A Sense of Spirit · Morning Pages · reading · spirituality

The Camino : A Journey of the Spirit.

"The Camino"
“The Camino”

Since the year began, I have already, unintentionally, developed a few new habits. Although I read every day, always having a book of some description on standby, to pick up and read a few pages whilst eating lunch, or before going to sleep, this year, reading has become as natural to me as drinking a glass of water.

Every day this year also, I have written a few lines in my own personal journal. Nothing earth-shattering, just a word or two about my day. This particular habit I began in January last year, although I didn’t carry it through the entire year. Not until the last three months, that is, and this year, my daily notes have easily become a habit.

Robin, over at Breezes at Dawn, has spoken recently about Morning Pages. This morning, I tried it. I didn’t follow all the rules, but I did try out the concept.

I should start at the beginning of what eventuated though, leading to my urge to write first thing in the day. Last night, at around 11:30 pm, I finished reading “The Camino”, a book written by Shirley MacLaine. In the book, she describes her own personal thoughts as she walked the 780 kilometres (500 miles) of the Santiago de Compostela Camino, though the north of Spain.

Anyone who is familiar with the writings of Shirley MacLaine will know them, at times, to be rather controversial. This is a lady who says it like it is. She has traveled her own spiritual journey for many years, and through many previous lifetimes, as she continues to learn. When I read another book of hers, “Out on a Limb”, when it was first released in the 1980’s, I was ready for her. Shirley MacLaine wrote the knowledge I had been searching for for a lifetime. The world, however, balked at her candidness, she was ridiculed.

"Out on a Limb"
“Out on a Limb”

Reading “The Camino”, I felt certain that I would be prepared for anything she wrote about, but I wasn’t. I won’t spoil the book for anyone by describing the section that disturbed me though, if you feel so inclined, please do read it yourself, it is quite a wonderful book. But when I awoke this morning, before speaking to anyone, before allowing anyone to invade my thought space, I wrote.

On Goodreads, I rated the book four out of five stars, then continued by writing a review. This was my first book review, and it didn’t hurt a bit, in fact, I have written two more reviews at Goodreads today, and have decided to continue this habit (yet another newly formed habit for 2015) with each book as I finish reading it.

I think it helped, writing early in the day. I needed to flush the disturbing section of the book from my mind, and by putting those written words out into the Universe, I believe it has removed the thoughts sufficiently for me to move on to my next book, a light-hearted novel. 🙂

Later, perhaps in a few weeks or months, once some time has passed, I will contemplate “The Camino” again. It is certainly a journey which I would love to (physically) take myself on one day. For now though, time will allow my mind to come to terms with some of the aspects of the story, and I will decide whether what has been written is a truth I am comfortable with. For now, I’m not.

If you are a member of Goodreads, add me as a friend there. If you are a reader and haven’t joined the site, I can recommend it as a site in which you can keep track of the books you have read, are reading, and wish to read in the future.

Here is the review I wrote ~

Years ago, I read “Out on a Limb” by Shirley MacLaine, so knew to expect the unexpected from her.

The first three quarters of the book describe how she heard about the Camino, the journey itself, the people she met along the way, past life regressions she experienced during her quiet times….so far, very interesting, and I enjoyed following her walking travels through the sacred trail.

The last few chapters rattled me. This was where I reached “the unexpected”, (which, of course, I should have expected!) I can only imagine that my own soul’s journey through time was not yet ready to hear the things that Shirley MacLaine wrote about. This is not a criticism of the book, just how it felt to me. The story is written with complete honesty, and I like that. If an author, any author at all, is going to write an autobiographical account of any period of their life, I would expect nothing less, therefore, if what I read in the latter section of the book had not upset my equilibrium, my rating would be five stars. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone!

I would only recommend this book to a person who is open to hearing of possibilities other than those traditionally accepted, as per the bible. And having a mind wide open would help as well. It is evident that Shirley MacLaine realizes there may be some readers who find what they read disturbing, as warnings are strategically placed at the beginning of two such sections. I read past the first warning sign unscathed…but even though I felt my mind open to new theories, it will take some time to digest the possibility of the second concept presented.


9 thoughts on “The Camino : A Journey of the Spirit.

  1. I’m not great about using Goodreads regularly, but I do turn to it to see what my friends are reading when I’m looking for something new to pick up. What is your user name on Goodreads?


  2. A blogger, “Dear Rosie” , a year or so back, recounted her travels on the Camino trail and I wished I too could walk that trail.

    I did ready Shirley MacLean’s earlier book and though I like to think I have an open mind, I catch myself smugly thinking she’s a whack-job, while in fact I’m afraid to open myself up to the possibilities she speaks of. I love her candour and her honesty. I wish I was ready to read her new book, but I fear once more the barriers, will flip up when she ventures into new spiritual territory.

    Your review was wonderful and helpful in that it give guidance … and warnings to readers that they need to be prepared to listen and hear what she has to say with an open mind.


  3. I haven’t read anything of Shirley’s, but might consider it. I think I am not looking for challenges at this point in my life, at least not right now. I read, but largely as an escape, an entertainment, these days. Going through a little bit of a head-in-the-sand mode, perhaps.

    Sent from my iPad



  4. Your review made me curious to read Shirley MacLaine’s book, even though I’ve never read any of her books before. I haven’t done much reading in recent months with so much going on. Maybe after I finish reading all the books I got for Christmas I’ll give her a try. Other people’s spiritual journeys always fascinate me.


  5. Gosh, Joanne, I am SO curious as to the part of this book that disturbed you! It…almost…makes me want to pick up the book just so I can try to figure out the mystery. Part of me thinks (like Sybil) that she’s over-the-edge. But the more I begin to accept the over-the-edge parts of myself, the more I find myself accepting them in others. Or at least shaking my head in amazement that the Universe is choosing to express itself through yet another one of us strange wonderful beings.


    1. Sybil speaks of putting up barriers, because at times she is not yet ready to accept what Shirley MacLaine is saying. That’s how I feel, about the “mystery” you speak of. I’ll email you and tell you more later, but right now I have to dash….husband and I are painting a bedroom, and he’s been out and just arrived home!


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