Puente La Reina

Yesterday Elizabeth was in Puente La Reina. I have a fondness for Puente La Reina and not just because Reina was named for this town. It’s more an affection born from years of hearing your Puente La Reina stories. And yesterday as I heard Lizzy’s Camino Three Puente La Reina story, my affection and awe about the energetic wisdom and power of the place and its Flower Essence only increased.

Since first offering this Essence in 2008, we have seen you reach for Puente La Reina Flower Essence when looking for support to ditch personality driven obligations, burdens, preoccupations and relationships to go to a new place of connection to people and situations that genuinely support your authentic selves. Since this Flower Essence helps us all make an upgrade in relationship and life circumstances, I have gotten to hear a lot of inspiring stories about your work with this Essence.

Those of us here in the office often refer to an event in someone’s life by the name of one of the Camino Essences. It’s a useful shorthand for us as we work to serve you with the best Essences. We often say, ‘a Puente La Reina’ moment to mean a significant turn in someone’s spiritual journey, a moment when someone is ready to let go of seriously burdensome or obscuring baggage and get on with the real work of his or her life. We are always happy when it’s a Puente La Reina moment for you.

There are so many mysteries about why each of us hit Puente La Reina moments when we do. Our spiritual journeys have a certain order and underlying purpose in their orde, but a lot of this order is beyond my understanding. Some of it remains paradoxical to me. But a little bit more clarity about Puente La Reina’s geographic position and the purposefulness of its placement on the Camino on the far side of Pamplona came to me when I got Elizabeth’s email yesterday.

Elizabeth was nudged to go on this Camino in July, and this meant traveling through Pamplona at the height of the San Fermin festival. In yesterday’s email, she noted that this timing has given everything up to Puente La Reina a strange party party party feeling with most of the pilgrims on the trail out of France focused on getting wasted in Pamplona. As she traversed Pamplona, the scene proved beyond the imaginings of even the most jaded of college students. I know I come from puritanical stock and therefore don’t get a lot of things in the culture, but her description made me think pretty much anyone on Earth would think the scene in Pamplona extremely unsavory.

The energy of Puente La Reina with its clarion call to lay down personality driven agendas and ego preoccupations seems to mark both a point in our lives and on the Camino when we get real about what matters and go forward with much greater clarity about our choices. Having stood in stark contrast to the energy of San Fermin and the Pamplona party energy for so very long, Puente La Reina offers real vibrational strength about getting us to get real about our choices and move on in ways profoundly more in alignment with our eternal selves than what went before.

Here is Elizabeth’s description of her Puente La Reina Essence as it connected to her first Camino when she made the Flower Essence for the first time.

Keynote: Clarity
Lightening your energetic load and being clear about whom you travel forward with. Learning discernment about who sees your worth and can actually support your growth.

Puente la Reina is the city where I spent my third night on the trail. Previously I had walked with a man from Denmark who had been part of the original group that I started with on the first day. During this day, I walked ahead when he needed to slow down due to his knees. This departure happened on the outskirts of Pamplona, a city famous for the running of the bulls. This moment of moving ahead was one of clarity. It was a moment when I knew that I needed to keep moving forward and that there were other souls further ahead who could better support me in my journey. Because this man reminded me of a person with whom I had recently parted, this was a big moment for me.

That night in the albergue I met a charming German boy with whom I had much in common. Like myself, he had been a teacher. Like myself he was trying to figure out his life. I was encouraged by my first taste of being with young people. Before this moment, the trail had felt full of older people either on their own or in couples. That evening, before everyone disappeared off to bed, I asked the young man if he would like to walk with me the next day. He told me that would be ok if we woke up around the same time, our pace was the same, and it just happened. “Yea sure, whatever.” he said. This was not the enthusiastic response I was hoping for. If he did not want to make the effort in the smallest way, then I needed to go on and seek people who would. The trail was teaching me discernment about my choices of traveling companions and my worthiness to travel with kindred spirits.

In Puente la Reina, I also lightened my pack by leaving behind my heavy, but brand new sleeping mat. I left it with a gulp in the albergue, but did not miss its weight and bulk on my back for one minute. On the trail everything in one’s pack must be essential. Flushing out all the things that were not needed was a favorite pastime. I found the practice could be almost completely translated to all the things we carry internally as well. Hence, I set off before sunrise in the company of two Italians who spoke not a lick of English, in an effort to lighten all types of loads.

PS After I posted this blog, an email arrived from Elizabeth written as she departed from Puente La Reina- She hadn’t read this post nor had we talked about Puente La Reina in our emails, yet in that wonderful Camino way of things, it felt like we were mid- conversation about all that I was thinking about.

She noted that until Puente, the Camino had felt like a trail of ghosts, certainly a more poetic way to describe personality preoccupations we need to jettison even as they don’t have much life force in our lives anymore.

She also said Puente continued to feel like the place to be washed clean of all the shadows. She noted that the mood on the Camino feels more edgy than on her other Caminos, and that everyone seems to feel a certain sense of the world and its spirituality being in the throes of big changes. Perhaps as things continue to unfold, Puente La Reina will serve the collective paradigm shifts of humanity as well as our individual ones. I feel it is up to the task.

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