Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Camino Walk in Spain: A journey of forgiveness

Walking the Camino for Forgiveness

Camino Pilgrims land in Madrid
Camino Pilgrims land in Madrid

Camino Pilgrims land in Madrid

The “Camino Happens After the Camino”

As many of you know, a group of twenty walked many kilometers of the camino in Northern Spain in late April. It was a journey of forgiveness and at the end of the walk, all petitions of mistakes and more were released in a healing ritual held in the St James Cathedral in Santiago. The light that surrounded and filled us still leaves me in awe of God’s love.

IMG 2170

So many paths to find God

A Powerful Moment

Choosing love and forgiveness allows you to reclaim your power and own the real you, diminishes the self absorption necessary to haunt yourself with past mistakes and wipes the slate clean to end the stories of self recrimination that demand punishment. This powerful moment happens any time you choose forgiveness over self-punishment and allows you to move forward with an unburdened heart ready to hear the call of Spirit.

IMG 7358

Pastoral countryside in Spain

A Higher Purpose

Walking the beautiful countryside with outdoor dining and gentle inner reflection was an adventure. Our lives are the result of many decisions made each day. Each moment is an opportunity to choose differently, to choose a higher vibration, to seek guidance and even ask for help to become a better version of who we were yesterday.

Perservering for a higher purpose, even those with some of the largest and most painful blisters on determined feet I’ve ever seen, (and that’s coming from an ER/trauma nurse), not only finished the walk, but even walked many extra kilometers to help another.

IMG 8741

Healing requires a contract

Our journey began…

with each walker committing to honor themselves and allow forgiveness to enter their hearts and minds. From there, angelic signs greeted us repeatedly, intuitive knowings became more clear and walkers made life-altering decisions that would shape their futures. Such a reminder that healing requires a contract; we can’t simply ask for help or healing or forgiveness, we must also be willing to receive it.

IMG 5912

Journey of Forgiveness

Buon Camino!

Each day we explored the nooks and crannies of the route to gather more stamps for our Compostela, or the Pilgrim’s Passport. Small churches tucked away behind a sheep pasture seemed to be routine, and pastoral paths led us to meet supportive townspeople, and other walkers from around the globe. The universal greeting to fellow pilgrims “buon camino,” rang out amidst the forests, the towns, the small chapels and yes, the small taverns that greeted sore feet and thirsty travelers.


The Camino Path brought many surprises

Sleeping with Gratitude

Walking the Camino was a gentle opportunity to be braver, kinder and happier. Asking for help, being open to miraculous happenings, expressing gratitude and paying attention to the signs around you, can transform your day. Try approaching your day with graciousness, patience and kindness, rather than something different and less enjoyable. It’s always your choice.

The ten hour days on the trail may sound like a lot, but they were lightened with mystical happenings, angelic signs, new friends, determination, a focus and care for others and tons of humor. It was a choice to support and help one another, and to seek out the light in each situation. And at the end of the day there was still laughter, love, and intimate conversation, and THEN, the pilgrims slept!

IMG 2908 1

Ready for Guidance

A Personal Decision

Walking the Camino is clearly an individual and very personal decision. For me, it started with a moment of guidance to carry petitions for forgiveness from around the globe. The message was clear: we cannot continue to put ourselves down or hold on to our past mistakes because these actions stop us from being whole. These actions keep us centered around ourselves and not others, and these actions stand in the way of us answering a call to action by God.

Consider getting guidance to help out a neighbor, but your past missteps remind you that you are not worthy or good enough to be a helper of one in need; in fact you actually feel like a fraud imitating a good and caring person. Forgiveness allows us to shift our focus from ourselves to others. What a great way to be of service in the world, if only to extend kindness and a smile.

FullSizeRender 7

The smile? Priceless!

Healing Power of Love

This journey was filled with so much kindness and care for each other as we walked that the healing power of love was clearly evident. But more than the miles was the emotional and spiritual journey that played out for each person; it is clear that walking the Camino brings out what is inside of you in a clear and distinct way. If one is judgmental that ugliness is exaggerated, but if one is kind and generous, those acts seem to take on greater meaning and effect.

For those willing to let go of self judgements, criticisms or berating thoughts, the personal transformations were miraculous. No one can forget the picture of the shaft of beatific light radiating to the center of a group of walkers gathering for a photograph, a divine confirmation of the importance of this journey for each of them.

IMG 8747

Fun does not require permission!

Inspiration, Resilience and Love

I have to share one more story because I am as proud as a peacock!

One student walked despite an injury to his achilles, inspiring us all with his courage and determination. I had intuitively seen that he needed to walk the Camino five years prior in a workshop on the East Coast, knowing it would transform him and indeed it did. But what he brought to the group was equally amazing; his grit and resilience lifted us all. He walked with an injury but without complaint; he walked with a smile and watched out for the needs of others. I hope that one day you get to meet this special person.

IMG 7564

St. James Cathedral, Santiago Spain

There are so many amazing stories from the walk. But there are even more stories from after the walk. Miraculous moments, fantastic new self-knowledge and awareness, mystical happenings and angelic signs continue to occur after returning home.

That’s why they say, “the Camino happens after the Camino.”

Bravo, to all who walked this journey. You have given a beautiful gift of healing. I’ve received so many emails from people who can feel the forgiveness and love and are no longer haunted by their past mistakes; their thoughts are turned to the present and toward others, rather than being self-absorbed with their past.

And a big thank you to all who prayed for us; I know your prayers kept spirits high and laughter in abundance. –Christel

Preventive medicine to reduce stress

conflict, stress and authenticity

As an emergency/trauma nurse in New York City’s busiest hospitals, I saw firsthand the profound damage from illness caused by energy draining conflicts.

Conflict causes stress which burdens the adrenal glands and overworks your immune system. In my energy speak, I say that conflict “lowers your vibration.”

Each illness has a specific low vibration—it’s how I tell them apart and can discern diabetes from an under active thyroid or cancer. I am sensing and Reading the vibration in your body. So naturally, we want to keep our vibration as high and healthy as possible.

Feeling caught in an ongoing tug of war between the life affirming messages from your spirit—clearly intent upon your highest good, and the unconscious programming and rules about what you are supposed to want and how you should behave, can significantly lower your vibration.

These rules—learned throughout your life, were often taught with good intentions from elders and caregivers. Rules like a strong man doesn’t cry, or a good woman takes care of her family before herself, not only limit your authenticity, but can also limit your exceptionality and even cause you to disregard your needs.

Needing to express your grief and pain with tears, or wanting to take care of yourself shouldn’t cause a battle inside of you, or make you feel like something is wrong with you just because you need or want something slightly out of the norm.

These internal conflicts are sometimes hard to spot. Yes, your stomach might churn, a headache might visit, or even a tiredness may overtake you, as you dread making a final decision.

While the physical symptoms are easy to notice, especially in the middle of the night when there are fewer distractions from your supposed no-win situation, there are ways to deal with the conflict before you get the headache. Here are a few steps to help you diagnose and resolve a conflict before your body gets your attention. It’s a form of preventive medicine.

Step 1:

Listen for tell-tale words in your vocabulary. If you hear yourself saying such phrases as “I should…I have to…I’m supposed to…I must….I have no choice…,” it is a sure sign that you’re doing something not because you want to, but because you feel it’s expected of you.

It’s time to sit still and ask yourself, “what is my Truth; do I really want to go to dinner with my friend [who leaves me drained] or would I rather take time for myself to rest and recharge?”

Step 2:

Check in with yourself and get real about your feelings. What do you truly want to do? Stay home? And does that make you feel guilty? [more about that guilt in a moment]. Feeling guilty is a clear sign you are perched between a rock and a hard place and stress is beginning to build.

Step 3:

Identify your limiting tribal belief that’s behind your stress. I recommend you get a copy of my book, “Sacred Choices,” and you will easily see the beliefs that are causing your guilt. Limiting beliefs such as “a good friend stays loyal, especially if you’ve been friends for a long time, or they’ve been there for you during a difficult time and you owe them” can make you feel torn when you are tired and need to stay home and rest. Your heart yearns for rest, but your head says “Just suck it up and go, even if it leaves you feeling tired and drained. You can rest later.”

Let me warn you that in the beginning it can feel difficult to step away from what you believe others want or expect from you, and instead, listen to your growing spirit that knows what would make you happy.

And you might create a karfufle or two. You are breaking age-old rules and that scares people. You may get push back, criticism, or judgement from others when you go off script. What will your tribe think of you? Will they think you are rebellious and perhaps even a bad person to step out of the mold and think such thoughts?

Possibly, but I’ll applaud you because it surely puts you in good company. Did you know that at one time society believed the world was flat and that women could not be good surgeons because they were too emotional?

One at a time, the risk takers are guiding our future to a higher level. Are you one of those courageous and authentic people who are willing to take a risk and speak your truth to help our world evolve?

I am because I know that well-behaved women [and men] rarely make history.

Someone has to step out of the mold for us to embrace our exceptionality and grow as a society. The more exceptional people we have, the faster our world evolves.

Preventive medicine to reduce stress
Preventive medicine to reduce stress

To help you change your Limiting Tribal Beliefs and find your exceptionality, I am putting my CD “Tribal Beliefs Limit Your Exceptionality” on super sale for only $5 plus shipping. To order, go to www.christelnani/products and enter in code “freedom.”