This week we are delighted to have the opportunity to Interview Adrian and Teresa from SoulCamino. They fell in love with the Camino after first walking the way in 2012. Since then they’ve embarked on several journeys.
YOUR CAMINO JOURNEY TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
What motivated you to embark on the Camino de Santiago?
Adrian: I walked my first Camino in 2012 as I had read about it the previous year in a national newspaper, albeit I decided to do it on foot rather than as described in the article with a donkey! What spurred me to walk was twofold, I had time, as I found myself at a hiaitus in early 2012, and I also felt I needed an extended period of reflection to embark on a journey of self-discovery, which also would be a challenge. I was looking for a change, to change even and the Camino, from what I had read was just what I was looking for.
Teresa: I had heard so much about it from Adrian as he has walked it numerous times and he had always spoke about his experiences with such passion, and particularly how he underwent an amazing transformation, just by walking. As I come from Asia, the Camino is not something that I had ever encountered before and it intrigued me that one could have such deep level of transformation in such an environment. I had to discover the experience for myself, and when I finally did it, I also was blown away by the experience, in many different ways.
Did you find the Camino walk challenging?
Teresa: Yes and even though I consider myself to be a fit person who exercises regularly, the challenges were a combination of physical, mental and emotional due to the change in terrain, weather, distance, which varied day to day. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced and the bonding and friendship that we cultivated along the way was also a nice addition. On my first Camino I had to contend with some major blisters from problems with the suitability of my footwear (I had to rotate between 3 types of shoes!!). This walk also taught me to celebrate the small wins and built my resilience, my will power, and at the same time to be open to whatever things unfold on the journey, of which there were a lot!!
Adrian: On my first Camino, the French Way, back in May 2012, the first day, perhaps even the first couple of days, it was quite challenging for sure. At some point during the first 100 kms, and from talking to many peregrinos it’s not uncommon to think this, I questioned what on earth I was doing? But as I continued on, the feeling of the warmth of the sun on your back increasing during the chilly mornings, and the glory of the landscapes as they unfolded during the day very quickly made up for any sense of hardship. After three days I was hooked, and whilst every Camino has its challenges in some shape or form, I still get an amazing sense of excitement whilst preparing and embarking on every new Camino.
How long did you spend on the Camino trail and where did you start?
Teresa: My first experience of the Camino was only for two days walking on the Camino Frances between Santo Domingo and Burgos, a taster is how Adrian titled it, and from that point on I fell in love with Camino. A couple of weeks later I walked the final 100kms or so on 3 different routes with Adrian, all finishing in Santiago. The first was the Sanabres from Ourense, followed then by the Primitivo from Lugo, and the Spiritual Route from Tui. I wanted to experience the different routes and at the same time to research, which of the routes would be best for our Soul Camino retreat. We spent in total about 25 days of walking, and it was amazing for me, to experience the different terrains, the diversity of the landscapes and the ever changing weather; delicious Galician food, and of course the interesting array of people walking on those routes, and it was all in the same country!
Adrian: As well as the times I have walked on the Camino with Teresa I have walked a number of times before. My first experience was in May 2012 walking the Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago in 26 days. For some this would be very quick, but I walked the pace on the day that I felt comfortable walking. As the days racked up and I got closer to getting the Compostela my pace slowed as I wanted to savour every moment. Some might say I stopped to smell the flowers, it’s true I didn’t want it to finish, but I did get to Santiago, went onto Finisterre, and I’ve been hooked on walking the Camino ever since.
What were your highlights from your time walking the Camino?
Teresa: There were many highlights for me and when I walked the Camino I had several questions that I was seeking to discover answers to. I found my answers along the way, from talking with the people that I met, the places that I visited, in sampling the food that was so delicious and plentiful, and the bonding that we had with other pilgrims. Each time I experience the journey’s end in front of the cathedral, in what I consider to be a sacred city, it ends in a new way. It is very addictive walking Camino, and even now, just thinking about it, makes me want to get into my walking clothes, grab my backpack, and start walking right away!
Adrian: Every Camino is different on a number of levels, and so the highlights vary from walk to walk. The Camino Frances for me, the first one I did, when I walked has a huge impact on me. On that walk I discovered “the spirit of the camino”, many things about myself and others, and the diversity of Spain in terms of culture, food and people. All the following Caminos I have walked further, highlighted these things and expanded my passion for pilgrimage and how fortunate we are to have experienced these intrinsic messages.
Teresa, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Coach and Trainer with a deep capacity for love and life, which I express in my life motto, ‘Love Deep, Live Fearlessly’. My work is focused on clinical, mental and emotional issues. I have helped countless individuals move towards and find lasting transformation, and moved many others through and beyond their emotional and mental challenges into a positive mind shift by employing hypnotherapy, positive psychology, regression and coaching.
My work also involves soul work where I delve into our soul lineage, past and present life to help reveal one’s life purpose and life patterns and in the process, help people to understand and create unique, focused and decisive actions to affect positive outcomes in their life. I have dedicated my life purpose in assisting others in their own life discovery journey, offering a real glimpse of the hidden power and strength within every person.
Adrian, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
In 2012 I had planned to relocate to Canada, where a great job, and a new life was waiting for me. I had some time on my hands before the big move, so I decided to fulfil a long-time ambition of walking the Camino de Santiago. After spending two months walking on the Camino Frances, immersing myself in the spirit of pilgrimage and the landscapes and culture of Spain, I underwent a really quite life-changing personal transformation, deciding that Spain was where I wanted to live, and I have been living in Spain and also walking Caminos ever since.
My career path, before starting my new life in Spain was mainly centred on the UK, where I started out in hospitality management and later gained over 20 years of experience as a project manager specialising in foodservice Concept to Completion projects, delivering practical solutions to facilitate organisational growth using a variety of change management theories and practices. My clients were leading hospitality and restaurant brands, academic institutions and healthcare providers.
Since moving to Spain I have worked in developing communications and language skills with a range of organisations in numerous sectors including universities, media production, advertising and marketing agencies, logistics, manufacturing and commodities trading.
What inspired you to develop Soul Camino?
Teresa: I am always searching and exploring within myself and also helping others to do the same, to seek new experiences and guidance. The first time I walked a Camino, it blew my entire existence to the next level. Walking the Camino Portugués I knew I had found the perfect route to combine with my work on personal transformation and deep soul work. I now want to make it part of my mission to bring into the lives of others the magic of Camino and transformation.
Adrian: Teresa is some respect inspired me, and in other respects walking the Camino de Santiago seven years ago, which truly transformed my own life! Meeting Teresa was the catalyst to set our project in motion, which has been further inspired over time through understanding the impact of the work we could achieve in being a force for positive change for others, together. On the Camino I have always found the inspiration and scope for deep personal transformation, and I wanted to share this transformative experience with others.
What type of people would benefit from a Soul Camino retreat?
Those who are seeking their life purpose and clarity, peace and most importantly to manage their stress, anxieties, depression and even panic attacks. Soul Camino is especially beneficial for those who are at a crossroads in their life, and are seeking answers, which would be best formulated in a safe, natural, beautiful space that is lovingly held by us.
We feel everyone, although they may not recognise it, need to take a break from their busy and intense high-velocity lives and find a perfect space to reconnect with your soul. People nowadays are often craving some sacred “me-time”, away from the white noise and anxiety that life can present us, to regain their balance, and Soul Camino can offer this. Our retreat is journey of adventure, self-discovery and nurture, miles away from the routines and stressful life, a space within which to find the answers people are looking for. People looking for inner peace, find a release from their old burdens, and experience the transformational journey of their lifetime.
You say the program will support personal transformation, how do you hope to achieve this?
We are big proponents of sharing practices for self-empowerment! We have created very thoughtfully curated workshops and activities incorporating both spiritual and psychotherapeutic practices, and this is at the heart of Soul Camino, these all being designed to facilitate deep soul and inner-work.
Our program offers participants the opportunity to discover, practice, and integrate relevant and practical transformative tools that can continue to be used “in real life”. It’s a program that belongs to the self, built to reconnect, create and inspire the inner wisdom we all hold intrinsically, so it is a participant’s retreat, which has been developed by us, for those who are seeking to understand their soul journey.
What is also extraordinarily powerful is when a group of like minded individuals come together, the shared intentions and work raises each individual’s inner work to a higher level and a greater transformation takes place. That is why we chose the Camino for this purpose as it has a collective history and an incredibly positive energy that has helped millions of individuals.
Each day of the program has been carefully designed to deliver real transformation through thoughtful daily practices and unique activities. These activities and workshops range from special ceremonies, to active meditation, practices that include focused psychotherapy techniques, soul regressions and progressions, breath-work and mindful exercises. Every element and technique included is tailored to connect with each stage of the Camino Portugués, and the tranformational work deepens even more once we arrive in Santiago. Here we hold three full days of workshops and practices over a three day period.
Of course there will be also be a few surprises along the way!
Can you walk us through the highlights of one program you offer?
Every day on Soul Camino, starting in Vigo, builds upon the previous day as personal transformation is a process, and our program of activities reflects this. There are unique daily activities, each being a highlight in it’s own right.
During the first few days of walking examples of a couple activities are:
Day 2: There will be a combination of exercises to reconnect with yourself, interacting with your physical, emotional and mental dynamics. We explore how to be in the present moment, gain perspective of the people, relationship and situation that are weighing you down.
Day 4: The exercises for today will focus on tapping into the wisdom of the heart to release and nourish it with gratitude to heal, to be free to love and love again, learn to be balanced, and how to cultivate loving relationships with ourselves, and others. You will explore the science of breathing for centering, along with tools for creating a state of inner peace.
As we mentioned before, once we reach Santiago, the personal transformation journey does not finish as the retreat continues for a further three days, a flavor of one of these days is:
Day 8: We begin the day with humanistic movement and breath work practices that continue to raise new consciousness into discovering the why, what and how behind the life lessons, and transform it into living your desired life. Powerful soul inquiry exercises that would transform deeply rooted repeating habits and patterns, methods to positively apply free will and journeying with your soul to regress into past lives that reveals valuable insights.
These are just sample highlights of what is done, and we are very happy to share more program highlights for anyone interested in joining us.
What do you hope people will achieve with Soul Camino?
The Soul Camino retreat is a program custom-designed to unveil one’s full potential, helping participants to discover and embrace their life purpose. We are committed to help and support attendees in their personal transformation process, to deliver deep personal change and real lasting transformation. People will start to believe that they have the power to create the life they want and break through negative and self-limiting beliefs, challenges and deepen the understanding of their own inner resilience and wisdom.
If we were to list some of the things people could achieve amongst them would be:
- Rediscover and honour your true self and create healthy boundaries.
- Understand the power of emotions and learn how to harness them positively.
- Exercise empowerment, compassion and free will to gain a richer and more abundant life.
- Decipher your soul pattern and life lessons, and shift limiting beliefs to find the key to heal.
- Live a purpose-centered life by cultivating self and unconditional love and inner-wisdom.
At the end of the Camino you plan to continue with a retreat, can you give us some insights about this?
Yes, this is what sets Soul Camino apart from other retreats, the combination of walking the Camino and then the continuation of our program beyond reaching Santiago. We feel your Camino doesn’t end in Santiago, your personal transformation journey continues in the future and we want the program to acknowledge and reflect that, so Soul Camino is the ONLY program that gives you the opportunity to embrace and integrate all you have discovered and experienced during the Camino in a 3 day retreat after reaching Santiago.
During the three day retreat you will complete the transformation process you began on the way to Santiago, and have the time to relax and restore as well. On the retreat we will embark on the deeper inner work needed to continue your transformation, for example we start with an Anchoring and Soul Activation Ceremony, and go on in the coming days with a full program of practices and workshops. You would dive into the concept of Soul and how it works in the Universal Law of Life on Earth, explore the concept of free will – the immense power that is bestowed upon us – and how we are unwittingly crippled by our inability to exercise it, leading us astray from living an abundant, joyful and purposeful life. There will fabulous food and very comfortable accommodation during this time too, and not forgetting a few surprises too!
This is our regular program, however in October we are planning to hold a very special Healers Masterclass Retreat with an adapted program, which includes guest healers facilitating Healers Masterclasses in the afternoon sessions. We have an experienced Mindfulness Teacher, and an incredible Sound Therapist, who each give a Masterclass on their specialist modality. The purpose of these is to empower you to learn and apply healing for yourself and for others. You will learn new techniques and practices, and thus develop the ability to incorporate new healing practices into your own work. During the Masterclasses the facilitators will be sharing their knowledge and skill in one specific area of their work.
YOUR FUTURE VISION AND INSPIRATION
What keeps you motivated today and who inspires you?
Teresa: What motivates me daily is the incredibly positive feedback I receive from my clients, and witnessing the transformations they go through, especially when I am with them all the way from the beginning of their transformative process. My inspiration comes from the very people that I have been able to help through my work, people from all walks of life, each finding the courage to reach out and start taking ownership of their lives, building the capacity to love deeply, which resonates with my life purpose to serve others. That gives me the energy to work on this everyday and better still when I am partnered with Adrian who shared the same passion.
Adrian: I would like to say that my motivation comes from within, it’s a feeling of desire to share and serve, and of course to spend more time walking Camino, I mean who wouldn’t want the beautiful Galician landscape to be the backdrop to your work! I’m always motivated by seeing people smile, be delighted with what they’ve received, and by witnessing the profoundly positive changes people undergo in life, especially when I have been part of that process.
My inspiration is seeing people experience personal transformation as I have done, and of course Teresa, who inspires me and everyone else she touches in her work.
Three words of advice for anyone considering walking the Camino…
Just three words of advice is a tough one, but in a few more we would say that if your heart says YES, do not hesitate, just come and experience the transformative experience with us on Soul Camino. Reflect back on the many times in the past that you have hesitated, and know that now you have realised that you no longer want to live a life of “what if…?”, but instead allow yourself this once in a lifetime experience of finding your true self again.
What is your vision for the future?
Our shared vision for the future is really quite simple, that we will live in a society of plenty and oneness, sharing and giving generously towards mutual growth and love; and that progress would only complement what is already within us, which is unconditional love and belonging.
Thank you for Theresa and Adrian for sharing their Soul Camino journey with us. They are planning masterclasses later this year and a special Healers Masterclass in October.