The pilgrim’s journey

Camino recto camino erguido

Carved on all four sides of this sculpture outside the pilgrims’ museum in Santiago de Compostela is this quote:

Camino recto, camino erguido, camino buscando un sentido. Camino porque tengo un objetivo, y no pararé hasta alcanzar mi destino.

(I walk straight, I walk upright, I walk looking for meaning. I walk with a purpose and I won’t stop until I meet my destiny.)

The pilgrim’s journey is the same one you and I are on. Know your goals and understand your challenges. Face them head-on, tackle them with intention, and never give up.

Do you know what your purpose in life is? What would you say if someone asked you what your destiny was?

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Pilgrimage

Hands clasped together
In May this year, my 9 year-old son and I walked the Sarria to Santiago stretch of the Camino de Santiago. It was about a year after I’d had to take time off after having had a mental health crisis and going on pilgrimage was a decision made as part of a new direction and a resolution to embrace new experiences.

This photo was taken just before our final day’s walk into Santiago de Compostela – pilgrims nearing the end of this stage of their journey, hand in hand and stronger for it.

I think life is a pilgrimage. We rise each morning, fulfil what we need to fulfil, and take rest so that we can rise again the next day. Part of the beauty of life on the Camino is its simplicity. It’s a lesson for us all in this ever-more-complicated and cluttered normality – we need much less than we burden ourselves with. You don’t need to go on a physical pilgrimage to commence the same journey of discovery.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Crisis, discovery and reinvention

rugby
2016 was a year of reinvention, sparked by a crisis that I’d been building up to since 2013. Hitting rock bottom can be the making of you, given time and space to heal, a little bit of determination, and someone to hold your hand.

One of the key things in my recovery was seeking out new experiences. We don’t figure out ways forward by sitting down and figuring things out. For me, some of those new experiences were joining a choir, going on pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, and starting to play rugby. I’ve just embarked on a year-long sabbatical to focus on what I have learnt brings me genuine fulfilment: helping people to reach their full potential through awareness, understanding, openness to learning, and action.

I like this photo because for me it epitomises doing things that you’d never normally expect of yourself. I’m often the smallest on the pitch, I’m far from being a good player, and I have loads to learn. But I’m going to get out there anyway, pushing the comfort zone (notably when it comes to tackles!), and remembering that you are often your biggest obstacle. You don’t need to be.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd