Camino Encounters Series.

My husband Mike became ill when our girls were only two and three years old. He fought for twelve years against cancer. After his death, I was initially doubtful, not knowing if I could just pick up and go on. To fill the void and learn to cope with the loss I started to walk: the Himalayas and the Camino de Compostela to Santiago. My third Camino should have been the highlight, a 900 kilometres long pilgrimage. Unfortunately, it turned out differently. Due to a blister I ended up in the hospital in Porto. Instead of getting the right medical treatment I experienced a deeply traumatic week, in which I feared for my life. I have decided to write about this experience and my life story, by using the Five Elements theory and the Nine Star Ki: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth.

Camino Encounters Metal book, the first edition describes the time that I spent in a hospital in Porto, in the summer of 2017. The whole experience tested my ability to survive mentally and physically, as I feared for my life. I wish I had not had to pay such a high price for this knowledge. But, would I have listened? I believe I learnt the hard way because a soft approach does not belong in the metal environment. Metal does not bend naturally. It can be as hard as steel and how else to cut through this other than with a razor-sharp knife?

Camino Encounters Water book is the second edition. This book contains the insights of the first Camino that I walked, in October 2014, from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. It illustrates the struggles between fear and wisdom, subdued surrender to the flow of which I unwillingly became part of and other lessons that I learnt about bunkbeds, bedbugs and earplugs. The amazing encounters with other pilgrims, exceptional inspiration, benevolent compassion but also being left to my own devices, not being able to go back or forth, are all part of the intriguing experiences.

Camino Encounters Wood book is the third edition and describes the inspirational encounters between myself and other pilgrims during my 800 kilometre walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port at the foot of the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I was torn between dealing with, and leaving behind, the anger and frustration in every step taken representing the 12 years’ battle which Mike fought against cancer. I was submerged and connected with nature, in quest to find harmony and faith in a life without the one I love.

Camino Encounters Fire book is the fourth edition and gives an insight to the 12-year battle which Mike fought against cancer. When he was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 35 and we were told that he had perhaps 7 years to live, our world fell apart. But within 3 years of his first operation, Mike’s tumour reappeared. His passion for life and eagerness to live grew as Mike wanted to see his 2 girls grow up. They were only 2 and 3 years at the time. The transformation which we all endured weighed heavily at times but also gave us wings to fly.

Camino Encounters Earth book is the fifth and last edition but could also have been the first. A good example of the opposites that belong to the earth element according to the Nine Star Ki theory. After Mike’s death, there is only emptiness which turns to loneliness. I am constantly pulled between a heavenly force and ground level energy. What does life expect of me when only ‘3 of us’ are left? And then, one after the other, both girls spread their wings to leave the nest.

In the Earth book I shed some light on the workings of Nine Star Ki and the Five Elements. How the elements can work in everyone’s favour, how your relationships can improve by understanding your personal Nine Star Ki range and how food and relaxation based on the Five Elements can transform your life into a more vital life.

I can only say that my life has been enriched by implementing the above. And I am thankful for the acquired knowledge. I wish for everyone that they feel and experience this reviving energy themselves one day. I am strengthened by the knowledge that there are always new beginnings. I have found ‘myself’ and the way to inner peace, for that I am very grateful. My circle is round.