What if one step is all you can take?
It takes just one step in the right direction.
It was a dream of mine to walk “The Camino,” the pilgrim route across Spain. I held that dream for years. But in February after quitting my job, I took the step of following that dream, packed a rucksack and headed out the door for Spain.
One step, but we both know taking that first step can be the hardest.
I’m back. Well, almost all of me, is now back in England.
There is a part of me that will be forever mingled with the millions of people who’ve walked “The Camino” starting by taking one step, in the right direction, from St Jean Pied de Port in Southern France. Over the last 1000 years or more, many people for no end of reasons took one step that started an 800km walk that ends in the cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain.
We share a common story, those pilgrims and I. We share the days we silently stood in wondrous awe of vistas indescribable. Like a connected and continual faith community, we both experienced intense moments sensing the eternal spiritually of temporal places, where soaked deep into stone walls and wooden crosses were uncountable prayers and petitions to an Immortal God.
We have a common understanding developed from days when mountain paths and hidden horizons, cut deeper into our resolve than the straps of a far too heavy rucksack cut deep into shoulders. Days when the path was far too steep, far too long, and far too hot. We share common sadness when stopping at poignant roadside memorials displaying a name and a date, we ponder on a pilgrim who had finished their pilgrim walk in life at that point.
We share a common story. The dust off their boots, now combined with the dust off mine. The blood of their falls, now combined with the blood of mine. The kindness of strangers to them combined with the humble gratitude of strangers kindness to me.
The rucksack is stored on the shelf in the garage. I am still unpacking the impact of those 37 days spent walking. I think I will be for a while yet.
You and I too share a common story. We both know that taking one step to start on the road to a new endeavour can be scary. After most of my years working for other people, I’m now taking the step of setting up in business only own being an executive coach, speaker, public speaking coach and author. While I’ve done all those roles for many years, taking the step to do them on my own, is a big one, it’s the toughest one.
Being a leader, executive coach and mentor has taught me many things about personal resolve, the will to persist, holding a vision, a destination in your mind and focusing your energy on reaching that goal. The time on the Camino taught me how to take those lessons and character traits and apply them in a radically different way. I could try to explain it (and will endeavour in future posts) in many ways, but can sum it up simple in this way.
One step. Some days, it took all my resolve to take just one more step. What if one step is all you can take? You take one step, one step in the right direction. And then another … and another, one step at a time.
800km – 1 million steps – all one step at a time. Faced with the view ahead of a steep climb or perilous descent that would strain the legs and jar the knees, one step.
You can only walk the Camino one step at a time.
You can only live life, one step at a time.
It’s knowing when to take that step and when to stop, when pause, when to push on. When you need to realign, and when you need to push your head down and keep taking that one step in the right direction when everything else within you shouts – enough! You can still take one step… and then you take another.
I hope that you will continue to journey with me in this new season of my life. Maybe you and I can have that in common?
This week I heard a song by Gary Barlow and the words spoke deeply about this season. Gary’s right, the first step is the hardest, but the second feels a bit tough right now too!
If you want a better view,
Then another life is calling you to
Go ahead and try now
Or how you gonna find out
If life has got predictable
Go on do something wonderful
The first step is the hardest
“Jump” by Gary Barlow (see video below)