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Carousel of Happiness


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I am sure that you all remember from your childhood the experience of riding a Carousel, what probably differs from country to country is the popular claims the speaker usually uses to gather clients around.

In Azenhas do Mar in Portugal where I grown up as a kid, the expression “One more token, one more ride, Carousel Alegria, babies don’t pay but they also don’t ride” become an institution in our vocabulary until today.

What I learned and kept from those days, was the incredible feeling that every new ride was truly unique, even if done together with the same friends, over and over. Those intensive minutes of pure happiness always comprised the fresh possibility that only new starts can give you.

After an endless winter of waiting and dreaming, the first Walking Mentorship group of 2017 is about to hit the road this weekend, and despite the promise to walk upon known paths, every new group brings always the incredible feeling of a new world of possibilities, just like a new ride in the Carousel of happiness.

There are moments in our life that we need to make time to ourselves in order to gain perspective and clarify the road ahead. Every day of our life is a token for a new ride and it is up to you to choose what you will do with such opportunity.    

If you like to walk in nature at your own pace and feel the need to continuously develop, Walking Mentorship might be the best thing you can offer to yourself – http://www.walkingmentorship.com    

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Yellowstone Resurrection


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When I first visit Yellowstone I was expecting to see the consequences of the largest wildfire recorded in the history of the Park, occurred three years before, in 1988. What started as many smaller individual fires, quickly spread out of control burning for several months. A total of 3,213 km2, or 36 percent of the park was affected.

Media across the world broadcasted that the Yellowstone they knew and loved was gone forever, a disaster impossible to recover.

When I entered the Park, what I saw there was quite different. The vegetation had adapted to the fire and in some cases showed to be dependent on it, meaning that such trouble created a landscape more diverse in age, more robust, reducing the probability of disease and fire spreading through large areas.

Did you ever thought what is the role of problems and challenges in your life? Do they block you or they become the trigger to renew your life, resuscitate your energy and refresh your capacity to accommodate change?   

Yellowstone is not a museum—it is a functioning ecosystem in which fire plays a vital role. What about you? Are you a museum or a living ecosystem? How are you managing the moments of transition in your life? Do you want to improve your current situation ? Time to resurrect yourself?

Walking Mentorship is an introspective journey combining the physical challenge of walking remarkable routes like the Camino of Santiago or the Via Francigena and a process to help you revise who you are now, where you want to go next an how you will go there.

Join us this summer! Learn more https://walkingmentorship.com

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Charyn Canyon


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In the beginning we were just the three of us, a Slovak, a German and a Portuguese. Gazing into the horizon and the uniqueness of Dolina Zamkov (Valley of Castles). Spring was all around us and the quietness of the Canyon was mind-blowing.

I was extremely happy to share such place with my friends, I knew the landmark itself would become more complete and filled with meaning once you experience it with others. Generosity and friendship are powerful multipliers.   

In a second, literally out of the blue, first one, followed by two, three and an all bunch of colourful hats, scarfs, toddlers, elderly and a legion of picnic bags and pans surrounded us by surprise.

I knew Kazakh families were big but this one was gigantic.

At first I could not hide the shock and frustration for such an abrupt change of scenery but shortly after I understood that something else was going on.

Without being able to communicate much more than a handful of awkward smiles and head nodding, the family encircled us and start setting up a banquet with a canyon view, and without asking we were part of it. 

No matter what language, race, religion or belief, generosity and friendship are indeed powerful multipliers, we just tend to believe that there is norm to follow before engaging with outsiders.   

From ancient times, one of the most distinctive feature of the Kazakh people was the hospitality, on that day I could reassure that. Looking at this picture always puts a tremendous smile in my heart, we are after all, a planet of immigrants.

The Charyn Canyon is situated in Kazakhstan, 200 kilometres east of Almaty, close to the Chinese border. The canyon is 80 or 90 kilometres in length. It is within the Charyn River valley and is part of the Charyn National Park,

The geological formation of the canyon is of sedimentary red sandstone which have been subject to the “atmogenic process” of water and wind erosion resulting in “weird and colourful formations” in the form of sculptures.

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El Yunque


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Once, while visiting the eastern tip of Cuba near the city of Baracoa I decided to leave behind the travel guidebook and walk for hours without any particular goal. After covering most of the bay at a slow pace, my mind finally started to clear and reaching some interesting thoughts.

With the evening drawing near, the coming nightfall triggered my interest to reach the end of the Malecón waterfront and see if there was some sort of vista to watch the sunset from.

After the last set of houses, not far from the remains of an old fort,I found the view portrayed on this picture – El Yunque – a 575-metre-high mountain located 7 km west of Baracoa in Cuba’s Guantanamo Province. It has a table mountain shape that resembles an anvil.

An anvil is a block with a hard surface on which another object is struck and in most cases is used as a forging tool. The higher the inertia of the anvil, the more efficiently it causes the energy of the striking tool to be transferred to the work piece.

I was fascinated by the simple idea, that my existence could be the work piece and the striking tool the challenges life was throwing at me.

I went back home with a couple of good questions in the air, who was the blacksmith and what was the anvil? It was never hard to relate the blacksmith with my own interpretation of the divine or the Creator, but the anvil was another story.

By the way, on a quality anvil the smith’s hammer should rebound with almost as much energy as the smith puts into the downward stroke, ultimately making the smith’s job easier and less physically strenuous.

You might be able to find an answer joining one of our programs – https://walkingmentorship.com/about/

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Galician “Laos”


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Along the Sanabres way, already close to Santiago de Compostela, there is a special place in a different time zone, its called Casa Leiras in the small village of Dornelas. If you are fortunate enough to find it, some views will never leave your mind.

The first couple of times I walked by I am afraid I either did not noticed the sign on the door or I was submersed in too heavy thoughts, until one day I stop and went inside.

When I close my eyes I still can sense the early morning breeze and Andrea looking into the horizon with his open arms saying  – This is my Laos, my Laos – I guess he was right.

People make places, but places also make people, and nothing is more powerful when both situations reshape the face of the planet. Casa Leiras its one of those. The place is run by a beautiful Italian family that managed to fool Earth´s rotation allowing everyone to live in GMT+ Love time.

If you want to join us in Spring on a visit to Dornelas, visit – http://www.walkingmentorship.com

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Avenue of the Giants


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The Redwood National Park is situated in California, United States, and contains one of the world’s largest old-growth forest of redwood trees, many of which grow to over 90m in height.
 
Back when I had the opportunity to walk among the “Giants” near Prairie Creek, the initial feeling of my insignificance was quickly replaced by breathless insights.
 
Trees remind me to look up while being deeply rooted and grounded, something I tend to forget. Despite the amount of different species or the density of the grove, trees always find a way to continue developing, grow and stand straight, most likely one of the best places to learn about coopetition.
 
I was deeply impressed when I understood the importance of being flexible in order to progress. Without the capacity to bend, trees would end up breaking and possibly dying or stop evolving.
I wonder how much more we can learn from our giant friends if we were able to listen.
By the way, Avenue of the Giants is also the name of a scenic highway running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, not far from this story.
 
If you would like to know more about the Walking Mentorship – http://www.walkingmentorship.com
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Mount of Forgiveness


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The Mount of Forgiveness (Alto del Perdón) is located 10km from Pamplona in Navarra (Spain), it is about 750 metres above sea level and hard to forget once you reach the top.

The climb is gradual and you need to walk at your own pace, just like the act of forgiveness.

Many people collect stones along the way to remind them about the burdens they are carrying, it helps turn moments, people and actions into something more tangible.

Some of the rocks stay at the summit, some stay along the route on human-made piles and some return home until forgiveness is achieved. Do you need to forgive someone ? Do you need to forgive yourself ? Take a walk in the coming days and leave few stones along the way, it might be a good experience.

If you would like to know more about the Walking Mentorship – www.walkingmentorship.com