At some point in all of our lives, the pants become too tight. The simple remedy is a Macy’s trip to score a new pair of designer jeans. The alternate route is a diet. The mechanics of losing weight are simple; control what enters your mouth and add exercise to your daily plan. Other than a drive to the mall, there is no alternative for making clingy clothes non-clingy. The snugness of our trousers or in some cases, the undies, serves as catalyst for the need to make changes.
The average person has 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day. At the top of the range, 29,000,000 million ideas per year crowd the tiny space located between your ears. Like a weed, these clingy thoughts can take deep root, consume all the airflow, and poison the soil. The symptoms include burnout, stress, fatigue, illness, and a general sense of being overwhelmed. Many people ignore the symptoms or accept them as a by-product of life. Self medication numbs the patient but provides no long term solution. When does the bell ring to force people into a mental diet?
For me, the 500 mile walk on the Camino was the perfect time for a spring cleaning of the mind. The 120 miles across the flat Mesetta with howling wind literately allowed my mind to be blown free. A time to weed out the entrenched roots, till the soil, allow air and light to flow freely. It creates a fertile ground. With a fresh field, I am trying to be a bit more selective on the new thoughts and seeds that enter my head. I want more broccoli and less saturated fatty ideas.
We tend to live in memory of the past or anticipation of the future. Both of these subtract time from the only moment when life can be lived which is NOW. Breaking daily routines is like taking the plane off autopilot. With the yoke in hand, you will find that the 29,000,000 million orphans have a natural chance to parachute into thin air.
Flying across the Atlantic and hoofing across Spain is a pretty dramatic attempt to disengage the autopilot. If you have the time and energy….. go for it!! If financial, time, or physical constraints prevent the bigger journeys, then make simple changes to your life. Take a new route from work to home. Find a new recipe and make it for dinner. Vacation in a brand new spot this year. Have sex in a different room. Just make sure and allow the paratroopers to troop.