone, it was so incredibly beautiful and peaceful and I always arrived at the destination we had decided on.
The Camino of your life is your own and this trip reminded me of that. I reflect on this a lot and it keeps me aware of what is going on in my life and business!
Where is your life too much of a race? Is your business being run by you or someone else?
Openness and flexibility creates a sense of freedom
This was certainly an important aspect of the journey. You could plan your timetable for the day but you didn’t know where you would be staying nor whom you would be staying with. A different bed every night, sometimes sharing a room with others. It really depended on where you got to and what is available. It was always nice to have your own room of course but was not always possible. Doing this kept me flexible and it was good fun (most of the time)!
Where is an open and flexible attitude useful in your life and business? Do you have any limiting inflexible habits?
To reach your BIG goal – just take care of the little ones day by day
It was strange to feel so broken at the end of each day’s walking but still wake up the next day ready to do it all over again. It just shows you what you can actually do when you set your mind to it… This Camino trip in total was 500 miles. I never thought my body was capable! I made up little tricks to keep me going. I broke it down into 5km stages and related it to a 5km Park Run (something Matt and I do on a Saturday morning). When the going gets tough I just told myself that it was just another park run. This helped make it seem easier (actually we walked over 165 park runs in total over the whole Camino).
It is amazing what you can achieve when you just focus on doing a little bit each day!
What could you break your big goals down to that makes day to day sense?