Ten Q-cards, each bearing a single word written in permanent black ink, are affixed to the wall above my bedroom door. I strategically stuck them there so I would see them while I lay in bed inside my bright little converted-from-a-sunroom bedroom. I see them every morning when I wake up and every night before I turn out the lights. They remind me of just how far I’ve come over the last two and a half years. Not only that, but how much further I will go if I keep taking steps.
They communicate the Chinese proverb by Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Each of us has created our own life path with the choices we’ve made; the steps we’ve taken. If we are not where we want to be then it’s time to take a step in a different direction. It’s time to try something new. If we want our life to be different from what it is, then we need to start doing different things.
I am a firm believer in the power of thought and the Law of Attraction, which states “like attracts like”; what we think, whether it is what we want or what we don’t want, we will get. So to keep my mind focused positively, I have used the aid of Q-cards.
A Q-card with the word “GOALS” sticks to the wall beside my bookcase. Underneath are six others. This year they say, Walk the Camino Again, Essay Writing and Publish, Hike and Work-Out, Latin Dance, Spanish and Respect Personal Boundaries, with a big star beside the last one. So far, out of these, I have started planning another Camino, most likely the physically-challenging del Norte along the north coast of Spain this May. I have also written a few memoir stories; hiked locally and joined a gym; learned salsa, bachata, kizomba and a bit of tango; practiced Spanish online; and, after ignoring my gut when I should have listened to it, I have learned to speak up sooner when something doesn’t feel right.
Last year, different Q-cards existed under GOALS including Toastmasters, Memoir Writing, Storytelling, Publish Writing and Camino Presentations. I am happy to say that I knocked off each one including three Camino presentations, a memoir writing course, a storytelling workshop and I have even had my writing published in John Rafferty’s new book called Camino to Santiago: a Spiritual Companion.
Short term goals are complete. Steps were taken and, through those steps, other paths opened up, such as opportunities to facilitate speaker presentations at three pilgrim gatherings, make important and inspiring connections in the local Camino community and train to be a hospitalera (hostess) in an albergue (pilgrim’s hostel) in Spain this June. I will volunteer in a special-to-me little medieval village called Grañon located along the 800 kilometer French Way. It’s the village where it became clear to me what my 2013 Camino journey was all about, Letting Go.
Not only do the Q-cards on my wall remind me to take steps towards my goals, but they also keep me thinking positively when bad things happen.
After injuring my knee last May to the point I couldn’t bend it for six weeks, I stuck two Q-cards to the wall beside my bed that say, “My body is strong” and “I am healing.” What was originally believed, by a surgeon and a physiotherapist, to be a meniscus tear showed up clear on the MRI scan eight months later aside from some softening of the cartilage under the knee cap.
Another Q-card stuck to my wardrobe says, “Make your life what you want it to be.” After all, we are the master of our own creation.
It’s been an enlightening experience here in Victoria full of steps and opportunities. It took only one step to move forward in a new direction and now when I look at Lao Tzu’s quote on the wall above my bedroom door, I smile and see just how far I’ve come.
Where my steps take me in the future remains to be seen, but with each one, I have faith that new opportunities will arise and new paths will open up.
I am creating the life that I want one step at a time.