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About Psychic Matters Podcasts

Ann Théato, International Psychic Medium and Spiritual Tutor, investigates psychic development, mediumship techniques, and paranormal science, so that you can come to understand your own innate psychic ability and expand your knowledge, whilst learning to develop a curious mind.

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This Week’s Episode

“Faith is a gift.  And the level of our faith is our gift from God. I think, wherever you are with God, you can bring that with you on the Camino.  I think there’s a spirituality in each one of us and we have chosen it and it’s good, whatever it is.” – Kathleen Donnelly Israel

 

 

PM 072
WISDOM ON THE CAMINO

My guest this week is certified Transformational Breathing Facilitator & Theta Healer, Kathleen Donnelly Israel, who has just written and published her first book – Wisdom On The Caminoa captivating story of her solo 484.67 mile walk at the age of 70, along the Camino Santiago de Compostela, in Northern Spain. 
 
Kathleen shares her incredible wisdom & philosophies, gleaned from years of study under many enlightened thought-leaders and teachers and the pilgrims she met along her way

 

You’ll Learn

 

  • What a pilgrimage entails

  • Why people go on a pilgrimage

  • What you can learn from undertaking a spiritual journey

  • How to receive the graces of being on a holy pilgrimage

  • Why & how pilgrims support each other

  • How to meet people where they are in life

  • The importance of shedding belongings and old ideas

  • Why listening to others can give us new perspectives

Thank you for listening!

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Or ask a question over on Psychic Matters! Podcast Facebook page

Episode 72 Resources

Here are some resources referred to in Episode 72, which you may find helpful.

Kathleen Donnelly Israel Website

Camino Santiago de Compostela 

Albergue 

Santiago de Compostella 

Camino del Norte 

Thanks for listening.

Why not share it now?

Or ask a question over on Psychic Matters! Podcast Facebook page

TRANSCRIPT

Ann

Hello everybody my name is Ann Théato and welcome to Episode 72 of the Psychic Matters podcast!  It’s been an exciting couple of weeks, and my life, as usual, was all go, I was running here and there, I was doing this, doing that, meeting this one & that one, demonstrating mediumship in person and on line, I was teaching, I was doing some amazing podcast interviews which will be coming up over the next few weeks, I was meeting friends for picnics, and taking my canoe out on the river, I was also studying really hard for my CSNUt exam, I was reading loads, I upcycled some wonderful old table mats I found in a second hand shop, cycling to a beer festival and safely home again, ate pizza from a pizza oven, laughed with friends and then everything changed just four days ago on Monday morning

[SFX]

I broke my leg in two places.

Now it’s four days later and I am under strict instructions from my orthopaedic team, to elevate my leg for the next 6-8 weeks, not to walk on it at all, other than hobble on crutches to the bathroom and not to drive for two months.  I am housebound.  And in a lot of pain as it goes.

So, if you want to cheer me up, you can do one of two things you could:

Become a patron to support the podcast, go to patreon.com/psychicmatters or you could

Leave a written review to tell me how much you enjoy the podcasts – and you can leave your written review on Apple podcasts or Podchaser – and details on how to do that are on my website under the podcast tab (anntheato.com).  I’d be super, super grateful if you would do one of those two things, it would really cheer me up as a I need a little bit of buoyancy at this time. 

And the irony is not lost on me, that just as I’m releasing a podcast on walking, I myself am unable to walk. 

There is much to be learned from this enforced isolation.  God certainly moves in mysterious ways.  And so do I, now I have to use crutches to get about.

Moving on, dear listener, to this weeks’ incredible and inspiring podcast interview with my guest this week, who is a certified Transformational Breathing Facilitator & Theta Healer, Kathleen Donnelly Israel.  Kathleen has just written and published her first book.  It’s called Wisdom On The Camino, and it is an utterly captivating story of her solo 484.67 mile walk at the age of 70, along the Camino Santiago de Compostela, in Northern Spain.  Kathleen shares with us her incredible wisdom & her philosophies, gleaned from years of study under many enlightened thought-leaders and teachers and from the pilgrims she met along her way.

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Ann 

My guest today has been on an incredible pilgrimage, a spiritual journey like no other. And she’s here to tell us all about it. Kathleen Donnelly Israel, welcome to Psychic Matters.

Kathleen 

Thank you, Ann, I’m so happy to be here.

Ann 

I’m delighted that you’ve made time to come on the show. Kathleen, thank you so much. It’s really fabulous to meet you because I’ve just read your amazing book, Wisdom on the Camino. Please do tell us what lead you to write the book, and what lead you to go on this beautiful pilgrimage in the first place?

Kathleen 

Okay, so my husband, we were married in total 48 years. And when he was like 51 years old, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. And so, you know, he was good for quite a while. But for the last, like seven years of his life, he was totally disabled. I mean, he couldn’t talk, he couldn’t walk. And I want to tell you, he was a happy man, he embraced his disease. He just loved to sit there and watch cowboy movies. And anyway, so I had to be there. And I had kind of a rough childhood. So, I had some healing to do. So, since I had to be there. I went online and listen to a lot of enlightened thought leaders and did my healing from my childhood trauma. So, I mean, that was quite a long time to be studying with enlightened thought leaders. So, after that much time, I just thought I knew some stuff. And I had developed some philosophies of my own, synthesising all the information and did a lot of healing and kind of found out what worked for me. So anyway, after Brian died, I went on the Camino Santiago, as my trip after my husband died, you know, my grandmother’s all had a trip after their husbands died. And so, I did too. And when I got home, I thought, well, it’s time to write the book about my philosophies, and I was reluctant to be teaching. And I remembered that I had told people on the Camino all those things. You know, as pilgrims get together, you share what you think. And so, I wrote my book about walking the Camino and telling people those things. So that’s about the book. That’s why I did it. And that’s why I wrote about the Camino.

Ann 

What an amazing story so far, I’m terribly sorry about the loss of your husband as well. That must have been an incredibly hard time in your life, Kathleen,

Kathleen 

Yeah, I got, I got to experience my grief. Like from the beginning of his illness, you know, just giving up what I thought our life would be after he retired. So, I thought we would be riding our bicycles across France. I mean, he was an athlete, he was a triathlete. Then when, you know, found out about the Parkinson’s disease, I was like, okay, well, I guess we won’t be doing that. So, then I had to develop a new dream. And it was hard. It was hard thinking, you know, giving up my dreams of our future together. And so around 2013, my girlfriend from high school, we used to walk to school together. I used to walk like a mile to her house, and then we would walk two more miles to school, because we wanted to be slender. We wanted…. So, okay, we’re gonna walk. She went on the Camino. And she put it on Facebook. And even though she walked all that way, she got blisters and walked with bloody feet. And I just recognised that she was doing something very special for herself. And I thought, I want to do that too. That’s my new dream. So that’s, you know, after Brian died, I, I actually went to a spiritualist church after he died. And the first you know, when you, and you’re a new person, they always give you a reading. So, the reading that they gave me was, I had it in me to do a journey. And the journey was so deep, deeper than I ever thought before. So deep it’s in, in my blood and in the dirt in the earth. And that energy was moving through me right now. And I thought, wow, that’s really profound. And I think that really gave me some extra energy to actually do it. And so, after, afterwards, after the, you know, the spiritual thing I told her I was going to go on the Camino. And she said, okay, so now I know what I was talking about. So, it was just really profound. Actually, that was just like two days after he died, that I went to that meeting.

Ann 

Wow, had you planned to go on the Camino at that stage yourself? Had you got it as a thought?

Kathleen 

Well, yeah, that was, you know, because of Judy’s thing on Facebook. Yeah, it was my thought.

Ann 

Yeah.

Kathleen 

And it was pretty exciting for me because I am actually Catholic, and I love my faith. So, the Camino Santiago is, it’s not really, you know, a Catholic thing, but it is a Catholic thing. I mean, like, only like, 1/3 of the people that go are, you know, doing a spiritual journey, but so it’s not like it’s a exclusively Catholic thing. But the mysticism of the Camino was not lost on me. It was part of me, I guess, I should say.

Ann 

Oh, gosh, it sounds beautiful. And for those people that are listening, who have never heard of the Camino, can you explain what it is for those people?

Kathleen 

Yeah, it’s, well, a pilgrimage is like a holy walk. And you walk to something like the grave of St. James, St. James, the apostle of Jesus went to the Iberian Peninsula, to, you know, tell people about Jesus, and he didn’t really get very many followers. So he went back to Jerusalem, where he was martyred. And then the people there, or the angels, or whatever the story is, brought him back to Spain, and buried his body in Spain. And then around the 1200s, they were trying to get the Moors out of Spain, they actually found his grave. Then he helped. He came back and help them win the war and get the Moors out of Spain. And then people thought St. James was really great. And so, they started having a pilgrimage to his grave that started in the 1200s. In the 1900s. They resurrected the Camino and found that most of the Camino was still available to walk. There were some sections where the freeways had been put over the Camino. So, they have a lot of underpasses under freeways. And actually, I did walk on the freeway for quite a while sometimes.  The Camino Francaise is the one I went on the first time. And just last year, I did the one from Lisbon, Camino Portuguese last year, but the first one was the French way.

Ann 

And how long are they, for somebody to walk it, how long does it take them?

Kathleen 

Oh, well, you know, I’m kind of a special case, because I’m an old lady. And also, I have a problem with my foot. I mean, I would say 35 to 45 days is a good amount of time to take. I think you know if you go too fast. I think that’s one reason why people get blisters. Because you’re not doing your foot care, like you should. Along the way. I did not get blisters, but I wear negative ion socks. So, I think maybe that might be why they just put negative ions into your feet. And so, I think that really helped. And also, I took me took my shoes off every time I stopped and kind of massage my feet. I forgot your question. I got lost. Sorry.

Ann 

No, that’s great. Yeah, it’s fascinating. Listen to you. It’s so fascinating. I was just asking how long it was. So, is it four hundred and something miles?

Kathleen 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s 500 miles, I guess. 800 and something k.  It is actually 489 miles. But we’re not gonna mince, you know, they’re saying it’s 500. I’m okay with that. But I was there for 66 days, I took every Sunday off. Because every time I got in there, and I would you know, on Sunday, I would get into the albergue, and I would just flop on my bed and fall asleep. And then I would get up and oh man, I need to go to mass. What time is mass? And it would all, invariably I missed mass. And so, I thought, okay, I’m gonna walk six days a week and Saturday night, I’m going to find a hotel so I can stay for two days. And so, I could wake up in the morning and go to Mass, you know? And so that’s what I did.

Ann 

How long would you walk each day? How many miles do you think you did?

Kathleen 

Well, in the beginning, I did 10 miles a day because that’s how I knew I could do it because I walk here. I’m in San Diego, California, USA, I walk at the bay and at the Mission Bay, walk five miles, three days a week with my friend Sevira and we would walk and so I didn’t even break a sweat. I mean, we could, I can walk five miles, and so I thought okay, well, I just walk five miles before lunch and five miles after lunch. And I can do this. So that’s what I did in the beginning and that after a while, I ended up buying lunch time, I had done the 10 miles and I’m like, well, I gotta walk farther. So, then I would walk another five miles. So, it may be 15 miles a day, I was doing and like, I had a book. And in the book, it had a vertical map of the Camino. And so, I could see ahead how, you know, the altitude would be that day, if I was going to have to walk up a mountain, maybe I would not walk 15 miles, I would walk maybe 12 or 13, because I knew it was, you know, it’s going to be more difficult, and I’d be tired, more tired. So, I factored that in, I usually found me a place to stay the night before. So then that I looked at that altitude map, and I’m like, okay, well, maybe I should stay here because that’s kind of hilly.

Ann 

What were you carrying on your back? What were you carrying with you?

Kathleen 

Yeah, I had a pack. It’s so great about the Camino. Because I mean, it’s not a third world country, right. It’s, you know, there’s stuff along the way you can, if you need anything, you can buy it, if you need food, you need water, you can buy it. And so, I didn’t have to carry so much water, so much food, I didn’t have to have a tent, just a sleeping bag, and my clothes really, and my toiletries. So, I weighed my pack the first day, and it was 10 kilos, and I don’t have, my brain doesn’t do kilos, we’re doing pounds, and, you know, ounces over here. So, I didn’t really know what that meant. But some guy told me that was good. So, I’m like, oh, good. But after a while, I did get rid of some of my stuff that I brought with me, I, I sent it back home, because my I felt like I needed a lighter pack. So, I just carried my pack. And my plan was to carry my pack the whole way. I mean, I was so gung-ho, I’m doing this, you know, when I got ill, I had to have my pack transported for me, or else I would have had to just stay there. So, I did stay sometimes when I was ill. And then sometimes I just had my pack transported. And that’s the thing, you know, some people just have their pack transported the whole way. They I mean, you could take a suitcase, you don’t even have to take a pack, you could just have it transported. But anyway, I thought I would. I thought I would take it the whole way. And this last time in Portugal, I did take my pack the hallway, there’s a service there. I mean, there’s services on the on the Camino, you can take a cab if you get tired, you know, you can, there’s buses, there’s trains, there’s, you know, all kinds of stuff along the way. And there’s more than one service that will take your pack. So, you just go to a hotel, or you’re some albergues are okay with that some or not. And you just get this little envelope and you put like, five euros or three euros or whatever they say they want. And you call the number on the envelope and tell them where your pack is and tell them where you want them to take it in the morning.  Of course, you write all that down on your envelope. And then you they have a little, they have a little rubber band on there. And you can pin it to your pack, and they pick it up for you. And when you get to where you want to go, though, you know it’s there. So, you know, you can do that.

Ann 

Yeah, if you need to. And then the albergue that you speak of what are those?

Kathleen 

Oh, it’s a giant room with bunk beds. And sometimes it’s not so big. And sometimes it’s very big. Sometimes they have 50 bunk beds in there. And sometimes, you know, there’s eight depending on what it is. And they have a bathroom. A lot of times they have a kitchen you can use. So, you can just buy food, they have all the dishes and the pots and pans and everything there. And sometimes there’s stuff there that other people left. You know, like a lot of times there’s lots of food on the table because people didn’t want to carry it. They bought stuff for breakfast. And they’re like, yeah, I don’t want to carry this. So, they left it, leave it for somebody. But if there’s a grocery store in town, they usually have a kitchen so you can cook. If there’s a restaurant in town, they’ll tell you Okay, so they have a pilgrim meal at this restaurant, you should go there for dinner. And the pilgrim meal is maybe 12 euros or something. So sometimes there’s nothing else in town and they have to provide the food. So, you have to give them some extra money for the food, and they’ll provide dinner or breakfast too.

Ann 

And I think I remember reading in your book that the pilgrims are meant to keep moving along. They’re not meant to stay in one place.

Kathleen 

So, you can only stay one night in the Albergue. So, if You get sick, you have to find a hotel. Like I got sick a few times. So, I had to go to a hotel, but also the pilgrim meals are only for one night, if you go back the next night, they don’t like it. Because they’re doing this service for the pilgrims. And they don’t want you to abuse their service, it is actually cheaper, and they’re not making as much money on the pilgrims. You don’t want you to keep doing that. Because if you keep doing that, you’re not really a pilgrim. You’re you know, you’re townsfolk.

Ann 

Yes, of course. And then pilgrims have a passport that they need to get stamped.

Kathleen 

Yeah, so you can get it online. Or if you start the Camino, in a place where they have a pilgrim office, you can get it there. It’s like kind of a cover stock piece of paper. And it’s got all these squares, and each place you go, you have them stamped it. And then when you go to the next place, that person sees all your stamps and says, okay, this is a pilgrim, I’ll let them in. They also record for the Spanish government where the pilgrims are each day. So, they know where you’re at.

Ann 

And wasn’t there some worry at the end of your huge 489-mile walk, where you perhaps were worried they weren’t going to stamp it and give you the official certificate.

Kathleen 

Yeah, that’s something that needs to be sad, right? Because I was told that you only, like the last 100k, you have to get two stamps a day. So, you would get the stamp at your albergue and also at a restaurant where you ate, they have stamps there too, or the bar or whatever. And really, the people who only walked the last 100, you can get a lot of stamps every day, and fill up your passport. Because if you if you start at the beginning, you’re going to need that full passport. And it was really uncanny. You, when I got to San Diego, I thought that I only needed one stamp a day since I came from the beginning. And they said no, you need two stamps a day, the last 100k. And I was just like, oh man. And so, they were like, kind of talk to the manager and stuff to see if they should give it to me. And I said, well look at it. I was here every day. You can see that I was here. I did it, you know. And so finally they gave it to me, but I was just like, oh, she was I walked the hallway and they weren’t gonna give me my pass like, my certificate.

Ann 

But they did in the end. So that was great.

Kathleen 

They did. So, thank you God.

Ann 

Yeah. And how did it feel when you got to your final destination? The final destination is the Cathedral of …

Kathleen 

of the Santiago de Compostella. Yeah. And when I got to Santiago, I mean all along the way. There’s arrows to follow, arrows to follow, arrows to follow. And so, I got to Santiago, and the arrows stopped, you know, and I was like, okay, I can see the cathedral. How do I get there? And so, I was just looking around and this guy saw me and he kind of said, Okay, I’ll you know, follow me. In Spanish, he was tethered to a developmentally disabled guy.  Kind of like an angel, right? So, I followed him most of the way. And he led me to this elevator, and you could actually go from the lower street to the higher street. It was just a free elevator, you get in, push the button, go out, you know, and I thought that was really novel. So, he didn’t have to walk up there, you know, the zigzag to get up a hill. But anyway, at the end, I know I don’t want to follow somebody so I kind of got away from him and I was trying to find it on my own. And I heard the bagpipe, and I knew I was close. So, I followed the bagpipe sound and there was the bagpipe, and it was so incredibly powerful for me to walk, I love bagpipes myself. So, I walked by him and there was the lady kneeling there praying up to God with her hands folded with a little bowl in front of her and I walked past her because I didn’t have any money out. I wish I had known that, and I would add some money for… Every other time I walked by her; I just threw some money in the thing. But anyway, I was just kind of mesmerised and I walked through the arch. There was the cathedral, and it was huge. And I walked into the pilaster or whatever it is, and all kinds of people, they’re just sitting in front of the cathedral. Like they were basking in the glory of the cathedral. It was so beautiful and and it was like they were at the beach and the sun was shining on them or something. And so, I walked in. And there were people who had just gotten there. And the people who had been there a couple of days, actually. And I asked this lady, if I take your picture, will you take mine? And she said, well, I don’t need a picture, but I’ll take yours. So, I put my hands up, like in a victory pose. And she took my picture, and it was just really amazing to be there. But that’s that whole week before I got there. I was like a short timer, you know, and I could just feel… I really felt sad that I was almost done, you know, kind of like you said, you were almost, you were sad that the book was almost over when you’d read it. 

Ann 

Yes, I was after I finished it. I was like, oh no, I could have carried on reading it. It must have been such a euphoric moment to reach that cathedral. It must have been amazing. Absolutely brilliant.

Kathleen 

When I wrote the book, when I when I got to the cathedral, I just, I was done with the book. I was I couldn’t write anymore, actually.

Ann 

What do you think you learned about yourself Kathleen, on this trip?

Kathleen 

Well, I learned that I can take care of myself. And I learned, I learned that I do get the good stuff. I always in my life, I had kind of a sad life because I started out in a sad situation. And I was kind of with a low vibration, you know, in my life. And so, I was attracting negative experiences all my life and I I noticed the good experiences and I, here I was with all these crummy experiences. And that was kind of what I said, I said, I don’t get the good stuff. And and I did get the good stuff on the Camino. So that was that was really a washing for my spirit, actually, to be there and, and people liked me, and it was very nice.

Ann 

They did like you, you’re absolutely lovely, you’re brilliant company. What do you think, would you recommend people do the Camino and what, what might they get from doing something like that? It’s quite grueling, and there must be a lot of time to think and a lot of time for introspection.

Kathleen 

It is a pilgrimage. You know, some people do pilgrimages on their knees, for gosh sakes. I mean, I didn’t see anybody doing that. But you know, people do that. Never. I thought, oh, wow, this is difficult. I just said to myself, hey, this is a pilgrimage. We’re not, you know, we’re not trying to, you know, I didn’t come here to have a vacation. I came here to work through some stuff. The people that I met on the Camino, the things that they said they were there. Like, I met one guy, and he had separated from his wife, and he went there to do some soul searching. Another guy said, yeah, I finished one job, and I’m have another job starting in a month. So, I thought I’d do the pilgrimage. And it’s just kind of a cleansing process, the pilgrimage, and you just have to put up with whatever happens, number one, and also received the graces of being on a holy pilgrimage. Some people just want to go out there and do something, you know, because they’re buff, and they want to do a buff thing. You know, they want to do something that proves their that they are buff, and I met a guy who had lost a couple of, like, three of his friends had died in rapid succession, and he couldn’t do his life anymore. And he was just like, at a standstill in his life. And somebody said, hey, go do the Camino. You know, I met him the first night. And so, we got to be buddies. Because he, you said, you know, he told me his story. And I said, w, gee, I know what you’re talking about. I lost my husband and my mother died. I lost my husband in August, and my mother died in December. So, I know what you’re, I know what you’re saying. And he said, he was so sorry for me. And I guess it kind of helped him with his grief to know that somebody had some grief also.

Ann 

So, do you think the Pilgrims hold each other in that regard? You don’t need to necessarily know somebody’s story. But you know, they’re there for a reason. And there must be lots of support for each other.

Kathleen 

Yeah, yeah. And some, some people send their teenagers. I mean, I met these two teenagers, and their parents dropped them off and picked him up in Santiago and wanted them to have an amazing experience. You know, and, I mean, I, yeah, there was another young person who was there with two, not old, but older people. And he was very sullen. When I met him, and they were being there for him. I don’t know if he lost somebody or he was maybe it was like, there’s no drugs on the Camino. So, we’re sending you there… I don’t know what it was. But anyway, he was very sullen and and then after a while he wasn’t so sullen.

Ann 

In your book, you sort of meet people where they are, however they present themselves. That’s how they are in that moment.  There’s something very beautiful about that.

Kathleen  

I think the Angels send us to each other, I ended up talking to people and realising with my philosophies that I could really help them with my, what I had learned on those years that I studied with those Enlightened Masters.

Ann 

And what sort of things would you share with them?

Kathleen 

Well, one thing is about worry. If you worry, you’re actually, what you’re doing is you’re making up a sad story and putting faith in it and believing it. And it’s not really true at all. We need to realise the possibilities that exist in our life. If we have, if we have trauma in our life, we become sort of intent on the cause of that problem. And maybe we will project that on other people when they try and do something that we regard as dangerous. We will say yeah, but if you do that this will happen. Well, that’s not exactly true, is it? You know, there’s many possibilities of what could happen, actually, when we worry about somebody and, and we’ll be like, well, of course, I’m worried about you, I love you. But really, of course, I’m worried about you, I made up the story in my head about something bad that could happen because of what you’re doing. And it’s actually a curse. When we worry about someone, I understand worrying about somebody because you love them. But really, it’s not good to make up stories and project them on other people’s lives.

Ann 

Hmm, that’s really interesting to hear. And you said that your mother and your grandmother had walked the Camino? Is that right?

Kathleen 

No, no, no, that that’s not what I said

Ann 

Oh, I’m so sorry.  I thought you said at the beginning, your mum and grandmother had walked the Camino.

Kathleen 

My mother died right after my husband. It’s kind of an interesting story. Because my mother and my husband were best friends. They really liked each other. And actually, before I got married, my mother said to me, he’s a good one. Don’t let him get away. And so that was one of the reasons why I married Ron. And when I told my girlfriend that she said, Oh, my gosh, they’re soulmates. And she recognised him, when they she got old, she was 93, when she passed, and he was 71. But they looked like they were the same age, because my husband’s illness took him down that far. You know, he died in August, and she died in December. So, I think that may be true, I have no idea. But when I talked about my grandmother’s it was it was just that, how they had handled their life after their husbands died. And that helped me know how I could handle my life after my husband died. Their husbands died when they were in their 50s. And I was 69. When Ron died. He was 71. So, they had much more time been a widow than I will. Okay, well, maybe I’ll live longer. I wear those negative ion clothes, right?

Ann 

You may well do. And now you have walked the Camino, you’re super, super fit. Did you ever speak to your husband about walking the Camino at some point? Did you discuss it with him before he passed away?

Kathleen 

No. Well, he couldn’t talk number one. And I don’t remember if I talked to him about that, too. I don’t, I don’t know if I … we mainly talked, he would write things on my hand with his finger. Or he had an iPad, and you would type things out. Sometimes he would text me things. So, I didn’t, I didn’t really discuss things with him. Although he he still had his brains about him. And he kept me in line. Like, if if I had an appointment or something, he would wave me down and write on my hand where I needed to go and stuff like that. So, he he was he was there in his brains and better than me, actually,

Ann 

That’s amazing. What do you think he would have made of it? Of you you know, you doing this?

Kathleen 

I know what he made of it. You know, I have to tell you, when when I I went to school in Switzerland, a couple of summers back in 1999 and 2000, 2001. And I would go out in the hills, and I would find rocks that were shaped like hearts. And I would bring them home to him just to show that I was thinking about him. And then when I started the Camino, it was so uncanny. You know, on these rocky roads, I would be looking down and there would be a heart shaped rock. And I’m like, Yeah, Ron’s here with me. So, I mean, every 10th Step, there was a heart shaped rock. And I’m like, what? And then I would see like a puddle shaped like a heart. Or one time I even saw a dog doo on the street, shaped like a heart. And I’m like, this is ridiculous, you know.

Ann 

But that’s so beautiful.

Kathleen 

He was with me. He was definitely with me.

Ann 

Yeah, definitely. That’s amazing. And you’ve got grown up children, what did they think of you going off at the age of, may I say 70?

Kathleen 

  1. I was 69 when I started. I’m 73 now and I’m going next year to the Camino del Norte. But let’s see. Yeah, they? Well, you know, four of my children live in Texas, so they’re not even close. And the one who lives here she, they all were just very supportive. Ron and I were very active. We always walked everywhere. And really, when he was ill, I took him everywhere in the wheelchair. And he kept closing his eyes. So, he couldn’t have an electric wheelchair. I had to push him. Yeah, they they knew I was buff. You know, from doing that? And so no, they, they, they were very supportive all of them. And they were happy for me. And of course, I told them how I was preparing and what you know how I knew I could walk 10 miles a day and, and my daughter, Carla, who’s in Dallas made a WhatsApp for me and called it mom’s walk about check in. And so, I actually checked in with them every night. And if I didn’t check in somebody would be okay, Mom, where are you? What are you doing? You know, and so then I would tell them what was going on. And so, they were there with me, they would send me pictures of things that happen at home, and of their kids. And you know,

Ann 

That is so great. It’s nice to have somebody checking in on you to make sure that you’re okay as well, without interfering in the actual process of what you were doing. I just think that’s really ideal.

Kathleen 

They were happy for me.

Ann 

And Kathleen out of all the people, you must have met loads and loads of people on your journey there. Who out of all those people made the biggest impact on you, do you think?

Kathleen 

Oh gee, so many people. I think that guy, that guy the first night in Bar Carlos, the one that his friends had died, and I met him. And I actually saw him quite a bit along the Camino. He ended up in the same albergue as me quite a bit. And so, I think he had the most impact. He just seems like such a good friend. Of course, everybody was younger than me. I met a young man who, like the people who would walk, and then everybody was walking faster than me, right? And they would just pass me up. And then every once in a while, somebody would slow down when they get to me and talk to me. And that was so sweet for me. One guy, it was just towards the end. And he was just walking from Surya to Santiago, just a weekend trip. He had walked the Camino many times. And he stopped, and talked to me, and shared with me about his family. And I got to talk to him about breathing because I teach breathing. I teach transformational breathing. And so, I helped him with his breathing because he said that he was a runner. I mean, he actually looked like my husband, I mean, his physique, because he was an athlete, like my husband. And, and so he he said that when he walked, he would hold his belly tight, because that’s how he ran. And he thought his body had to be tight when he ran so he could run fast. And I said, well, if you’re gonna do and he was telling me he was having trouble with his breathing and, and so I talked him through breathing in your belly. And I said, that’s really important. You need to get more air. That’s what I did. When I walked I, I, breathed in six and out two, in six, out two, and the, the relaxed exhale. It’s like, when you breathe out, you don’t blow the air out, you just relax, and the air goes out. And so, you use… like that, and it’s not a forced, it’s just like you’re cleaning your glasses or something, you know, and so I was just walking him through how to breathe and and that really helped him, and it made me feel good, you know? And then he wanted to help me by helping me speak Spanish. And there I was finally somebody to talk to you. Right? And I just wanted to talk. He wanted me to speak Spanish to him. And I was like, oh, man, this is going to take my brains. I’m not going to enjoy this. And so, it was kind of funny that he was trying to help me, and it was making me stressed out.

Ann 

That’s so sweet. They say, Kathleen, that pilgrims lose a lot of belongings on their journey. Maybe they discard them. Maybe they just leave things behind. I know in your book; you talked about leaving your walking sticks behind that you have to help you walk with. Yeah. Why did you leave those behind?

Kathleen 

Well, I left them behind by mistake. It was towards the, it was right before I met that guy, right after Surya. And the guy in the albergue. He was, they call them hospitalaria, and he was the guy that took care of the the albergue and he was also the cook. So, he came around two o’clock in the afternoon and got everybody in, cooked the food, got everything cleaned up and set the coffee for the morning so we could turn it on in the morning. And then he would leave and wouldn’t come back till two o’clock the next day. And he said, when you leave, make sure you take everything because you’re not going to be able to get back in. So that morning, I left my poles.  When I realised it, that’s actually how I met that guy actually, I was walking along and I’m like, oh, I forgot. Oh, no, I went, Oh, no. And that guy said, what what happened? And I said, I forgot my poles. And then I just realised that when I had my poles, they were right out there in front of me. And now they weren’t. And I felt like the Camino was the only thing in front of me. And it felt good. It felt like I, it was a lifting off of, like you say, it lifted something off of me. And he said, you sure you don’t want to go back? And I’m like, I’m sure, this is great. And he said, well, there’s some hills between here and there. And I thought about it. And I’m like, nope, I’m good. And so, so that was pretty amazing. And I knew I couldn’t go back anyway.

Ann 

Yeah, yeah, shedding. I mean, you shed belongings don’t you, but you must also shed beliefs and outdated thoughts and things like that along the way.

Kathleen 

Right, because you’re talking to each, you’re talking to each other, and you get a new perspective from other, talking to other people.

Ann 

Yeah, yeah.

Kathleen 

Yeah, you can really find out some stuff. I mean, I love listening to podcasts, because I find stuff. I love your podcasts and, and you know, talking to people on the Camino, it’s kind of like that, you just, you find out stuff from really, you know, interesting people.

Ann 

And so, if somebody’s listening to this, Kathleen, and there’s really inspired by what you’ve just described and explained your experience. How do you think is a good way to spiritually prepare for a pilgrimage?

Kathleen 

Well, it all depends on where you are spiritually. I lived my life. I mean, I went to pray, you know, the Catholic school, I went to, you know, High School, Grade School, and I lived a Catholic marriage. And Bryan and I were team couples for Marriage Encounter. I mean, we really did it, we did the Catholic life, and I loved it. So, I have quite a bit of spirituality in me. I think, wherever you are with God, you can bring that with you on the Camino. There’s the pilgrim blessing, you go to a church, go to the service, and then they call you up and bless you. For the Camino. I was very interested to see that there were so many people standing in the back of the church, they didn’t really want to participate in the mass. But they did want that blessing. And they would come up with the Pilgrims after mass and get the blessing. And I just thought that was very interesting that they wanted that. But I mean, no, it’s like, Catholic, ah, get me out of here, you know, something like that. Yeah, I think there’s a spirituality in each one of us and, and we have chosen it, and it’s good. Whatever it is. It’s good. It’s how God, we relate to God. God relates to us. I don’t think there’s any special way. It’s just my life that’s all. And the spirituality part.

Ann 

I guess, I’m sort of answering my own question, listening to you talking there about all of that, that where I said we meet people where they are, so I guess, we meet God, where we are when we begin? This is where I’m at.

Kathleen 

Absolutely.

Ann 

Come with me.

Kathleen 

Absolutely. And faith. Faith is a gift. And the level of our faith is our gift from God. We can ask God for more faith or whatever, that’s probably a good thing to do. But God calls us we’re actually first issue of God. I know my kids used to say, Mom, you’re Catholic enough for both of us, you know? And I’d be like, no, we’re all first issue from God. God does not have any grandchildren, we are all, me, God, that’s it. You know, it’s not like your grandmother, you can, you know, I’m holy because my grandmother was, no. It’s like, it’s an, it’s a personal thing, always.

Ann 

I love that. I’ve never heard that before. That’s a really lovely way of looking at it. So, you’ve written your beautiful book, Kathleen, Wisdom on the Camino, a spiritual journey, sharing forgiveness and possibilities to inspire the rest of your life. Where can people buy this?

Kathleen 

You can get it on Amazon, you can, that’s what I self-published, I joined the self-publishing school. That’s the name of the school, self-publishing school. And of course, I gave them a bunch of money, but you know what, they helped me output the book. And, you know, they lead you to publish on Amazon. It’s very easy to publish on Amazon. It’s amazing. Thank you, God. So, you just put Wisdom on the Camino. And it comes up,

Ann 

Did you write it as you went? Or did you write it when you came back?

Kathleen 

You know that I when I came back, I did not even know I was gonna write a book. I had all this evidence of my Camino, I had all the stuff that I told my friends on Facebook, I had my WhatsApp.  I actually told my children the gory details, I just said, the fun stuff to my friends. And then I told my kids the gory details, and, and I had all the pictures that I took. And I had my pilgrim passport. So, I knew where I was each day. So, between all that evidence, I sort of mapped out the book. And really, when I went to write the book, I actually didn’t start with the Camino, I wrote down my teachings, and I was thought those would be chapters. And then after, when I decided what I was really going to do, I kind of put the names of the people that I told those things to under them. And that’s how I mapped out the book. 

Ann 

It is absolutely brilliant. I loved loved reading it; it was just so simply written and so beautifully to follow. It was a real page turner. So ..

Kathleen 

I tried to put the words that I use to my friends and my kids. And you know, I didn’t want to write from San Diego, I wanted to write from the Camino. So, the words I used when I told people about it, I use those words in the book. And then of course, things that I the words that I wrote down made me think of different experiences. And so, some of those, I had to just write what I remembered.

Ann 

So, what’s next for you? Kathleen, you said, you’re doing another Camino somewhere else.

Kathleen 

Yeah, I’m going to do the Camino del Norte next year, probably late April. I don’t know I really loved being on the Camino during Lent. It was so dramatic. And oh my gosh, it was like food for my soul. But I’ll probably go at the end of April, because it’s going to be north. It’s along the northern coast of Spain, and it’s going to be north. So, it’s kind of going to be maybe colder. Up there, I hope. Yeah. So that’s my plan. But last year, like I say, I went I did from Lisbon. A walk from Lisbon to Santiago. And so that’s my next book. I’m writing the book right now about that.

Ann 

And just a final question. I’ve asked you 1000 questions. One more, if someone’s listening, and they’re thinking, oh, gosh, I’d love to do that. Where are they going to start? I mean, the you did a lot of research. But where does somebody start? Okay, I’ll walk the Camino. Where’s the first place they go?

Kathleen 

Well, there’s a lot of YouTubes about people who walked the Camino. And one thing there’s a lot of information about how to pack and what to bring. I think that’s really important. I watched so many YouTubes, thank you, God for YouTube. Yeah, and I read many books about walking the Camino. And that’s why I knew people get sick on the Camino and I, I built in time for that. And really, you need to go out and walk you need to, you need to be able to walk. And it’s a low-tech skill, right, one foot in front of the other, but you need to be a bit buff, and then really, you know, while you’re there, you get more buff. So, you know, you need a certain level so you’re not you know, some people who weren’t prepared with get leg cramps and stuff and so you need to kind of take care of yourself. So, you’re, you’re able to walk and you know, maybe they are actually the the second place I was at the they were selling stuff and one of them was like a leg roller you can roll across your leg and get rid of your cramps and your legs.

Ann 

Well, it just sounds amazing. And I wish you all the very best on your Camino del Norte when you go in April next Yeah. Do you think there’ll be a book that comes from that one too?

Kathleen 

Yeah, you know, this self-publishing school. After you write your first book, they’re like, Okay, well, what’s your next book? And then after that, they’re like, Okay, are you gonna make a box set? So, I think that’s gonna be my box set. The three books

Ann 

Fantastic. And, Kathleen, do you have a website?

Kathleen

Yes. My website is www.wisdomonthecamino.com. You can find the book there, too. I wanted to say one more thing. There’s a free gift in my book. And what it is, it is yours, because somebody told me you should put the pictures in, my pictures. And I thought, well, that’ll make you know the book $50. Nobody will buy it. And so, there’s an opt in and I’m sorry, it’s a double opt in. That’s what they do. And I had to do that. But you have to opt in to see my pictures. On my website. I have a gallery with portfolios of pictures for each chapter. There’s a few pictures as you read.

Ann 

A beautiful thing to do. Kathleen, I wish you all the very best with it. And thank you so much for coming on and sharing your journey with us. It’s been absolutely fascinating listening to you.

Kathleen 

Well, thank you very much. This was fun for me.

Ann

Kathleen Donnelly Israel there everybody, what an absolutely inspirational lady.   Please do go and buy her beautiful book, Wisdom on The Camino.  If you go to Kathleen’s website www.wisdomonthecamino.com, you will find the book there.  And it’s so beautifully written in these beautifully short chapters that will keep you turning the pages, and I hope it will inspire you, to make a pilgrimage of your own, however long, however, short, take some time out to walk with your own soul and let your God speak to you.

Just to remind you, that all resources for this episode, including a full transcript and importantly, how to reach Kathleen, are over on my website under podcasts, so do head over there and you can pick everything up on the show notes for this episode at www.anntheato.com. 

Don’t forget to check out the benefits you get from being a patron of this podcast, at www.patreon.com/psychic matters and do consider signing up to be a patron of this podcast over the next 12 months, I’d be hugely grateful for any help you can offer because the money that I raise through Patreon goes to help all the overheads, because it costs money to put this podcast on, and so much time, and I know that you all get a lot out of it.  So, if you’d like to just give a little back that would be so appreciated.

And if you can, please do write a written review on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser, as you know, that really does help the podcast move up the podcast charts and you can write one again.  If you have already written one please do write a second one, that would be very much appreciated.

For now, I would like to wish you all a very peaceful couple of weeks and I’ll leave you with Kathleen’s wonderful words: “Faith is a gift.  And the level of our faith is our gift from God. I think, wherever you are with God, you can bring that with you on the Camino.  I think there’s a spirituality in each one of us and we have chosen it and it’s good, whatever it is.”

My name is Ann Théato and thank you for listening to Psychic Matters.

CREDITS

Reach by Christopher Lloyd Clarke. Licensed by Enlightened Audio.

 

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