Congrats to Squeaking Pips author Sherri Shumate, who has been chosen by and given a scholarship from the Heartbeat organization to go on the Camino Peace Pilgrimage.
According to the information at https://heartbeatjourney.org: “Our 2018 Camino Peace Pilgrimage, a collaboration between Heartbeat and the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy, will consist of 14 people (intergenerational) from many religious traditions and spiritual backgrounds walking 100 miles/160 km of the ancient Spanish Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route together.”
Here is Sherri’s story of how she came to be accepted to walk the Camino Peace Pilgrimage.
Almost every summer since I was a child we vacationed in Lake Junaluska, NC. Last summer John Phillip Newell happened to be there leading a conference and spoke in Stuart Auditorim during the Sunday service about how that which is deepest in us is of God and how we need to remember and live as the Divine gift we are created to be. I was captivated by this message and the energy of his spirit and had an opportunity to talk to Newell at lunch about his profound message and home country of Scotland, which I've grown to love because it's also the home of one of my dearest friends (Neil) whom I met as an exchange student in high school.
Through Newell I was introduced to Hearbeat an organization that promotes peace, embodied spirituality, and a reclamation of the Divine in creation. Sometime this past fall I received an email invitation to apply for one of their Heartbeat pilgrimages.
I read the email a few times, drawn to the idea and inspired by the opportunity. I consulted a dear friend who always encourages me to try anything and applied. My request for a recommendation and a reference were completed immediately and with enthusiasm by my colleague and friend Shawn. Then I waited and waited and waited. I shared the news of this opportunity with only a few dear trusted friends who have waited and hoped with me.
Then last week I received the news that I've been chosen for this experience. I am thrilled even as the reality of all of this is still sinking in. I'm grateful to still have friends like Laura in Scotland and I'll get to see her as the group of fourteen of us from around the globe gather together in Edinburgh and then fly to Spain to begin this experience.
It's a remarkable feeling to know this will be life changing before it's even begun. I've already started training for 10-18 miles a day of hiking. Still, I can't even imagine how it will feel carrying everything I have on my back and walking this distance every day.
I'm already holding in my heart the strangers who I know will become dear friends while traveling on this journey with me and the other surprise acquaintances I'll meet along the way. I'm also carrying in my heart with me all the people who encouraged and believed in me enough to give me the courage to do this.
Life is so much more beautiful when it is shared.
I'm grateful for the love that's been shared with me in this journey, for the people who have helped me become more than I ever imagined I could be. I am blessed by all those who love me just as I am and inspire me to keep becoming the gift to this world I am meant to be.
I am immensely blessed. We all are.
I will be sharing this joy, hope, and love with everyone I meet.
Be love. Choose peace. Rest in Love.
You are loved.
Be a gift of love for the healing of this world.
Janet Stafford, Squeaking Pips Founder