Loving yourself at the start of the Route de Santiago de Compostella (the way of the stars)

A young man covered in glitters after the Bilbao fiestas on one side and a girl who seems to be concerned with her profile pictures on facebook and whatsapp on the other side. Sitting on this bus from Bilbao towards Pamplona ,where I transfer to the starting point of the French way of the camino, tears spontanuasly start running down my cheeks. In this moment I sence a tremendous amount of gratitude to all the circumstances and people who brought me here, to be where and who I want to be. 

Thank you to my friends and family who supported me in more ways than they might realize but also a thank you to the ones who challenged me… 

Especially I want to say thank you to you Lukas Figge, as you are a good friend as well as my Camino coach. Last week you made sure I didn’t drop out at the last moment. As I was offered an immediate job in South-Africa last week, but to do it, I would have to call the camino off. He also inspired me to ask myself deep spiritual questions during this walk. 

The Camino de Santiago Compostella is also referred to as the way of the stars.

You can use your time here it to look literally at the stars. But what attracts me more about this pilgrimage is that you can develop and appreciate  the stars within you, by learning to listen, look and be present again.

I was thinking that I would have loved to do this guided by my dog , Nelson, who now lives with his new family. The truth is if he was still with me there was no way we would have been able to travel like this… India, Indonesia, Nepal would have not happened. This was why we had to go different paths. A goodbye, does not mean disappearing from my heart. So many to love and so little time to share. The people who take care of Nelson are very happy with and good to him and so I feel a lot of connection and gratefulness. 

ANYWAY… I would love to take many of you along on my way. This camino can be nurturing in many ways, from a physical to a mental perspective. This is my motivation to go and I wish that to anyone…the time and conditions to connect to yourself.

I also know that I am just as you a dependent part of the universe as I am influenced and only exist by the interactions and relationships to everything else and everyone, even the ones that seem little. There is no independent me. You do not need to use psychedelic drugs to figure that out. STOP BREATHING or drinking and voila.. 

I am all those little pieces and conditions together. So I can only interbe. You influenced me by relating and by doing so you became  a part of the ever changing interbeing person I am right now.

To summarize: I am the universe, from my thoughts, emotions, my body and everything else there is to experience, nothing is really independent. They refer to this as emptiness in Buddhism. 

My mind does like to fantasize about and identify with an independent actor, called Susan. This is where our bullshit of arrogance or so called low-self-esteem comes from. Yeah really great if things go well we say that is me! And we feel really bad if things go wrong often explained as: that is me, my fault. WISER would be to say there is no independent me, so why identify, the only thing to really identify with is the whole universe. Suffering partly comes from that wrong concept of self.

I think it is a very confusing concept though, is there a free will or something like your own responsibility if everything in a way is under control of a bigger whole? 

Then the only right thing to do in a way is to be present and experience this movie that is not under our control. Our actions, thoughts etc are just kind of happening, although we have the illusion  to choose them. 

Lately I started to really realize thay if one way or door is closed for me right now then the universe is guiding me somewhere else. It doesnt mean I am not capable or worthy, it means that way is right now not my way. This is true for me when it comes to jobs as to relationships. I can only show up for what I desire but then surrender for what is. My mind likes to come up with some story’s and explanations about the things that are kind of happening right now. So it spends a lot of time in the past and the future, but how can that be the point.

No matter what path you are on right now the biggest challenge for most of us is to love and trust ourself unconditionally and not making happiness dependent on our conditions. In a way this is loving and trusting the universe. 

To love is to be present with what is and therefore with all that is. If you can be present with all you are including all your feelings and thoughts, than it is also easier to be present with all other stuff. In the end all that is is represented in thought and direct sense experiences  anyway. Central to it all or the whole is you as consciousness. 

Not that I have answers to all this. What is it to love yourself? How is it done? How to trust yourself and so also the universe despite our previous conditioning and habit patterns? Questions to ask myself during my walk.

What comes up in my mind right now is simple: food: love yourself by eating right. Starting with awareness of what you eat as you really become what you eat. Considering the consequences of consuming excessive sugar or alcohol and the wisdom of yoga philosohy I would say: What you eat is reflected in your minds status! Your food is not independent of you and you are not independent of your food. You are connected to your food’s production proces, and by eating you relate to the whole, not just to yourself, so be mindful of what you eat. Stuffing yourself with processed garbage or eating things that hurt the environment is like hurting yourself. 

Loving yourself is maybe also taking care of your body by exercising, taking sufficient rest and to not push it over its limitations.Nobody else can do that for you, you have to connect to what your body says it needs.

What you open your mind to when it comes to media and the people you choose to spend time with might as well be related to loving yourself in a certain way. What media and people help you to accept yourself and to be present with all that you are?  With awareness even the challenging people can help you to love yourself.

Loving yourself is also listening to yourself by spending enough time to become present of what is in you. Meditation, yoga practice, paint, travel, dance, walk whatever works…

What are you doing with your time? Does this reflect loving yourself?

LOVING YOURSELF IS LIVING FROM YOUR PASSIONS! Especially important is to become aware of the heart connection as to me this is the place where the universe speaks to me about it’s plan with me. The things I have done of which my mind expressed it’s doubts while my heart loved it, brought me to the most wonderful experiences. AND ISNT THIS THE POINT OF EVERYTHING: EXPERIENCING JOY!

If we are all waves in an ocean of conciousness, this universe, than maybe the heart is the way to the WiFi connection, giving us the information we need to choose our path. 

But what if bad habits come up and you do not manage all that? What if you do not manage to eat well, listen to your heart, take care of your body, stop overusing facebook? I asked myself these questions, otherwise I would not be writing all this.

First realize it was never you who came up with those habits, it is the universe, as you are interbeing, your thoughts and actions are of the universe. Do not identify when conditions are good. But also do not identify when conditions are bad.it is not you so when you set an intention and it is time, when the circumstances and conditions are right to change your habits it will come, step by step.

Your body, thoughts, feelings or actions are waves that come and go. You are only a wave of consciousness of circumstances and conditions coming together in this moment. Realizing this even in the worst moments of our lives when we for example experience intense grief, knowing this will also pass and also this is not you, might not stop your suffering but it will meet less resistance and by this there is more conciousness and momentum in the wave so it might be more intense but it will pass sooner. 

So walk, move, dance, let the universe live through you and love yourself by being present within the movement! This is the way of the stars.

It is harder to practice all this than to talk about it, I am writing this while I am trying to change habits again and again, there is no endpoint to loving yourself. 

In the mean time, this is written with my phone (sorry for the spelling) and it automatically keeps changing loving yourself into living yourself maybe that is right…

TODAY’S MAIN MESSAGE TO MYSELF AND SO TO THE UNIVERSE: Do not take yourself too seriously but see yourself as a fictiocharacter in this movie, riding this wave doing what you can…

So now I shut up and go walk. I will be walking around 35 days so until the beginning of October! See the map below.

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