As the days pass, we jump from one virus to another illness. Statues are being removed and personal opinions executed by social media pelotons without mercy. It is increasingly difficult to conciliate divergent views on almost any topic. Hope seems to be in danger of extinction. Before you make up your mind, let me share a story with you.
Thanks to the quarantine, we have been holding virtual meetings with different Walking Mentorship groups from different years. Besides the pleasure of seeing each other, it is exciting to understand how our lives have evolved since we have walked together.
We heard stories about different accomplishments. Family developments, babies, new jobs, books on the making, and many other signs that, when we want, life never stops amazing us.
In one of the groups,
we had two participants who had the same name but came from two different countries. Curiously, their nations were at war when we walked together the program in the Camino de Santiago.
Another interesting divergence was the fact that from one side, one lady developed a brilliant sports career as a freediver, becoming a reference and a champion in her home country. And the other women had a traumatic experience while swimming at a young age, and since that day, when she almost has drawn, never set foot again near the water.
What can be more challenging, when you have two persons looking at the same reality with such opposing feelings? The water element is pretty much neutral. The way you perceive it is not. You are your history, culture, and education.
I cannot think of a better example
to help me understand the situation we are currently living in the world. Division, cruelty, hypocrisy. The cherry on top of the cake, the weak and wicked world leaders in so many countries.
I remembered that in that specific group, the two ladies I mentioned had a tough starting point at the beginning of the week. Nevertheless, instead of fueling their differences, they decided to walk side by side. Their lives shift into a spiral of emotions, moving forward at 3 or 4 kilometers per hour, together with our group.
Over the years, I have come to learn that when you move side by side with another person, it becomes much more than a physical movement.
It develops into a dialogue between two souls at the deepest level, even when mouths are shut. Real communication happens more easily when silence fills in the air in our lungs.
During our walk, I remember to look back at the participants and beg inside my head for a successful outcome. You never really know what is happening inside each one heart. There is an infinite dimension in these experiences.
Back to our Zoom call,
we did a round-up where everyone shared the highlights since the day we were together, which in our case traces back to 2018.
When we reached one of the ladies in our story, the one afraid of the water to be more precise, we learned something surprising. She was so inspired by the personal example of her counterpart, that she decided to face her fears and start freediving as well.
She mentioned a life-changing event. Where her insecurities, freedom and inner peace all came together under the same roof. A house we know very little about and respect even less, our Oceans.
It was an extraordinary moment. Looking at those faces and acknowledging our lives’ impact when we are open to understanding our differences. When we are willing to listen and learn from the fringe of our experiences, we can turn our fears into bridges towards the best version of ourselves.
I am so grateful for witnessing such an episode that illustrates the power of real connection between people. No matter their backgrounds, race, religion, or opinions.
Maybe we all have to walk side by side, as long as we need it, to finally start listening with our hearts. From my side, I will continue walking with you.
If you think you are ready to take the road less traveled, where the destination is always you, the Walking Mentorship is back on the road in the second half of the year :
– Parents & Kids (Galician Coast) 1-8 August (2 places)
– Destination You (Camino de Santiago) 3-11 Oct (group full)
– Destination You (Costa Vicentina) 17-24 Oct (4 places)
– Slow Down (Alqueva Lake) 29 Oct-01 Nov (8 places)
– Slow Down (Rota Teresiana) 7-14 Nov (1 place)
Should We Walk Together?
Walking Mentorship is a passion project. A labor of Love that we hope helps you gain deeper insight and equips you to create a meaningful impact in your life and the ones around you. How can we work together?
At WM, we try to keep things simple by offering Online and Outdoor mentoring programs. If you’re interested, you can look into more detail on our website, or let’s jump on a call to see what is the best fit for you. Click here to schedule a call. Until then,
Keep walking with me,
João Perre Viana
Founder of Walking Mentorship