Why focus on pilgrimages and why the Camino de Santiago?
The transformational journeys to self, facilitated and harnessed by my work are most powerfully undertaken on established pilgrimage routes such as El Camino De Santiago (The Road to Santiago/The Way of St. James) in Northern Spain and Portugal. There are extensions to this route and variations which stretch throughout Europe. The word 'camino' means 'road' in Spanish. With regard to the UK I have previously focused on routes such as the Wye Valley Walk in Wales and the West of England, the Michael and Mary Line (particularly the stretch between Glastonbury and Avebury), but I am increasingly distanced from the UK, and have no plans to run pilgrimages there in the near future. Plans are though taking shape to extend the reach of Beallyouare to other pilgrimage routes around the world, such as the Lycian Way in Turkey, various routes in South America, and the Canary Islands, which is a periodic base for me, along with Galicia. This page focuses mostly on the journey to self facilitated by walking the Camino.
There is great international enthusiasm for walking these ancient routes. Far from being a Catholic or Christian pilgrimage, they are thought of as being a more broadly spiritual undertaking in Spain and have their roots in a Celtic journey towards the setting sun at one of the Westernmost points of the European mainland. In fact, when one arrives in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the similarities between the people of this region, and their culture, and that of the Celtic nations is unmistakable. I like to focus on the communication of the route's Celtic origins, its natural power, its remarkable 'journey to self' effect and its wonderfully inclusive present. One must, however, take care to not fall into doing what everyone else does!
By undertaking this 5-6 week walk, people coming from all over the world commit to a journey of profound personal transformation. With an existing infrastructure already in place, a choice of routes and the ability to stay overnight in dorms known as albergues, walkers (& cyclists too!) are able to carry only the bare essentials and experience the magic of a simple pilgrim, freed from everyday tasks and able to fully internalize the effects of this great and famous journey. The well developed infrastructure allows for adventures on restricted budgets, and with the extremely varied terrain, cosmopolitan and international cross section of people and choice of routes, there is something for everyone.
People begin the Camino for many reasons. In fact, at times on the way, you are asked to fill out a form at some of the albergues and monasteries stating why you are attempting the pilgrimage; for religious or spiritual reasons, for sporting or recreational reasons, as a tourist, and so on. No matter what reason pilgrims have for walking the way, it becomes, unmistakably, a journey to self, that is if you open yourself up to that. This is a fabulous opportunity to ignore the noise and listen to your own truth, free of attachment to the opinions of others. Those who have walked it many times will tell you, "what you will find at the end of the Camino is yourself".
I am also the visionary designer of an organization called All You Are, or AYA. You can find the online strategy for that here: https://jamiecshaw.wixsite.com/allyouare There is also a page dedicated to All You Are on this website - which is here. From AYA's point of view, the opportunity provided by the Camino to establish a structured entity with a far reaching impact is undeniable. It is truly superb ground to plant the seed for an international body such as All You Are. The existing market is enormous, people already on the Camino, people planning to do it, transformational education programs looking for ways to inspire their students, and people who've already done it and are looking for a reason to do it again. The inner work done on this pilgrimage, together with the intense experience provided (each Camino is like a lifetime condensed into just a few weeks), helps to trigger or consolidate each individual's unique vision. The power of the various Caminos is there to be harnessed. AYA will show how going deeper inward aligns us with our birth vision and brings into our consciousness our inner callings, there to be realized in action. This, in turn, awakens our social potential, positioning us in the right context to bring these visions into reality. Our inner work can, with a supporting infrastructure in place, outwardly manifest.