In a distant July, I felt at a crossroads, a time coinciding with the beginning of the new Millenium. A good friend of mine suggested to make a stop and join him on a solo walk. Hesitant at first, I understood that being away for more than a month could qualify as a first step to escape from the things I didn’t like.
A few weeks before leaving, I decided to visit the Man that spiritually guided my younger years and beyond. He was my Boyscouts chief, celebrated my marriage and baptized my two oldest sons. At that time, Padre José de Freitas had passed the mid-eighties mark already. For everyone that got the privilege to know him, it was impossible not to take valuable advice and nuggets of wisdom in every interaction.
We had a brief conversation where I explained the challenges I was going through, the route I was planning to cover, and asked him for advice. I hoped it could help cure my doubts and show me the road ahead.
Since I was planning to make notes along my journey, I took with me a brand new diary and asked him to write the first pages with whatever he believed could be useful to inspire my inner voyage.
Before departing, I returned to pick up my diary. While at the door, Padre Freitas grabbed my hand and held it firmly, not letting it go, capturing my full attention. He repeated the words I found later in the opening of my book.
“Walking becomes a pilgrimage when we contemplate the eternal Pilgrim, invisible in itself but visible in the wonders that we discover in every step we take. A pilgrim is never lonesome, never feels crushed by loneliness, but instead, he savors the different shades of God’s presence continuously.” adding:
” If you come across someone, don’t forget to be everything you can be to everybody!.”
Almost 20 years later, when I look at the journal of that trip, I can see where the methodology I use in the Walking Mentorship programs, coined Survival Kit, starts to take shape. I also noticed the fruits I am ripping from the seeds planted by my friend during our Solo Walk, most likely one of the most influential mentoring experiences I had in my life.
We often hear that you cannot be everything to everybody, it sounds correct. But I guess we can always be everything we can be…to everybody, one step at a time!
If you think you are at a crossroads or just need the time to step back and gain perspective into your life. It probably makes sense to look into the upcoming Walking Mentorship programs. They exist among other things to help you think better! If you missed the last 0,00KM article, you can always listen to Spotify. A podcast for people that are walking towards the best version of themselves.
Purpose Review | Camino de Santiago | 18-26
Keep walking with me
Joao Perre Viana
Founder of Walking Mentorship
* The expression “Be everything you can be to everybody!” was indeed a trademark from Monsenhor José de Freitas, a Man that touched and changed the lives of thousands of people.
** The top picture was taken during a Boyscouts camp, in the middle of the eighties:)