Walking the Camino was a phenomenal way for me to practice living in the moment. If I thought ahead, it caused distraction from finding my way. It also was a great lesson in faith. There were so many unknowns especially not knowing if I could make it! Back home, whenever I feel my spirit spiraling or my faith falling, I hear myself say “chin up young person!” (from the book/movie The Object of My Affection). It always seems to help. I am so fortunate to be a naturally happy, positive person, but there are times (almost always when I am tired) when I lose my faith. It is a very uncomfortable feeling that can often cause panic or desperation. I am so grateful that my parents taught me the dangers of abusing chemicals to alter my feelings, because I can understand the addicting lure of using them to alleviate the panic, pain and fear. I am also so grateful to them for showing me the enriching coping mechanisms (and the joys!) of nature, always being active and outside, learning and higher education, athletics, music, art, religion, spirituality and programs for living a healthy life. Because of their guidance, radiance and modeling, I know that my happiness is my responsibility. If I put positive, enlightening ingredients into my life, then I will have a positive and enlightened life! These tools, road maps and “arrows” for navigating difficult times have made my life feel truly joyful and blessed. My mom and dad: MIRACLES!!!!!