Friday, June 12, 2020

A Walk on the Mild Side

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trial

Courtesy of
Running, cycling, skating, riding - how fortunate we are to live in a region that provides so many options for energetic outdoor activities.  We do it for fun as well as for our physical and mental well-being.  Besides, being out in nature has a way of nurturing our souls, especially when we take time out to just breathe in nature’s gifts.

Occasionally during a solitary hike around the Claremont Hills or while walking loops in a local park, I elect to tune out the thinking mind and tune into the sensory mind.  This is my adaptation of a walking meditation - one that challenges me to stifle the forever chattering monkey mind from conducting its relentless internal dialogue during un-preoccupied moments.   The trick is finding a way (forgive the expression) to just be in-the-moment. It takes a conscious effort.

Courtesy of Health Central

Walking briskly, I focus attention on feeling the air moving over my face and arms.  The monkey mind wants to judge it as cold or annoying; instead, I agree to simply acknowledge the breeze.   Something reminds me of an unpaid bill or a call that should have been returned.  The monkey mind starts making plans; instead, I pat it on the head and, one more time, enjoy the breathtaking view of our mountains to the north and east.  Oops – best yet – I realize I am having THAT conversation with someone who isn’t even there.  It feels like anger is rising; instead, I inhale the pungent scent of wildflowers or freshly mown grass. 

Eventually, Cheetah settles down and only the senses are fully awake.  Slowing down the pace, I turn my attention to the sensation of each footfall.  Eyes drink in the brilliant shades of sunset as the underbellies of clouds are now stunning shades of yellow and orange, pink and purple; the lawns and trees shift into the intense, surreal shade of green that arrives as dusk.  Ears hear chattering birds, singing crickets.  I smell the earth.  

How do you decompress? 
Let us know what works for you in the comment section below. 

Photo by Jonathan Petersson from Pexels

No comments:

Post a Comment