Synchronicity was a fact of life during both of my walks along the Camino de Santiago. Websters defines the word as: the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. The Camino seemed to be one of those places where everything that is needed shows up at the appropriate time. It could be a bandage for a blister, a bed in a sold-out village, or a stranger’s ear to listen to your story. Like so many lessons on that path, this practice became more common with each step. I began to wonder if this phenomenon had occurred throughout my life without my conscious awareness. Was I too busy trying to make things happen instead of enjoying watching things unfold naturally?
After returning to Boise, I was in need of an editor for my manuscript. One day at my local gym, I began chatting with the man on the stationary bike next to me. It turns out that he is the Director of Journalism at The College of Idaho. He has published several books and gave me the name of his favorite editor. I looked up her name in the phone-book, called her, and left a message. She promptly returned the call with news that her daughter had walked the trail the previous year. Our friendship continues to this day.
I published my book on Sept 14, 2013. I sold about 600 copies in the first month. With this small number of books in circulation, I received an email from a stranger with kind words about my book. We began to communicate via email and developed a friendship. At the end of each chapter, I included two photos that are germane to the previous chapter. While turning the pages, she saw a photo of two men that she met along the trail. We traced our steps and discovered that we actually slept under the same roof in a specific city.
On my 50th Birthday I gave two speeches in San Diego California. At the first event, one of the coordinators told me to seek out a specific person at the second presentation. Apparently, this lady had walked the Camino. After arriving at the final gig, I quickly found her. During our conversation, we discovered that we both began walking the Camino from St. Jean on Sept 14, 2012.
I was a guest speaker at The Sun Valley Wellness Festival in 2014. One of the perks was a free pass to all the other speeches. Arielle Ford is NY Times Best Selling Author and I was very excited to hear her speak. I sat down and began chatting with the guy next to me as we waited for the main event. About half way through her speech, she introduced her husband. Guess who was sitting next to me in a room of 500 people? We developed a very nice friendship that included a visit to their CA home last spring. While touring their pad, I noticed several pictures of Deepak Choprah (one of my all time favorite authors) on their refrigerator. Arielle was his publicist for 20 years.
About six weeks ago, I gave another presentation in Sun Valley. I always offer to help any person in any manner. That evening, one of the attendees left me a voicemail asking to meet for lunch on the next day. I was pleasantly surprised to meet a spry 75 year old lady named Alexandra for lunch. She told me that I was the final straw and she was going to walk the trail. Last week, I was at a farmers market in McCall, ID (about 250 miles from Sun Valley, ID). A friend introduced me to his friend and mentioned that I am a speaker. He asked about the topic and I told him that it involved a long pilgrimage walk in Spain. His mother is Alexandra. She starts walking today.
I spent the majority of my life trying to live life fast. I plowed through college, partied way too hard, quickly climbed the corporate ladder, and always exceeded speed limits. In a ridiculous attempt to make things happen, I pushed every lever, tried to shake things up, rarely settled, and never compromised. At the age of 48, walking the Camino was the first thing that really opened my eyes to the beauty of slowing down.
Life flies by way too fast. Try to find a way to tune into the slower side. The synchronous flow will take you exactly where you need to go. Just sit back and enjoy watching it unfold……