(Post by KAARINA DILLABOUGH)
There’s a story I heard once (I wish I remember where), that happened on a trail called the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain. For over 1000 years, people have walked this route: some in pilgrimage, some looking to “find themselves”, some escaping from circumstance or duty and some looking to reconnect with something long lost in themselves. The story went something like this:
A person walking the trail noticed, with frequency, small piles of stones alongside the trail. There was no particular order to them, and there really didn’t seem to be a purpose. The person found another traveler along the trail and asked: “Why are there so many small piles of stones along this trail?” The person said that these were piles of sorrow stones. Legend had it that, if you picked up a stone along the way, put all of your worries, fears, sadness or negative thoughts into the stone, and placed it down again somewhere en route, you would leave all your troubles behind.
I wish I knew where I remember the story from, but I don’t.
But ever since then, on every walk or hike I take, I pick up a stone, put any worries I might have into it, and leave it behind me. The photo here is one of my small “Camino” piles, on one of my favorite hiking trails. I like to think that, once I’ve put any of my worries into the stone, Mother Earth has a unique way of absorbing and refreshing the stone, such that it harms no one, and is given a “new life” itself; sorrow free…just like me.
Perhaps it is a tall tale I heard. Perhaps it is silly to think that a stone can absorb and wash away one’s troubles.
But I like the story, and I like the concept. So I always pick up a stone on my travels, rub it between my fingers, feeling its smoothness or roughness, admiring its shape and color, all the while placing any negative thoughts into it. By the time I’m ready to gently place it back down, I have a smile on my face. It’s very cathartic. I can’t explain why. It just is.
Are you carrying burdens on your path in life? Perhaps you will now leave them on the trail, just like the stones.
Have you heard stories of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela? Please share. And let me know what you think about leaving your troubles behind on your trail. I tend to sing the song “Pack up all your cares and woe, here I go, singin’ low, bye…bye..blackbird” as I’m walking with my stone. And if anyone knows of this little story I told…where it came from or who might have told it…I’d love to hear that too!
(Note: This is a post I wrote for my blog on June 3rd 2011, after having read the story of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela years before, and long before the new movie, “The Way” by Emilio Estevez. It just seemed timely and appropriate to share it here. You will definitely want to see the movie trailer. It gives me goosebumps.)
Kaarina Dillabough, Amaranth, Ontario
Kaarina is a business/life coach living in Ontario, Canada. For over 25 years her high-voltage energy, expertise and experience has inspired those she has worked with to reach beyond their grasp, to attain great things in business and in life. A former Olympic sports colour commentator and coach, Kaarina parlayed her coaching skills from the gym floor to the boardroom, working with business owners to improve their profitability and prosperity. In doing so, she has seen people grow both personally and professionally. Kaarina is known as an inspiring motivational speaker in areas such as branding, marketing, business growth strategies, and personal growth and prosperity. She is a passionate, seasoned coach and accountability partner with a proven track record, who loves nothing more than helping people achieve their goals in business and in life. Check out her Blog or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Email contact: kaarina (at) kaarinadillabough (dot) comTweet