The Contrary Way – Day 7 Getting lost.

Posted January 6, 2011 | by Sue Kenney | in Camino | one response

The Contrary Way

An Inspirational Guide to the journey back to yourself.

Day 7 – Getting lost.

My apologies for not writing recently. My life took a turn off the path and I had to find my way back onto it.

On the Camino, the yellow arrows were difficult to find because I had to always look behind me to see if there was an arrow directing pilgrims to walk in the opposite direction. If it was pointing the wrong way for me, then I was on the right path. It reminded me of being in a rowing shell and trying to figure out what side I was on. I could easily recall the rule that port was on the left side because they are both four letter words. When you’re facing backwards though, port is on the right. Walking the Contrary Way is like facing backwards on my journey. I’m constantly looking back to see where I came from. My directions are messed up. It’s a constant discipline to stay focused on the forward direction I am walking and yet be aware of the path I walked in the winter of 2009.

Ask yourself…What is being lost? Is it just another way to get where we are going? Is it a choice? Is it okay to be lost?

I think it’s impossible to be lost on our earth or on our way. Let’s face it, there’s gravity. We can’t go anywhere but on this planet. On our life path, wherever we are is always perfect for the moment we are in. Fortunately we were gifted with free will so we have choices.

I love opening possibilities for something to happen that I couldn’t even imagine. I remember a Picasso quote that is something like this, “If you know exactly where you are going, what’s the point of going there?” I don’t want to know everything when I set out on a journey and the Camino is a perfect platform for practising life. I want to be surprised, to explore, to make choices and to learn to trust that I will be guided.

This journey on the Camino allows me to constantly loose my way and then find it again. It reinforces the idea that I can always get back on my path, with the help of others, no matter where I am in my life. I choose this journey.

Go for a walk without planning where you will end up or how much time you take. See where your journey takes you and go back home. Don’t try to analyse it or explain what happened, just observe it. Be an observer of your journey.

Ask yourself: Did you choose this journey?

Next…ground rush.

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The Contrary Way – Day 6 Sounding Mother Earth.

Posted January 6, 2011 | by Sue Kenney | in Camino | 2 responses

The Contrary Way
A 30 Day Inspirational Guide to the journey back to yourself.

Day 6- Sounding Mother Earth.

Walking the Camino in the reverse direction on this ancient path was taking me to a new place on my life journey. With each step I took, I felt like I was leaving my destination behind. At first, it was Santiago. No more hoping that I would find all the answers walking toward something, I decided. I was walking away. What could that bring? Somehow I was convinced the answers for the new questions I had would be found by walking the other way, back to myself. Everything I needed was within me, I just didn’t know where it was.

When I wrote my second book, Confessions of a Pilgrim, I spent several months on the Toronto Island artist retreat centre Gibraltar Point. I had the honour of the presence of Wende Bartley, who graciously taught me how to sound the earth. Wende says, “Through sound we can re-awaken the lost connection through our bodies and the body of the earth, of Gaia, the primal life force energy that runs through all beings.” Thankfully she assured me that I didn’t need to have a good singing voice to sound. It’s a matter of grounding and then allowing the sounds to channel through the voice. It’s incredibly liberating and when I do it, it fills me with Mother Earth’s love.

In the past, I had done sounding on the Camino with amazing results but it was always focused on my own journey. This was different. Every day since I started walking I sounded: leaving Santiago, on Cebreiro, in the forest, while walking and often standing still. It wasn’t really conscious to me that it had become a ritual, I just let it happen when I was called to use my voice.

The blisters on my feet were particularly sore so I was walking slower. A man approached me on a bike wearing a dark green poncho. He was Spanish and spoke only a little English. He wanted to know why I was walking al contrario. I told him what I had learned about how the pilgrims of the past walked to Santiago and then walked the entire journey back home. Modern day pilgrims walk one way and then hop on a bus, train, car or fly back to their home and I felt as though I was missing a part of the journey by doing that too. He asked what it was like so far. I told him how blessed I felt to be able to see the faces of the pilgrims as they walked. I saw the joy, the struggle, the love, the peace, the sadness and sometimes despair. By walking this way, I saw raw life. When I looked closer, I could see his eyes had filled with tears. He nodded with an understanding of my experience, that I hadn’t yet realized. We parted without sharing our names.

Here in the mountains, 900 meters up into the sky, it’s God’s country. There were few pilgrims walking now and it was divinely peaceful. Passing a waterfall, I stopped to be in the moment and felt the rush of water calm me. My mouth opened naturally and my voice appeared. I freely released the ancient sounds from a place of love. I connected to the earth as it passed through my pilgrim feet into the air that we all breathe, no matter where we live in the world. The sound filled the space around me with a deep resonance that connected me to every cell in my body, the ground, the wind and the water. It was a familiar vibration and I was filled with even more divine love and peace. Intuitively I know this had nothing to do with me. I’m sounding for the world.

An idea popped into my mind: maybe I’m walking for the world too.

Anyone can create sound. Stand or walk, inside or outside. Be intentional. Sound for peace, for love, for healing of yourself or someone else. If you are inside, imagine that the floor you are standing on is connected to the foundation which is connected to the ground. The ground is a part of the Earth and that is a part of the universe. Clear your mind of expectations and listen to Mother Earth, closely. Open your voice. Don’t worry about how you sound or what comes out of your voice, just let it come through you. It might be 30 seconds or 10 minutes long. Be creative. Read more about Wende at http://wendebartleytempleproject.blogspot.com

Tomorrow is about getting lost, again.

Suseya!
Love and light,
Sue

www.suekenney.ca
Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.
Facebook My Camino/Suseya
Twitter CaminoPeregrina
http://mycaminojourney.blogspot.com/

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Day 5 – The art of self-love.

Posted January 5, 2011 | by Sue Kenney | in Camino | one response

The Contrary Way
A 30 Day Inspirational Guide to the journey back to yourself.

Day 5 – The art of self-love.

Before leaving for this Camino, a Native friend of mine gave me a fabric pouch filled with Buffalo Sage, wooden matches and a small white shell that looked a lot like a scallop. She told me that it was given to her but not to keep. She gave it to me with a message that I had enough sacred sage to do my work on the Camino. I wondered what was in store for me.

The night before I slept on a gym floor in Portomarin. Standing at the side of the path that day, I’d decided to do a smudge with the next person who came along. A woman stopped to talk. She was Danish and had walked from St Jean Pied de Port. She was very grounded, her eyes were deep and the veil to her emotions was thinned. This pilgrim look was familiar to me. Out of the blue, she showed a necklace she was wearing. It had a White Buffalo hanging from it. It was perfect so I asked if she would like to do a smudge with me and she agreed.

We faced east. I lit the sage and then blew out the flame. “Miigwech Creator,” I said. I presented the smoldering sage to her. She washed her hands in the smoke then gathered it to her eyes. “Clear your eyes so you can see from your heart.” She then moved the smoke to her ears. “And your ears so you can hear from that place of love,” I said. “Now your voice.” She smudged her mouth and neck. I moved the smoldering shell to her heart. She paused and then gathered the smoke to her heart. “Clear your heart so you can love from love. Then I smudged her entire body including the soles of her feet. I suggested she look to the east and give thanks to the Creator. Then she did the same to me. When we finished we both hugged each other and extended our gratitude. She left to walk one way, I walked the other. We were both filled with love.

As I walked that day I practised the art of self love. I imagined that all the love of the universe was available to me. I opened my heart and my physical body to receive it. I smiled, cause that’s what you do when you are in love. My step became lighter and bouncy. (even with a backpack)
My body felt alive and vibrated at a high energy. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I was in love.

It’s not selfish love I’m talking about. If we consider the universal law that we’re all one and in order to love others we must first love ourselves, then it’s easy. If we convince ourselves of the idea that it’s only about us, only about loving ourselves, then we have a long road to walk.
I was begining to see that this journey was going to be about understanding universal love.

Do you think it’s possible that if we love ourselves we are loving all of the universe?
How do you love yourself?

Tomorrow is about sounding the earth.

Suseya!
Love and light,
Sue

PS Read about Sue’s experiences when she was given a Sacred Eagle Feather by her friend to take on the Portuguese Camino in Confessions of a Pilgrim. www.suekenney.ca

Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.
www.suekenney.ca
Facebook My Camino/Suseya
Twitter CaminoPeregrina
http://mycaminojourney.blogspot.com/

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Day 3 – Wear comfortable shoes.

Posted January 3, 2011 | by Sue Kenney | in Camino | no responses

The Contrary Way
A 30 Day Inspirational Guide to the journey back home.

Day 3 – Wear comfortable shoes.

On Day 1 you confirmed with yourself that you made the choice to be on this journey. Be sure to write it down so you don’t forget what you are being. ie I am a pilgrim. I am at peace. I am a writer. etc. In my journal I wrote several other intentions for this walk. I practiced being these things while walking. Then you checked out what’s in your backpack. It doesn’t matter whether it’s life baggage or clothes. What’s important is to observe what you are carrying? We are walking almost 800 kilometers in 30 days and you don’t want any extra weight.

On this Camino I was wearing the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned. On the second day of walking I stopped by a stream and took off my boots and socks to air my feet. There was a pilgrim named Lena from Sweden sitting there. I put my feet in the cold stream and forgot that the water was softening my skin. We talked and talked. Lena was at peace and very happy to be almost finished her journey. I was anxious because I was at the beginning and didn’t know what was in store for me. After a long rest I put my boots back on and we parted. Within an hour of walking my feet were burning. I took my boots off again to see that blisters had already formed. There was nothing I could do now but deal with it and keep walking. An old lesson is new again.

As you walk this life journey be sure to care for your feet. With each step taken, you create the possibility to get closer to yourself, but you must take each step. You can’t miss any. If you do chances are that you will have to go back and walk them later in life. If your feet are blisterd or they hurt, you can still walk but it’s not as much fun!

My advice is to wear comfortable shoes, take care of your feet and keep walking.

Suseya!
Love and light,
Sue

Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.www.suekenney.ca
Facebook My Camino/Suseya
Twitter CaminoPeregrina
http://mycaminojourney.blogspot.com/

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Day 1 Choosing to be on a journey.

Posted January 1, 2011 | by Sue Kenney | in Camino | 2 responses

The Contrary Way

30 Day Inspirational Guide for the journey back to yourself.

Before we can accomplish anything in life, we first must choose. Sometimes we make the decision or it’s made for us, but in the end it is a choice. Have you chosen to be on this life journey? If you haven’t, chances are good that you will be walking around in circles and won’t go anywhere.

The night before I left Santiago in June 2010 to embark on yet another pilgrimage on the Camino, I remember questioning my choice. “Why didn’t I just go on a cruise to continue on my spriritual path?” I asked. My Answers were clear. I don’t even like cruises. I love to walk. I love to meet pilgrims. I love hearing and telling stories. I am at peace with nature. I am called to retrace the steps I took 9 years ago to complete my journey back home. Most importantly, I am a pilgrim. It’s something I am being in the world. Walking is what pilgrims do.

Have you asked yourself what are you being in the world? Are you being a Mom? Are you being a Teacher? Are you being a Neighbour? Are you being a writer? Write down what you are being right now and then write down what you want to be in the world. You don’t have to do anything yet. Just close your eyes and imagine being that and it happens. It’s magic.

Today you can start a journey back to yourself by being whatever you choose.

Suseya!

Love and light,

Sue

Tomorrow: How heavy is your backpack?

Sue Kenney is the author of the Canadian Best-selling book My Camino

presently in development as a feature film.

http://www.suekenney.ca/

Facebook Suseya

Twitter CaminoPeregrina

mycaminobook@gmail.com

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Sue Kenney gives keynote address for The Company of Women

Posted December 21, 2010 | by Sue Kenney | in Events | no responses

Wednesday January 12, 2011, 5:30PM – 9:00PM EST
The Company of Women
Tuscany Event Centre
222 Edward St
Aurora, ON L4G 3S8

Sue will be the keynote address at this event in Aurora talking about The Power of Surrender.

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Group Journey on the Camino planned for May 2010

Posted January 12, 2010 | by Sue Kenney | in Camino | one response

The year 2010 is a Holy Year because the feast of St. James falls on a Sunday. It’s going to be a very exciting time to be on the Camino. I’ll be taking a group on the Camino and will act as your Camino coach. We will walk in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims before us. This journey has been designed for individuals who are interested in a spiritual journey of self-discovery and adventure. Although this is set up as a group walk, you are free to walk alone if you choose, with the security of knowing we will meet as a group at the end of each day. One of the unique benefits of this program is the personal support and preparation you receive before leaving, during the walk and after you return home from the Camino from me (Sue Kenney). I’ve walked various routes of the Camino 5 times, lead 3 groups and directed a documentary film called Las Peregrinas and written 2 books. World renowned for my work as a storyteller, speaker, author, coach and workshop facilitator, I use the Camino as a metaphor for a life journey and the foundation of living with purpose. To find out more email me at kenneysue@gmail.com

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Santiago

Posted June 1, 2009 | by Sue Kenney | in Camino | 2 responses

We arrived at about 1:30pm this afternoon. It´s hot and sunny here so it was a more difficult day than we had imagined. We thought we only had 15kms to go but they always leave out the extra 2kms it takes to walk through the city.

Everyone is in good shape. Paul walked slowly because of the horrible blisters mostly on his pinky toes, though he kept up with the group the entire way. Linda was a real trooper. She took each step with intention and a big smile, sending lots of love to everyone she met along the way. Don´t know what we would have done without Vanda to translate. (Well there´s always my englo-span-french dialect complete with hand motions and a big smile!) Even though she had some blisters, they didn´t stop her from putting one foot in front of the other and always being aware of needs of the people around her and ready to help in any way. Wendy never complained about anything. Carried her purple umbrella with style to keep the sun off her and it seemed to work. She always had something funny to say when we least expected to find a laugh. Sarah wore green again and kept a big smile on her face the entire way. This was truly an amazing group of pilgrims who I would walk with again, any time.

We had to take a taxi yesterday. Yes. We walked past the exit to Arca and 4.2kms out of our way. There was no accomodation for another 8kms. A kind woman in a house nearby called for a taxi. We ate and stayed overnight at the Ultreya private albergue (Linda calls them Albequerque´s!) and taxi´d back to the same spot this morning.

We are meeting for tapas in 15 mins so I´ve got to run.
Ultreya! (onward)

Sue

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The beginning of My Camino

Posted April 25, 2009 | by Sue Kenney | in Books | no responses

My name is Sue Kenney and I am a pilgrim. I walked 780 kilometers on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela for the first time in 2001. After being suddenly downsized from my corporate telecom career I decided to go for a long walk to figure out my life purpose. The Camino is a medieval pilgrimage route in Spain. I walked for 29 days and went alone in the winter. I followed yellow arrows on a path that had been walked by millions of pilgrims before me. It was a profound life altering experience.

Through the art of walking, I discovered that my life work is to use my voice to tell stories to inspire others on their life journey. When I returned home I became a storyteller. I went to schools, libraries, church groups, networking groups, businesses and anywhere people would listen to my stories. Many who heard me said I should write a book. I told them I wasn’t a writer. As I told more stories, more people said I should write a book. I decided to record a storytelling CD because I thought they wanted to take something home with them after they heard the stories. It’s called Stone by Stone and in the first 6 months of its release I sold and gave away 1000 copies. People wrote back to me and said I should write a book. Ahhhh. One morning I woke up and it all became clear to me. I understood that this wasn’t all about me. It wasn’t a question of whether I could write or not, these stories were given to me as a gift from God. If I didn’t share them, then I would be doing a dis-service to the universe and not fulfilling my obligation to living my life purpose. At Word on the Street literary festival I found a publisher. He told me that I must have a minimum of 200 pages. That’s 50,000 words. My plan was to have the book out in the summer of 2005. In that case, he told me I needed to have a manuscript to him in 2 months. I assured him that if I wrote 1000 words a day for 2 months I could have the book written. So I did it. If I had known it was impossible, I wouldn’t have done it. The book is called Sue Kenney’s My Camino and it’s a Canadian national best seller.
www.suekenney.ca

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