600km Walking Pilgrimage through Spain

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on September 2 2008

From the moment I discovered an ancient pilgrimage path in Spain in June last year, the attraction of walking hundreds of kilometres towards an assured destination grew on me daily. My eagerness to go on a month-long journey on foot across the steep slopes, lush valleys and forests of the Pyrenees, and through countless small towns and villages, was part of a subconscious quest to find depth and meaning in my life. At the age of 33, I was approaching – prematurely, perhaps – what seemed to be a mid-life crisis.

Straits Times Life! Article,Denise Chng Lisan,Camino de Santiago,Camino Frances

Letter from Quebec: Preserving Heritage

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on November 8 2008

'TRAVEL is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living,' wrote Miriam Beard. Life in Quebec is now my teacher, pointing out my knowledge gaps and honing my ideas of living - be it language, culture, life-skills, or the environment.

Denise Chng Lisan

Back to Reality?

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Saturday, February 09, 2008

When I first came back to Singapore after my camino, someone asked me, "Are you back to reality?"

That question took me four months ponder over. What is reality, I asked myself.

I came back to my 'real' life after the camino. And I realized that the reality that many people imply is one that is filled with fear, insecurity, doubt and inertia for change. Not knowing what is out there is like walking in darkness. Why take risks when we have found a spot for ourselves? Even when we feel restricted in the spot?

Reality, as I experienced on the camino, is a relationship with myself and a relationship with the force of the Universe. God is always with me. I feel his presence all around me - pure and penetrating. I started the journey alone, and I felt his invisible hand guiding me all the way. Someone aptly wrote in a book, "I don't know where I am going, but I feel completely guided." I feel that way coming out of my journey.

I've been given the strength to create the kind of life I want, on my own terms. So now, what is real to me is not to lose that sense of reality - that faith & strength that I've found.

Someone said that following God's will is like walking in darkness with the headlights on - but you could only see a few steps ahead of you. You can only rely of faith as you don't know what lies much further ahead. So one must imagine the me who grew up on templates, prepared notes, ten-year-series answers must feel terrified of such vast vagueness, vast unknown.

It's not an easy path...but a struggle everyday. I must learn to trust the 'reality' within me. My thoughts, my emotions, and the quest of my soul. In the crowded busy world, where judgement and opinions are abundant, we often find ourselves lost in the reality of others.

What we must do is to constantly take the time and space to find back the true center back to ourselves - the true center in our hearts.

0 Response to 'Back to Reality?'

    Ave Maria - Lourdes, France

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