Ep #108 Wisdom On The Camino – A Journey of Faith and Self Forgiveness
Ep#108 Today’s episode spotlights an extraordinary woman, Kathleen Donnely Israel, whose spiritual journey took root and blossomed over the course of the 17 years that she cared for her husband who had Parkinson’s disease. It was during this time that she studied spiritual healing from many enlightened thought leaders and teachers and went on to become a certified Transformational Breathing Facilitator and Theta Healer.
When her husband died in 2018, Kathleen at the age of 69, made the 500 mile pilgrimage through Spain known as the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, an ancient trail originating in medieval times.
People from all walks of life take this adventure for different reasons, but many like Kathleen walk to connect and discover a deeper meaning in life, to spiritually connect with nature or themselves, find answers to deep questions.
Kathleen documented her courageous adventure in her first book, Wisdom on the Camino sharing her story of lessons learned in faith, forgiveness and self reliance. Kathleen’s story is an inspiration on so many levels. She’s a beautiful example of the deep vitality that comes from cultivating resilience, an open heart and ever curious mind.
Recommended Resource: https://graceandlightness.com/hooponopono-hawaiian-prayer-for-forgiveness/
Visit Kathleen’s Website: https://www.wisdomonthecamino.com
Welcome to the soul science nutrition podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine OKC.
Christine Okezie (23s):
Hello, and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for listening. Today’s episode spotlights an extraordinary woman, Kathleen Donnelley Israel whose spiritual journey took root and blossomed over the course of the 17 years that she cared for her husband who had Parkinson’s disease. It was during this time that she studied spiritual healing from many enlightened thought leaders and teachers, and went on to become a certified transformational breathing facilitator and theta healer. When her husband died in 2018, Kathleen at the age of 69, made the 500 mile pilgrimage through Spain known as the Camino de Santiago or the way of Saint James, an ancient trail originating in medieval times, people from all walks of life, take this adventure for different reasons, but many light Kathleen walked to connect and discover a deeper meaning in life to spiritually connect with nature or themselves, or perhaps find answers to deep questions while Kathleen documented her courageous adventure in her first book wisdom on the Camino, sharing her story of lessons learned and forgiveness self-reliance and self-compassion Kathleen story is an inspiration on so many levels for me.
Christine Okezie (1m 40s):
I was so uplifted by her overall resilience, open heart and ever curious mind. So I can’t wait for you to listen to this wonderful conversation with Kathleen. And if you do like it, you know, please feel free to visit apple podcast and share your thoughts and leave a rating and review. And if you haven’t already hit the subscribe button I in remind you to do so. So you don’t miss an episode. Thanks so much for listening everyone and enjoy the episode. Hello, Kathleen. It’s so good to meet you. Welcome.
Kathleen (2m 10s):
Christine Okezie (2m 15s):
So Kathleen let’s jump right in. You know, why did you decide to walk the Camino?
Kathleen (2m 22s):
Well, I had been taking care of my husband for so many years. He was totally disabled in 2011 and then he died in 2018. So I was just so I couldn’t do anything and, you know, separate stay home and take care of him. And so I, I developed a dream that I would love to walk the Camino when my, my girlfriend did it in 2013. And so it just, I D it just kind of replaced my dreams of what my husband and I would do, you know, in our retirement, because that obviously wasn’t going to happen.
Kathleen (3m 6s):
And so after he died, I was just like, okay, well, I, you know, after I got over a few months of, you know, that was awful. And, and then I thought, okay, in January, I thought I’m just gonna start accumulating all the things I need. And I got my airfare in April and, you know, I just, it was to fulfill, you know, replace the dream I had with my husband. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (3m 37s):
Yes, yes. Thank you. Okay. And what was it about the Camino, like, you know, specifically, did you have, did you, did you know when you heard about it from your girlfriend, what was it about the, that particular pilgrimage or destination that really spoke to you?
Kathleen (3m 53s):
Yeah, because I never thought I would want to go to Spain. It wasn’t on my list at all. And, but she, I, I got to listen about it on Facebook when she just told everybody what she was going through when she was over there. And, and I just, it felt like she was doing something really special. And I, she was my girlfriend, our friends when grade school and
Christine Okezie (4m 23s):
Kathleen (4m 25s):
Used to walk to school together. And I thought, oh, Judy’s over there. And I want to, I want to do that too. Yeah. And it’s a holy pilgrimage to, and, and I’m Catholic, so that worked and there you go. Yeah. So yeah, it was, that’s why I wanted to do it is because it was a holy pilgrimage and it was special. And,
Christine Okezie (4m 50s):
Yeah. So, you know, you, you mentioned in your work that, you know, you’ve, for quite some time you’ve been studying and learning from, you know, thought leaders and leaders in the spiritual community, you know, seekers on the path or, you know, wisdom, tradition, and, and all of that. Tell us a little bit about that.
Kathleen (5m 9s):
Yes. I, you know, I had a lot of trauma from my childhood and, you know, I got married right after I, you know, after I left my parents’ house, I went to my husband’s house. And, and so just living kind of a life, the person lives when they have post-traumatic stress disorder. And I was just doing the best I could, but when I had to stay home and take care of Iran, I ended up with the evenings free and I could go online and just, God was just sending me all these teachers. And, and I couldn’t believe it. I, I just, like, I would buy their little program for $78 or something like that.
Kathleen (5m 52s):
And then I would just do the whole thing until I got kind of antsy and then God would send me another one and I would buy their program. And it just like that for so many years. And after a while, I felt like I knew some stuff, you know, and I synthesize from all those teachers, things that I believe were important to me
Christine Okezie (6m 16s):
In your healing. Okay.
Kathleen (6m 18s):
And then when I was on the Camino, I told people about those things. Cause you know, you sit and talk about what you care about people. And maybe I was able to help some people with some ideas that I had. And, and that just meant a lot to me. So when I got home, I wanted to write a book about those teachings and I thought, oh, I told everybody that on the Camino. So I wrote my book about walking the Camino and, and T you know, writing,
Christine Okezie (6m 53s):
Sharing your wisdom. Yeah. Thank you. So maybe before we get into the, into the details of your trip, which is so beautifully told, and this in your, in your book, you know, what are some of the themes that really helped you or the, or the teachings that helped you heal your trauma, heal your past and, you know, take each into, into a space where you could, you know, again, find the courage and the inspiration to go do this pilgrimage. Right.
Kathleen (7m 21s):
Right. Well, one of the, one of the things I learned was Ho’oponopono it’sa Hawaiian healing technique for the family. And I, I went through and I, I learned it and I used it and I got to the point where I was feeling shame because it, it starts out. I love you. And then all the, I love you. So you can think of like, I love God, God loves me. God loves them wherever they are, I’m having a trouble with. And they love God. And I love the, you know, all the, all the, I love yous you can think of.
Kathleen (8m 1s):
And then I’m sorry, and it’s not, I’m sorry I did anything, but I’m sorry. This situation exists.
Christine Okezie (8m 8s):
Kathleen (8m 10s):
And please forgive me. And it’s not for give me for what I did or anything, but it’s forgive me for what’s going on in me that caused me to attract this problem. Obviously I’m attracted this problem. And these people are being idiots for me, but you know what, I’m attracting idiots right now. So what do you, what do you expect? And, and then thank you for showing me this. So I could heal as if this thing didn’t happen. I wouldn’t see my brokenness, so I couldn’t heal it. And, and then, and when I said that, it just, I felt it wash me like it washed out all the things that need to be forgiven because I, because I attracted it, you know, I don’t need to forgive this person.
Kathleen (8m 58s):
They’re just doing what they do. And I attracted this. And then the big, I love you again. I love God, God loves me. God loves that other person.
Christine Okezie (9m 10s):
Yeah, no, I mean, that’s a very powerful practice and I’ll be sure to include that in the show notes for people who are not familiar with, with that Hawaiian blessing and then the wisdom mind, and it is very healing. And I liked in your book specifically, how you kind of make it work for you. And I thought that was a really a useful way to make it resonate deeper for you. And that was to eliminate, as you mentioned, any kind of hint of shame or self-blame right. Cause we all know how toxic and not good that is, right.
Kathleen (9m 44s):
Yeah. For toxic people who, you know, are so hurt and, and then they all this forgiveness that they have to do because they need to forgive all these people that were mean to them.
Christine Okezie (9m 56s):
Kathleen (9m 57s):
It’s hard. It’s really hard. But when you, when you realized you attracted them in, then all of a sudden it, I, I prefer to not be a victim. That’s what makes me feel better.
Christine Okezie (10m 12s):
Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. And that’s, that’s such a key piece, right. Is feeling like a victim or living in that victim mindset keeps us stuck. Right. And it doesn’t allow us to see the lesson or the opportunity to shift and learn and grow. And it’s interesting when you, you, you did you, that really I’m, I’m staying on this because when I read this part in the book where you shared the kind of your, your aspiration or your prayer was, you know, please allow me to release that, which is in me that attracted this situation. And it’s so useful. It’s so good because, and I want to just distinguish, because I don’t know, in this sort of new, spiritual, new age stuff, you know, I attracted, I attracted.
Christine Okezie (10m 57s):
So it’s more, you made the distinction. There’s something in me that needs healing. Therefore it magnetised a situation for me to heal it, to see it and then decide, and then consciously right. Decide how I want to work and heal it. So it’s, it’s a really a powered place to see our experience. Yeah.
Kathleen (11m 24s):
And so when I was feeling, I was feeling shame. I like, I’m doing this wrong. There’s something wrong here. And then when I, when I got to the, please forgive me, then I, then I added in, I forgive me and I forgive it up. And so when I did that, I felt like I had this refrigerator sized pain that just came out of me and went up to God. And I don’t know, it was, it was so amazing. And that night that I did that I was on vacation with my husband and I just spent, and you know, like when you’re trying to sleep and you can’t sleep and your monkey mind springing in all these things that you
Christine Okezie (12m 8s):
Kathleen (12m 9s):
Not happy. And so every time one of them would come in, I, I would be like, okay, did I do the whole one upon or over again with it? And I would give it up and wow. All night long. I mean, I don’t know how I existed the next day. Cause I didn’t sleep that night. Right.
Christine Okezie (12m 26s):
Well, you were clearing so much stuff. It’s
Kathleen (12m 31s):
Such a gift.
Christine Okezie (12m 32s):
Thank you. So, so that is, you know, how many so-so that was going through. That was your process. That was, you know, your evolution now, did you have any fear or worry about traveling the Camino alone? I mean, again, I, how old were you at the time that you walked?
Kathleen (12m 52s):
69. When I, when I went the first time.
Christine Okezie (12m 56s):
Yeah. Did, did anybody, you know, kind of say, what are you crazy? You know, how are you going to do that?
Kathleen (13m 3s):
Yeah. I, cause I think my friend went with a friend, you know, and I had just read so much about it. I mean, I did my, I did my research and a lot of people go alone. Yes. But I personally have some guardian angels that protect me here. And I just took them with me, you know? And I, I actually told them, you got to come with me And I have felt protected. Like I, when I walk around my neighborhood, I have two angels that walk with me and I, it’s funny how I found out about them. I just kind of imagined them, you know, and then they were real.
Kathleen (13m 46s):
And so I, I have Ella Wisha and people know me and they walk with me. And I w where I got them was I was afraid to walk in my neighborhood because there’s skunks here. And I was like, I do not want to meet a skunk. I imagined these angels with their wings over me. Like, you know, like, I dunno an arch over me. And then I felt good walking and I could smell those skunks, but I didn’t see any.
Christine Okezie (14m 22s):
Kathleen (14m 22s):
I’m like, okay, good.
Christine Okezie (14m 24s):
Kathleen (14m 26s):
So it’s funny because I live by San Diego state university and Alisha wears black and red robes. And that’s kind of odd for an angel, right? Yeah. Well, black and red San Diego,
Christine Okezie (14m 41s):
That makes sense how appropriate. That’s amazing. So, so you walked into, you know, this decision with, with knowing that you were sort of divinely protected. So that was, yeah, that’s a big one. So how did you prepare, let’s get into some of the details here. So you did a lot of research. Did it read a bunch of books?
Kathleen (15m 4s):
I read a bunch of books and I know there on the internet, there are people who talk about, okay, I brought this, I brought that. I spent on YouTube. I listened to a whole bunch of YouTube about that. And then, and then there’s a bunch of web podcasts for the Camino, and they just said what I would need and what I didn’t need, and to try and keep it down to a bare minimum. I went to the library by my house. I went to a lecture by a person who had gone on the Camino. And even she like had stuff there and she said, okay, this is a shirt. This is a shirt you should take on the Camino, feel it and see how heavy this one is and how, you know, and you should get this kind.
Kathleen (15m 51s):
And she even went through and took all the tags out of her clothes, you know? And she was like trying to lighten the load.
Christine Okezie (15m 57s):
Kathleen (15m 57s):
Yes. So I, so I just went off of that and collected the clothes that I needed. I were negative ion clothes. And so I, I got the negative ion socks and the tides and, and the undershirts and the underwear and that I, I wear at home, but I, I wanted to make sure that I had some that weren’t going to wear out.
Christine Okezie (16m 25s):
Kathleen (16m 27s):
And the pack, I actually bought four packs before I got the right one. Yes. And REI is so great. You can take things back,
Christine Okezie (16m 38s):
Kathleen (16m 38s):
REI. I know I would take a pack and I use it and oh, this one makes me sweaty and this one, you know, and they, so finally I got the one that I got and it’s an Osprey, it’s a black one. And I think it’s 36 liter. And it, it holds the pack away from you. So it does, it’s not hot. And yeah, that was my pack.
Christine Okezie (17m 7s):
That’s a good trial and error that you did now. How, how was your physical health? Did you train for it? You know, what kind of condition were you in?
Kathleen (17m 16s):
Yeah, so I, I used to walk with my friend three days a week down by the bay and we would walk five miles and yeah. And she’s in her eighties and I’m, you know,
Christine Okezie (17m 28s):
Kathleen (17m 30s):
Christine Okezie (17m 31s):
I love it. Yeah.
Kathleen (17m 32s):
And so I thought, oh, five miles. I can walk five miles, no sweat, no problem. Okay. So I thought I could walk five miles before lunch and five miles after lunch and I could walk 10 miles a day and math and how long it would take me. And yeah. And I, so I, that’s what I basically did walked with my friend severe and also my sister-in-law, she was so sweet. She like, okay, Kathleen, you need to go out and walk Hills because walking by the bay is no, no Hills there. And so she took me up mountains and wow. I mean, she actually called me and said, okay, Kathleen, we’re going to go walking up, you know, Carl’s mountain.
Kathleen (18m 17s):
Are we going to go walking in Torrey Pines? Or
Christine Okezie (18m 21s):
That’s wonderful. That’s such good preparation. Okay. Yeah.
Kathleen (18m 25s):
I was down at this Haley place right by the ocean and I had my backpack on and somebody said to me, oh, I didn’t know they had camping here. And I was like, no, I’m just practicing and practicing
Christine Okezie (18m 42s):
From my, you know, how many miles was it? The journey that the truck that you took?
Kathleen (18m 46s):
Oh, wait, they say it’s 500 miles, but it’s actually 489 miles.
Christine Okezie (18m 52s):
Okay. Okay. All right. Wow. That’s incredible. So tell us about the places you stayed and you know, what the food was like, you, you go into the book, you know, I’m, I’m a foodie and I’m also really into, you know, all of the, the experience of, of the culture and everything. And I just thought it was brilliant. How self-sufficient you were, and at the same time, be just the opportunity you had to break bread with so many amazing people in such great certain situations. So please share us, get paint us a picture of what it was like.
Kathleen (19m 24s):
Well, you know, when you said bread, we could just underline bread is like what you eat over in Spain. I’m allergic to bread.
Christine Okezie (19m 36s):
Okay. Did you know that before?
Kathleen (19m 39s):
I did. I didn’t know that, but I think, I think the bread thing for me is a sugar thing. You know, I was walking so much. I think I walked it off. I can’t eat it here at home. I mean, if I walked 10 miles a day, I could eat bread, but
Christine Okezie (19m 59s):
Kathleen (19m 60s):
But I’m, I, I don’t have time to walk.
Christine Okezie (20m 4s):
Kathleen (20m 6s):
It was lovely. I, and I really wanted to experience the food in Spain.
Christine Okezie (20m 12s):
I think that’s so important. Right. Isn’t that a huge part of it. Really. Yeah. Yeah.
Kathleen (20m 17s):
So they told me to make reservations for the first three nights. Okay. So that’s what I did. I made reservations. I stayed in the Polari in San Sean. That’s in France actually. And then, and then I made the next two nights, but I couldn’t really stay the next two nights because when I was there that it snowed in the mountain. So I couldn’t go over the mountain. So I had to go around the mountain. But anyway, the, the ball Laurie in sunshine, the, the food, it was really special. And it was the first night.
Kathleen (20m 56s):
And they had, you know, they had helpers, you can volunteer to dues, be a helper over there. And they were making the dinner and we were all there. And they, the owner had a little plate with little cups of this special liquor and he handed them to us and we all sat around and drank that, you know, just a little thimbleful and we, during the meal, we talked, he had it all set up. Okay. So why are you here? And then you wanted us to make up a name for our Camino. So we all did that.
Kathleen (21m 37s):
Right. And, and then we, I can’t even, you know, it was, it was just good food. I think it was chicken. I can’t even remember.
Christine Okezie (21m 47s):
Yeah. Yeah. Simple, simple, but, you know, made in a, in a really wholesome, loving, you know, atmospheres what, what I got from each of the meals that you shared there.
Kathleen (21m 57s):
Yes. And, and really, I cooked a lot of meat when I could, yeah. There was a kitchen I cooked. And I guess if there was a grocery store in the town, there was usually a kitchen where you stayed the ones, the places that provided food, you couldn’t cook it. There was no grocery store in that town. Anyway,
Christine Okezie (22m 17s):
That’s just the way it worked. Right. Yeah. Oh, that’s so great.
Kathleen (22m 21s):
Yeah. And I ate a lot of zucchini.
Christine Okezie (22m 24s):
I heard, I saw that in them, a lot of eggs. Right.
Kathleen (22m 27s):
I have eggs and zucchini and onion and yeah. I, and, and red, red bell peppers, they have these giant red bell peppers that are long. They’re not just, you know, they’re long suffers. And I, I, I would buy a couple of those and cook one for dinner and eat one for lunch and right.
Christine Okezie (22m 47s):
And a baked potato. Right. Yeah.
Kathleen (22m 50s):
I baked a potato in the microwave in the morning and it was nice. Cause it was cold. It was April. Yeah. So I got to hold it with my hand and keep myself warm during the day.
Christine Okezie (23m 3s):
So great. So, you know, that kind of, what, what came through in the book was opportunities for you to really pivot, you know, like make change on the spot or, or just sort of be flexible, you know, and also self-reliance was the other theme that came through me in the book as much as there was community and connection. Maybe tell us a little bit about that. Cause that’s what came through is this sort of self-reliance for yourself.
Kathleen (23m 34s):
Yeah. And that was the cool thing about being by myself. There was nobody to complain to. Right. And, and so I just had to meet every situation and okay, well this is what’s going on. And I was really kind of proud of myself sometimes. Cause like people would get mad at me and I’m like, well, it was very cool because they were speaking Spanish and I didn’t even know what they’re talking about and I would just smile at them. And it was probably so it, I know that I had, and really I had read in books that you will meet people that will be angry at you and yell at you.
Kathleen (24m 18s):
And that’s just part of the Camino it’s part, it’s part of developing, it’s a gift of the Camino that you get to develop a tolerance for these sorts of things. Yes. Yeah. That’s, that was very, because you know, in the past I really get my feelings hurt easily.
Christine Okezie (24m 38s):
Kathleen (24m 39s):
And so yeah, that was very cool.
Christine Okezie (24m 43s):
Very cool. Yeah. Again, just kind of seeing the lesson right. Or the opportunity to, to work with whatever showing up. Right. And so there’s another incredible tradition. Yeah.
Kathleen (24m 55s):
Yeah. And yeah, I walked from Lisbon to Santiago last year.
Christine Okezie (25m 2s):
Kathleen (25m 4s):
I know right now I’m thinking of things that happened on that trip.
Christine Okezie (25m 10s):
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Well, tell us about that. What, what was, what were some of the hard, you know, the hard parts of the journey and you can mix it up, you can be this pilgrimage or what are the hard parts for you?
Kathleen (25m 21s):
The hard part was walking up the hill. Yeah. Really hard for me. And it was, and also finding food. Sometimes it was really hard to find the food. I would like there were some places you’d go into the store and it’s like really ugly looking apples because it, there, they have whatever they need for their community. And maybe I got there late in the day cause I was walking all day and all the good apples had been taken already.
Christine Okezie (25m 56s):
Kathleen (25m 57s):
Something like that. And like one time I just picked up a handful of really small potatoes and I’m like, well I guess like a nucleus and just wait a minute. I’m in my hanky, like tie them. Right. There’ll be like a whole potato sort of.
Christine Okezie (26m 10s):
Right, right, right, right, right. Again, it’s sort of just the, yeah. So there was physical challenges for sure. There were kind of logistical things that, you know, creature comforts, I guess. Right. That’s the first thing that comes to mind is, you know, in this setting, so what would you know, how did you work with that? You know how, you know, because I’m sure your mind was like, well, I can’t believe this is happening to me. Or why is this happening at one point, you even, you came down with an illness journey. What, what, what, what was the lesson there for you? Like how you work through that, you know, how do you look back on that?
Kathleen (26m 47s):
Well, the first illness I had was I think everybody got sick. I’m not going to blame it on this young man, but he came to me and he said, you know, my muscles hurt. I’m not feeling, feeling very good. And I just like took a step back like, oh, you’ve got germs. I do that. And you know, I guess I looked like a grandmother to him or something. And he, he felt comfortable asking what he should do. And I’m like, well, I’ve got a bullion cube here. Why don’t you have some chicken soup? You know? And, but, and then I did get sick, but like I got sick when I got really sick.
Kathleen (27m 27s):
When I got to Leone and the place that I stayed there, there were, it was, there was a cafeteria downstairs and we would just eat the food that they prepared for us. And I noticed a lot of people were sitting by themselves and I thought, yeah, all those people are sick and they don’t want to get anybody else sick.
Christine Okezie (27m 46s):
Kathleen (27m 46s):
So I thought, you know, it wasn’t that young man.
Christine Okezie (27m 50s):
Kathleen (27m 51s):
No, this is what’s happening here on the Camino right now. And, and so I, you know, I was able to stay there. They let the, on the, in the books, they say, they’re not going to let you stay there. You have to, if you get sick, you have to go to Pantheon and not stay in the obligates, which are really cheap. Right. But everybody that, when I got sick, they let me stay there.
Christine Okezie (28m 17s):
Kathleen (28m 18s):
And so that was really great. And I had my own room.
Christine Okezie (28m 22s):
Kathleen (28m 23s):
And I just stayed there for like four days and then got mutter.
Christine Okezie (28m 28s):
Is there any time where you kind of thought you were going to give it up?
Kathleen (28m 32s):
No, I gave my, you know what, I give myself three months. I, it actually took me two months, but oh,
Christine Okezie (28m 40s):
Kathleen (28m 41s):
Nice. So I didn’t have my airfare home and tell July.
Christine Okezie (28m 45s):
Okay. So you just said it’s an well, that’s just, that’s just the way it’s going to be.
Kathleen (28m 49s):
Yeah. This is, this is what I’m doing here. And I was very grateful.
Christine Okezie (28m 54s):
Yeah. What was the, what was the source, you know, during those hard times when you were physically challenged, don’t, you know, kind of mentally or emotionally drained, what was the motivation, you know, to keep going?
Kathleen (29m 8s):
Yeah, it, I knew I had set aside days for being sick. And so I wasn’t surprised that I got sick. I, and my angels were with me, what can I say? I was, you know what, one thing that I really cause I’m older. And when I was walking, I was very careful not to fall because when my husband died, my son said to me, okay, mom, you’re going to have a great life here. Don’t fall. He’s a, and he picks people off the floor all the time.
Christine Okezie (29m 43s):
Kathleen (29m 44s):
Yes. And so when I was walking, I was very careful not to fall. And one time I got to a point where I, there’s no way I could walk down that hill without falling. So I just sat down on my butt, scooch to my way down and
Christine Okezie (29m 60s):
Kathleen (30m 1s):
Tried to offer it up, let you know, to help me up. And I’m like, no, I’m not getting up. I’m not walking on this.
Christine Okezie (30m 10s):
Yeah. Really listening to, to your, to your body, acknowledging, you know, sort of the, you know, just sort of the circumstances you’re, you’re, it sounds like you were just very mindful the entire time as I read the book, you’re very mindful of what you ate. You’re very mindful of, you know, recognizing, Ooh, I need to get more sleep today, you know,
Kathleen (30m 30s):
And better the water. I wow. Cause I got a UTI over there and that’s drinking enough, but that day I was sweating so much that I, you know, is walking up a hill and I was dripping wet when I was done. And that right after that is when I got the UTI. So I, I knew I was drinking plenty of water and it was, it wasn’t enough.
Christine Okezie (30m 60s):
That’s enough. Yeah. Yeah. Again, so thank you for sharing all that. Now you met, as you said, some, some nice folks on the way where you got to kind of share some of your spiritual philosophies and outlooks, is there a story that you, maybe you want to share?
Kathleen (31m 20s):
Well, there, there was a, a young man and I was staying at this, you know, it’s a monastery and they were serving the food and you get your little tray. And then I kind of looked around at the room and I was like, okay, so where am I supposed to sit? You know? And, and so I just sat down over by this man. And there was a woman with him and they were actually a little bit farther down on the table and we just started talking and he wanted to know why I had come. And I told them the story of my husband and I have taken care of him for X amount of, you know, time.
Kathleen (32m 2s):
And I wanted to do the Camino because I was done taking care of him. Now, when I said, why did you come? And he kind of cleared his throat. And he said, well, I, I have some time before between what I’m doing now. And he was in the military in England. I had some time and the lady next to him said, tell her the rest. And he had gotten married to this woman and she had a child.
Kathleen (32m 43s):
And then he realized that he was just too young and he had made a mistake. And so he had divorced her. And then he, I guess he felt funny because there I was, you know, married 48 years. And I took care of my husband all those years.
Christine Okezie (32m 60s):
Kathleen (33m 2s):
And he was feeling kind of sheepish. And so I, I Ho’oponopono. And I told them about it and how sometimes people are, you know, we have a bad relationship with them because they kind of signed up to be a pain in our neck and the whole upon, upon, or kind of clears that it clears the, the relationship that we have with other people that causes us pain
Christine Okezie (33m 39s):
Kathleen (33m 40s):
So we can actually exist with them. Right. And so I told them about it and, and I told him, you know, nobody is going to love your child as much as you do. If she marries someone else, they’re not going to love your child as much as you do. And he said, that’s right. You know? And so I, I wrote down the Ho’oponopono for him.
Christine Okezie (34m 4s):
Yeah. Thank you. That’s amazing. Yeah. That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. So was your husband on the Camino with you? Did you speak to him on the community? Did you feel his presence on the Camino?
Kathleen (34m 18s):
Yeah. You know, one time I, I got to this place and I couldn’t, I didn’t know where, I didn’t know where an alburgue was and I was really tired. It was ride past pamphlet. I had planned on staying in papilloma, but when I got there, I didn’t want to, so I kept going and I, I got to the, was sitting in this park, watching this couple walking hand in hand and it was lovely to see this guy came up to me and he said, are you looking for an Obrigada? And I’m like, oh yeah, that would be really nice. And so I walked up, he showed me where to walk and I walked up there and there was this obligate, it was called Mary Bell, wrong call.
Kathleen (35m 1s):
And I’m like, oh, Ron is my husband. And Mary Bell is the name of one of my angels. I just felt like Ron was there. And she was there. My, my angel.
Christine Okezie (35m 15s):
Kathleen (35m 18s):
And also the butterflies. Whenever I see a butterfly, I think my husband is close.
Christine Okezie (35m 23s):
Kathleen (35m 24s):
And I saw a lot of butterflies and I, that just brought that to me.
Christine Okezie (35m 29s):
Beautiful. Yeah. Beautiful part of it. I have that.
Kathleen (35m 32s):
I want to say one more thing. Another thing my, I felt I kept finding heart shaped rocks along the way.
Christine Okezie (35m 39s):
That’s right. You mentioned. And
Kathleen (35m 41s):
I felt the first day they were all over the place. Like every 10th step, I would see a heart-shaped rock and I’m like, okay. Ron is here. Thank you.
Christine Okezie (35m 51s):
Thank you. Thank
Kathleen (35m 52s):
You very much.
Christine Okezie (35m 54s):
I love that. I love that. Yes, yes, yes.
Kathleen (35m 57s):
Yeah. That I, I started finding heart-shaped rocks years ago. I would, I used to go to school in Switzerland in the summer and I would find heart-shaped rocks and bring them home to him just to show that I was thinking about him. And so when I found him on the Camino, I’m like, oh, thank you, Ron. This is really great.
Christine Okezie (36m 19s):
Absolutely. Yeah. I get that. So how did the Camino change you?
Kathleen (36m 25s):
Okay. So I, like I said, I went straight from my mother’s house to my husband’s house and I was never, ever alone. I’m not taking care of myself really. I mean, I went to, you know, Europe for school and stuff, but so I had to, it taught me to take care of myself and how to get my needs met. And I, it was all on me, you know, everything. I had to get everything for myself and, and it, it, you know, it was stepping out after Ron left, you know, after I went to heaven and yeah, it was like, I can do my life.
Kathleen (37m 13s):
I know I can do my life because I can do this.
Christine Okezie (37m 16s):
That’s beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that. And so what is the number one thing that you want readers to take away from your book? Kathleen?
Kathleen (37m 25s):
Oh, I want them to get my teachings.
Christine Okezie (37m 32s):
Yeah. And is there one particular teaching that’s sort of really, you know, runs through it for you?
Kathleen (37m 39s):
Yeah, the Ho’oponopono, but the other one is a prayer that I say to myself when I don’t know what to do. Yes. And the prayer is, “dear God, please make everything turn out. Okay” . And then I just let God make everything turn out. Okay. So I, you know, it’s, it’s like, it takes it off of me and miracles happen when you, when you say that prayer, it’s incredible.
Christine Okezie (38m 4s):
A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. The practice. So, so many beautiful things, the self-forgiveness right. And the letting go or handing over. Right. And those two things, I mean, as I talked to you right now, I can kind of just feel that, you know, kind of the power of that. Right. Cause it’s just like both of them offer an opportunity to kind of just exhale a little bit and, and know that you’re not alone.
Kathleen (38m 29s):
Christine Okezie (38m 30s):
Yeah. Yeah. And at the same time, as you, as you shared you, you’re not alone per se, but you’re, you can trust your, within yourself. You have everything you need, right.
Kathleen (38m 44s):
Christine Okezie (38m 45s):
Yeah. So this beautiful kind of juxtaposition of the two. Right, right. Being alone or being self is good, but you’re not all, you’re not totally alone in, in the, from a soul perspective I can say,
Kathleen (39m 1s):
Yeah, my, my soul can just exist out in this world because I know that that I’m taking care of.
Christine Okezie (39m 8s):
Thank you. So what’s next for you? Do you have any desire? You said you did, you did a pilgrimage or a walk last year. What’s what’s next for you? Anything on the horizon?
Kathleen (39m 18s):
I want to walk the Northern route. It’s along the Northern coast of Spain. So ride along. I know there’s some see up there. I dunno if it’s the Baltic sea or some sea up there and you walk along the coast in Spain, it’s supposed to be harder because there’s more steep Hills, but I I’m not getting any younger. So I can’t, you know, waiting to later is not going to be helpful.
Christine Okezie (39m 49s):
Absolutely. And again, that’s the other thing, and I get, right. You’re just a sense of just, you know, why not now? Right. Carpe diem as they say, right?
Kathleen (39m 57s):
Yeah. This is it. This is the youngest I will ever be right here today.
Christine Okezie (40m 2s):
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much, Kathleen. Thank you for your time for your inspiration and all your insights.
Kathleen (40m 12s):
Thank you too for this opportunity.
Christine Okezie (40m 15s):
My pleasure. Bye-bye
Kathleen (40m 17s):