I Feel Love

This is how I feel on most days, but especially today, on Valentine’s Day. I Feel Love is also the title of one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, Donna Summer. When I was a child in the 1970s, my sister and I used to listen to her music frequently. I remember listening to her albums on vinyl while singing along with the lyrics on the liner notes. It would not take me long to use a hair brush as a makeshift microphone and dance around the living room entertaining anyone who was there. Naturally, my brother disappeared, for he was into heavy metal. 😉

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Camino in the Clouds

Have you ever seen those word clouds made up of a variety of words, some small, some large, some even larger? I had a brainstorm one night and thought it would be fun to make a Camino word cloud. I asked a question of the Camigas on Facebook (a group for women to share tips about the Camino). My question was, “What single word describes what the Camino provided for you?” The first eighty responses resulted in the heart-shaped word cloud below, in which larger words are the most used.

the Camino Provides all of these for Women Continue reading

Camino and Hiking Events in February 2017

Happy February! It is the month of LOVE, and I certainly felt the love on my birthday yesterday.  An outpouring of love from family, friends, workmates, and Camino connections filled my heart with joy. I will bask in the glow and radiate love all month, starting at Hospitalero training this weekend and by sharing Camino love stories on this blog. 
stickerIf you have a Camino couple or love story to contribute, let me know and I’ll add it to the Camino Love page.  Free Love, Camino Style stickers with each submission!

There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. Below is the roundup of Camino related and hiking events in the SF Bay Area for the month of February 2017.

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Pilgrim Interview with Sebastian, Finn, Bandito, and Luigi

Sebastian and Finn are a gay couple who have lived in Spain for eight years. In October – November 2015 they decided to take their pug dog, Bandito, and cat, Luigi, on a long walk. Not just any walk: the Camino Francés. I shared their incredible story, The Pug and Cat on the Camino, and added it to my Favorite Camino Blogs page. I contacted them to see if they would like to have a pilgrim interview. Sebastian responded and compiled the answers from all the boys. Below is a modern family’s take on walking the Camino with their adorable four-legged compadres.

Sebastian and Finn, Pug and Cat

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The Pug and Cat on the Camino

TGIF! Meet Bandito the pug and Luigi the cat, the social media sensations who walked (and strolled) the 497 mile long trail Camino de Santiago for six weeks with their owners Sebastian and Finn.

Bandito the pug and Luigi the cat

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The Here and Now, by James Portelli

Following on “Life Is a Journey,” “Love Your Neighbor,” and “Loving Myself,” this last piece will revolve around my third resolution, that is, “The Here and Now.”

It is often said that if you want to make the Almighty laugh, you should share with him your plans.

Topoftheworld       VoidofDeath

Monuments in the Dom Platzl [Cathedral Square] in Salzburg pictured from left: top of the world and the void of death

There are many sayings, clichés, and words of wisdom about leaving the past behind, not dwelling too much on the future, and concentrating on the present. If that’s the right approach, the words attributed to Marcus Aurelius (120–180 A.D.), “Do every act of your life as if it were your last” (The Emperor’s Handbook: A New Translation of the Meditations, [New York: Scribner, 2002]), make a lot of sense. We don’t always see it, but it does hit home when, for example, our friends cross off items on their bucket list as they brace themselves for the great beyond.

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Loving Myself, by James Portelli

Following on “Life Is a Journey” and “Love Your Neighbor,” this piece will concentrate on yet another of my resolutions—namely, “Loving Myself.”

Dusk at Dingli Cliffs, Malta, June 2016

Dusk at Dingli Cliffs, Malta, June 2016

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My Rekindled Faith

When my mom and I were on our tour in Fátima, Portugal, I had to ask her about something that had bothered me since childhood. When she and my father got a divorce, our neighborhood church turned her away. I couldn’t understand this because my Mormon friends down the street had the support of the entire local Mormon congregation when their parents got a divorce. They brought over casseroles, babysat, and donated clothes and school supplies. By contrast, my mom, who had attended Catholic school and went to church every day, had nobody to help her. That’s the reason why I had resented the Catholic Church for most of my life. Continue reading

Camino Honeymoon Couple

For Friday Faves, here’s a new video of an adorable couple who just completed the Camino.  Lucy writes, “As our six week honeymoon comes to an end, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Camino for providing us a wonderful way to begin our lives together. This is a short video of our last week on the Camino. We hope you enjoy. Thank you for following our journey.”

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Mindfulness Manifesto, Part 3: Yoga

How Healthy Eating, Walking and Yoga Can Provide Lifelong Balance

Continued from Part 2, Walking

Healthy eating and fitness through walking provide a strong foundation for the body and mind. At the apex of this triangle is the practice of Yoga, which unites the body, mind and spirit.


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Yoga as:

  1. Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation
  2. A system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being

If we look closer at the Sanskrit word yoga, we find the root word “yuj” means “to unite.”

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