Life was falling apart. Within the space of three years, Sonia Choquette had suffered the unexpected death of two close family members, seen her marriage implode, and been let down by trusted colleagues. And sympathy was not forthcoming. "You're a world-renowned spiritual teacher and intuitive guide," people jeered. "How could you not have seen this coming?" Having intuitive abilities didn't make her superhuman, however. Nor did it exempt her from being wounded or suffering the pain of loss and the consequences of our all-too-human traits such as anger, resentment, and pride-traits that can lead even the best of us to stray from our spiritual path.
In order to regain her spiritual footing, Sonia turned to the age-old practice of pilgrimage and set out to walk the legendary Camino de Santiago, an 820-kilometer trek over the Pyrenees and across northern Spain. Day after day she pushed through hunger, exhaustion, and pain to reach her destination. Eventually, mortification of the flesh gave way to spiritual renewal, and she rediscovered the gifts of humility and forgiveness that she needed to repair her world.
In this riveting book, Sonia shares the intimate details of her grueling experience, as well as the unexpected moments of grace, humor, beauty, and companionship that supported her through her darkest hours. While her journey is unique, the lessons she learned-about honoring your relationships with others as well as with your own higher self, and forgiving all else-are universal.
Her new book, Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed is quite possibly her best book yet.
I love the authenticity and raw emotions that bleed through the pages. I have often said that love is not a universal language, but pain is. Everyone understands pain, but not everyone understands love.
In this book, Sonia is honest about the pain she silently suffered through for many years while teaching her classes and workshops. Who knew that between that intuitive heart and dazzling smile, was a woman who was hiding a lifetime of emotional wounds. She wasn’t just hiding these wounds from her friends and audiences. She was hiding them from herself.
After the death of her brother and father, Sonia began to experience feelings of intense anger, frustration and denial. Old wounds from her past began to creep up and consume her. Shake it off as she tried, these feelings became stronger and they demanded to be dealt with. As if losing her brother and father wasn’t enough, she was married to someone whom she no longer connected with. When she needed comfort, he needed something to complain about.
In the face of pain, she realized that all of those old wounds that she thought she had released weren’t really gone. They had simply gone into hiding. And now, with this dramatic turn of events, they had emerged in an unexpected way. After yet another heated argument with her husband over something petty (which apparently was the norm for them), she had finally decided that she had had enough, and demanded a divorce.
Feeling rejected and defeated, Sonia turned to her Spirit Guides and to Holy Mother God for help. The intuitive advice given to her the next day is to go to walk the Camino Santiago, and without looking into it, she agrees to go.
It is on this journey that Sonia discovers the true source of her pain. She begins to learn more about herself and what she needs from her life partners. She learns why past relationships (marriage, friendships, and otherwise) often failed, and why her divine feminine energy went into hiding in the first place. She learns to let go and to allow others to embrace, accept and nurture her.
In my line of work, I meet many women who feel as if they need to be strong for themselves and for their families. They adopt a tough exterior that acts as a protector and guardian. But once things begin to crumble, they are in an awkward and unhealthy situation, because as a protector and guardian, there is no one to protect or to guard them. They feel that they can not allow their weakness, their hurt, or their own inner turmoil to show.
Any spiritual person who has struggled with intense, negative emotions will empathize greatly with Sonia’s story. I myself gained more respect to Sonia because I identify with much of the struggle that she has faced in her personal life.
The inner struggle and mental conversations that Sonia faces in simply preparing for the trip had me giggling a few times. Not because her inner struggle was silly, but because we all have mental conversations with ourselves that we don’t dare share with others. Well, Sonia dared, and I’m glad she did. If you ever find yourself in a battle of wits with yourself in your own mind, then you will certainly relate to the conversations that Sonia had with herself too.
Reading the details of Sonia’s actual trip is fun, and somewhat heartbreaking. Her epiphanies and experiences along the way will resonate with you as well. Her journey wasn’t really about a physical experience. It was about emotional healing, and facing that wounded warrior that she had been putting so much pressure on. There are many small yet powerful lessons that Sonia learns on this trip, and these are lessons that we all learn – or hope to learn – at some point in life.
We may never walk the Camino Santiago ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we each don’t have our own spiritual pilgrimages everyday. What Sonia learns, and what she reveals will resonate with you as well. There will be enough “Ah-ha” moments in this book to make your head spin. I was surprised at how often I nodded my head in agreement while reading this book and thought, “Yup. That’s me.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I loaded this book onto my Kindle. But I can honestly say that this is my favorite book written by Sonia Choquette. It just feels more honest than her other books. Not that she lied in other books, but it just feels like this one was written with more openness. It’s like taking a peak into her diary, and into her mind.
I’m sure this was a book that was both easy and difficult for her to write. Easy, because it was probably nice for her to remember these experiences and put them down on paper. Difficult because they are extremely personal.
I’m thankful that Sonia not only had this experience, but chose to share it with us.
I was given a free copy of this book by Hay House Publishing for review purposes, and was not compensated for this review. This is my unbiased opinion of this book.
I think this is so good for a person, to be out in nature, which she was not used to, and being alone with God. Now this journey included a lot of Catholic practices, which I honestly don't know much about. But the general idea is a good one and I really liked reading this book and getting a new perspective on someone's life.
"I received this book from Hay House for free in exchange for an honest review."
Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed by Sonia Choquette is the story of Sonia’s recent pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago.
I enjoyed it just like I do a good novel. It’s interesting and entertaining to read about the logistics of the walk itself, and then there’s the extra layer of her personal journey along the way. She’s included beautiful color plates with lots of photos, which — besides just being fun to see — help you tap into yet another dimension of the experience.
I’ve been familiar with Sonia Choquette for a few decades, and learned a lot from her over the years about developing and trusting our intuition. But this is a more personal offering, and I was impressed with her candor regarding her own state of mind and affairs, especially in the beginning but throughout the book. I think there’s a fine line to be walked between marketing yourself as a teacher/advisor, and openly acknowledging your own personal struggles. I appreciated that here she lets it all hang out – or much of it, anyway.
She openly shares the challenges that came up during her pilgrimage, as well as her insights and rewarding experiences. Of course these occur at all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
It feels refreshingly “real”, and her frankness and even outspokenness often made me laugh out loud.
So, besides the story of the developing pilgrimage being interesting in itself, her so authentically offering the personal side of her journey is what gives this book its satisfying richness.
It’s definitely worth a read.
Note: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes and this review reflects my honest evaluation.