“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”—Joseph Campbell
At the moment my writing is going through another phase of floating through a snow dome and so I have been quiet on the blog. There has been some significant change in my inner and outer life and more injury so I must simply wait for the mud to settle before I can write about it. However, I feel inspired to share a small timely insight.
Five years ago this week, I was becoming acquainted with the Via Francigena pilgrimage route for the first time and was in the midst of walking a 120 kilometre section through Tuscany from San Miniato to San Quirico d’Orcia.
I wasn’t a pilgrim. I wasn’t a hiker. I had never even walked long distance before. I was simply a city walker who decided she wanted to visit Tuscany and didn’t want to go from town to town getting on and off a bus.
It was my curiosity that led me to discover Via Francigena in the first place.
I had a week to myself between visiting my friend Viv in London and meeting my then boyfriend in Fabriano and so I dreamed about the possibilities of how I could spend that week and I played with different ideas.
I had long wanted to visit Tuscany but Cinque Terre had also caught my attention—the five, mystical hilltop towns surrounded by wine terraces on the steep and rugged cliffs overlooking the turquoise and sapphire Ligurian Sea in the north west of Italy. I also toyed with the idea of walking a section of the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela given my newly discovered love of walking.
I researched all of my ideas and tried them on for size and it was during that research that I saw an advertisement for the Via Francigena.
Curiosity made me click on the link. I discovered this ancient pilgrimage route that started in Canterbury and ended in Rome and lo and behold it also passed through Tuscany.
Inspiration hit me instantly. I could spend a week walking though Tuscany. I wouldn’t have to get on and off buses and I could escape the tourist crowds. I could see Tuscany in a completely different way.
There were so many reasons for me to reject this idea. It felt crazy. I had never done anything like this before but my body buzzed with excitement.
A week later I said yes to the adventure and booked.
A month later I was walking through Tuscany with all the challenges and joy that brought me. At the end, I declared to myself, “I want to walk the whole trail one day.”
Two years later when I was made redundant from a job I followed my inspiration and did just that. I walked almost entirely alone from Canterbury except for the last 9 days into Rome that I shared with Peter and Paulius. It was these two guys who gave me the idea to walk from Rome to Jerusalem one day, an idea that I acted upon but hasn’t yet come to fruition.
This is how everything in my life has unfolded: one inspired vision at a time.
Even now as I study a Diploma in Holistic Counselling unsure of exactly how I will use it when I am finished, I trust that inspiration will hit and the next step will become clear at the right time.
My life is an evolving masterpiece, something I have only just understood. I don't need this big grand vision that I have been seeking on and off for seven years. The big grand vision was really just another way of me trying to play it safe through certainty (a set vision) and control.
Lawrence J Peter said, “If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.” I don't think that there’s anything wrong with not knowing where you are going—it is a way to strengthen and finesse your intuition and faith. Ending up somewhere else can be more extraordinary than you could even imagine before we step through the next doorway.
What about you - do you have a grand vision or an evolving masterpiece? What is your curiosity drawing you towards right now? What might happen if you say yes and follow it?
With love and courage,