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This May I stepped onto the Camino de Santiago in Spain to complete a solitary pilgrimage of discovery. I was given an opportunity to review my life and received the gift of insight into lifelong patterns that were set into motion long ago. I chose to walk the Camino to help my transition from retirement to the next productive phase of my life. Why the Camino de Compostela in Spain and not some other trek or adventure? Well I wanted to learn from the spiritual people who traveled before me. The Camino has been traveled by millions of people since 800 AD. As I walked over the well-worn paths, I could feel their strength, their trials and their wisdom. I discovered that if you know what your passion in life is, that others will gather to help you reach that goal. I experienced that kind of support on the Camino from strangers from over twenty countries, locals, and from the spirits of others that walked before me. A fellow pilgrim wrote, "I am going on the Camino once again, looking for something I left behind or perhaps never found. It's like coming home."

Day 1 on the Camino.

I stepped out into the rain and onto the path that so many before me had traveled. I wasn't sure where I would sleep or eat... I was starting "anew" by reflecting on the past and making some decisions about the future. I didn't want old patterns or fears to hold me back or let me make unconscious decisions for the future any more...

This was the first pattern I identified: Try to make others happy whenever one can...

Pattern 2: Try your very best not to be any trouble or ask for what you need. This is the only way to help when you are little and the family is having problems...

Pattern 3: When you are in trouble, let other people fight your battles...

I started private kindergarten at age five and met my lifelong friend, Pam. We have now been friends for 50 years...

Pattern 4: Leave home/run away if things get tough at home.

Pam and I did everything together! We were in the same classrooms in Kindergarten, first, second, and third grades. It was such a comforting stability in my life. We joined Campfire Girls, played jacks, had birthday parties and did everything that little girls do... we discovered the Beatles together and played records and sang for hours. I still dream about Pam's house. The funny thing is Pam has such fond memories of my house and says that she still has dreams about it.

Pam and I went to camp near Las Vegas, New Mexico and we both fell in love with New Mexico. I visited NM with my family, too. We had an old log cabin in Rudiso, NM. I slept in the quilt box and we had only oil lanterns for lighting. I loved the simplicity and running in the woods and playing in the river. My family rented a horse one summer and I rode this giant horse with my dad and I do believe it was one of the happiest moments of my childhood...

Pattern 5: I developed a life-long love for animals and for New Mexico.

I have memories at this age of "looking for God."... I recently asked my mom about this and she said, "You were interested in spiritual things from a very early age. You always asked... Where does God live?"

Pattern 6: There is a god, but you have to go and find him!

SONG: "Turn, Turn, Turn"

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