You have done amazing things in your life.
At the time, they may not have seemed so amazing. Studying for a degree, or having a baby, or renovating a home are work. There are moments of magic, but there are long stretches of drudgery, too.
It’s not until it’s all over that you look back and realize what you accomplished. You did that. You didn’t give up. You made it happen.
And it changed you.
You’re not the person you were before. You know more about what you’re capable of. You’re stronger in who you are.
Diane Wyzga achieved many things in her life. She’d flown airplanes and scuba dived and tended sheep and taught.
But when she was faced with the prospect of walking 500 miles across Spain, on the Camino de Santiago, she almost turned around and headed home.
What was she thinking? This was a stupid idea. How could she have believed she could do this?
In this week’s YBTV interview, Diane shares the secret to believing you can do the impossible.
If there is something in your life you’ve always wanted to do but never thought you could, Diane’s story will inspire and uplift you.
You’ll learn what it’s like to walk the ancient pilgrim’s route known as the Camino de Santiago.
You’ll learn about “Camino Magic,” the mysterious flow of synchronicities and strange coincidences.
And you’ll learn why it’s true that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
What You’ll Learn
There have been moments in your life when something has said, ‘Now!’
If and when that happens, you say, ‘Yes.’
Because when you say yes, something will figure out how to see you through.”
In the early part of 2016, Diane Wyzga heard the call.
She couldn’t explain why. Maybe it had to do with watching the movie “The Way.”. Maybe it was the spirit of adventure.
For whatever reason, she knew she had to do it.
She was going to walk the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where the remains of St. James were laid.
She didn’t have time to waste. It was fall, and she needed to finish before winter set in.
She needed to arrange her itinerary, pack, and sort out her affairs for a 6-week absence. She didn’t think to ask anyone else to go with her. “I was called to go, and I said, ‘Okay, this is what I have to do.'”
That momentum carried her through until her flight started to descend into Madrid, kicking off the beginning of her journey.
“I looked out over the Spanish countryside, and I said, ‘That’s it. There’s no way I can do this. This is a stupid idea. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
She planned to grab her backpack and take the next flight back to California.
As she waited to land, she reached into her day pack and pulled out a card from her friend Lorraine.
She opened it and was surprised to read the first two words:
What? She hadn’t even begun yet!
The letter continued:
“I bet you’re wondering why I started out this letter by saying, ‘Well done.’ Because no matter what happens from this day forward, you showed up to do it.”
The People Who Walk With You
Diane got off the plane, got her backpack…
And headed out of the terminal to find a bus that would take her to the train station.
She was going to do this, and she knew she was not alone.
Her backpack was full of notes, cards, poems and encouragement from people back home who were cheering her on.
She’d need those reminders. The trail wasn’t easy.
“I don’t think anybody can understand the magnitude of that kind of journey until they’ve actually done it,” she says.
You can watch all the videos you can, read all the packing lists, break in your boots… but nothing prepares you for the Camino but being on the Camino. You have to go, you have to walk, and you do it step-by-step.”
Something that made it harder was the 2 lbs of rocks she was carrying in her backpack.
People back home gave her the rocks to throw on the pile at the Cruz de Farro.
The Cruz de Farro is an enormous pile of rocks dating from medieval times. Pilgrims would take rocks with them, each rock representing something they wanted to release from their life. They would throw their rocks onto the pile, symbolically letting go of the burden they’d been carrying.
The Camino Magic
“That fear of being able to do this, of not being ready, does come back up again,” Diane says.
She knew she didn’t have to finish the route. There were many places on the Camino she could have left.
“But something holds you there,” she muses, “and I think it is the people that you meet.”
Diane met people from 29 different countries. Despite the language barriers, they were able to communicate.
“You were able to share where you’ve been, where you come from, how heavy your pack is, how much your feet hurt, whether you’re sleeping well at night—or not, how good the vino tinto is… That is the Camino Magic that keeps you going.”
Before Camino and After Camino
Diane jokes that her life is divided into BC and AC.
Before Camino and After Camino.
“Not a day goes by I don’t think about the Camino,” she says.
Every year, on the anniversary of her departure for the Camino, she takes out her books and journals and relives the trip again.
She looks at her map of Spain, where she drew in her route, and thinks:
“I did that. I walked 500 miles. I lost 15 pounds, but I walked 500 miles! And I did it in rain and snow and heat and not knowing anything.”
She remains extraordinarily grateful for the experience.
The Camino inspired her podcast, Stories from Women Who Walk. Each day, Monday through Friday, she posts 60 seconds of wisdom, inspiration, and hope.
She finishes by offering these two words:
It’s a greeting on the Camino that means have a good walk, or have a good way.
“And I would share that with you. Whatever is going on with you today, tomorrow… buen camino to you.”
 Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
“Remember the first time you rode a bike and took your hands off the handlebars? And then because it felt fun and scary you did it again until you were streaking down the hill with the wind blowing in your face, your hands up over your head screaming, ‘Look, Ma! No hands!’ That’s been the story of my life,” says Diane Wyzga. She’s been a US Navy nurse, graduate student, scuba diver, private airplane pilot, corporate executive, lawyer, story artist, professor, shepherd, litigation consultant, podcaster and wordsmith. Learn more.