During my teenage years, I had a pretty conflicting relationship with time.
I was constantly seeing interesting things around me and as a consequence, I easily lost track of the minutes and especially where I should be next.
Missing the notion of time can be a great feeling when you are exploring a new city, talking with a friend or reading an amazing book, but it can also get you into serious trouble.
In the summer of 1993, I joined a wonderful group of people in what turned out to be my first long pilgrimage. Curiously we started our journey where many people usually finish, in Santiago de Compostela in Spain and went all the way to the Pyrenees.
Fortunately, something happens twenty-six years ago
that somehow help me change my perspective about time and I actually start paying a different type of attention to each moment of my life.
In one of the last days of our incredible trip, the group was about to leave Lourdes in France when I remembered I was missing to take with me a few gifts to my family.
Since I could see the group from a distance, in my mind it wouldn’t take more than five minutes. I told one of my friends that I would join them shortly and rush to a little store nearby.
Sadly, the few minutes turned (again) into many more and when I walked back I could not find them. It was shocking at first and very scary as the minutes unfold in front of me. Back in 1993 when mobile phones were just a mirage of the future, there was not much I could do, except to start thinking.
Obviously, I was the one to blame and I could hear myself promising that If I would manage to get out of such a bad situation I would change something in my life (sounds familiar?).
After thirty minutes of desperation, I end up running into my company, which was just a few meters away from the place I last saw them. They were not very happy with me, especially the sister that was supervising the group.
For a couple of hours, the silence around me was about to blow my ears until the lady I mentioned before approach me. She stared at me, and told me with a profound voice that I should be careful with my life or I would be late for heaven.
I was confused with her words, so I tried to unwind the atmosphere replying that I was very young and not planning to die any time soon. She did not laugh or react the way I was expecting.
She touched my arm, and my anxiety disappeared. She added :
João, heaven is here. Every day and every minute is a gate that grants you access to paradise.
Our journey as a group continued but my life was moved radically into a different direction and I cannot be more grateful.
Do you know where is your heaven?
If you need help to slow down, gain perspective and take action, join me this Spring or Summer. The Walking Mentorship Survival Kit** will take you on a journey towards the best version of yourself. Have a wonderful March.
🚶Keep walking with me
João Perre Viana
Founder of Walking Mentorship
* Pilgrim – A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey (usually on foot) to a special place.
** Survival Kit – It is the usual name given in each program to the Walking Mentorship methodology.