I find myself very lucky that I have the opportunity daily to walk between 6 and 8 miles. My daily walks start in the morning taking my dogs for a half-mile walk around our block.
In the past, I felt the walk was a waste of time and always wanted to economize my efforts by listening to a podcast or reading emails while walking. My mind preoccupied with whatever else it was I was doing instead of mindfully walking my dogs.
One morning I decided to be present, in the moment and cherish the time spent walking the dogs and minimizing distractions. My focus would be on the path we take and our environment.
Walking around with a clear mind, the simplest of nature’s details are observed. Spring is identified by the early evidence of small buds sprouting. The smells of floral blooms.
Bird song soothes as they are vocalizing the pleasures of the early morning sun and coming warmth. Grasses changing color from a dull hue to vibrant greens. The air crisp and pure.
Washing dishes often feels like a chore however when I focus on the task at hand it becomes therapeutic and calming. The warm water hitting my hands, the sounds of a sudsy pot overfilling as I presoak it. I like to wash in patterns in an attempt to be thorough, give each pot or dish my fullest nurturing care and attention.
My mind struggles to wander as my calmness and attention remain focused. It’s my time to be one within this moment. No longer a chore but a part of my life.
Walking and Talking
I’m not going to say that I didn’t always love to walk and talk however I do feel I noticed it a bit more after reading Steve Jobs biography which was a life-changing read and my personal bible.
Connection happens when you walk and talk with someone. A natural cadence happens where both of your steps take a similar rhythmic pattern. Where both your speed and motions become as one. The words become secondary in the connectivity as you move collectively as one.
Many of my best conversations have happened on walks. My mind is focused on the conversation and this connection. The environment becomes secondary to the human element of expressiveness.
Movement and conversation opens us up to focus on the moment. You struggle to be preoccupied and lacking presence whence immersed in dialogue in motion.
Walking through observations
I’m a people watcher and detail seeker. As I walk alone I’ll often focus on people or my environment as I tell myself a story. Using the power of my thoughts I’ll focus on a person or an element and tell myself its story.
Looking at an old church I’ll visualize the passing of its time, seeing the weddings, christening, and funerals. A full lifecycle happening before my eyes. Then I’ll refocus back to the present, seeing the church standing tall and proud, having bore witness to these amazing events. What a story this church could tell.
A Tree has a soul and the mere existence of the Tree breathes life into our environment. An essential element with the power to heal and maintain life. The Tree sprouts out of the ground with just enough internal strength to bud a leaf. The richness of the soil is a requirement for the nutrients required to grow tall and strong. It’s roots spreading too far distances it gives strength and food.
When the wind blows a Tree will sway, its core holding it in a neutral position yet its flexibility a requirement for survival. Going with the flow of the wind and being present in the moment, for a Tree that refuses it sway or lacks a firm root system will often topple over.
My body is a Tree
Sometimes on walks in the woods when a slight breeze kicks up, I’ll become a Tree. Firmly planting my feet on the earthen ground arms stretched out I’ll move with the wind. My connection to my environment is pure and present as I sway with the other Trees. We dance in cadence, as we are now as one, a forest of Trees.
The details in a Trees leaves or the blossoms of flowers fuels my mind and purify my soul. Life’s struggles still remain yet they are far off in the distance, lacking much power to enter my mindful state.
Mundane meets my mind
We all must do mundane tasks that require our time. By repurposing our thoughts and minds into a positive light by finding the unique perspective in those moments a new element to our lives is born.
Once we have prioritized the tasks and remain focused and engaged we can find joy and complacency in most things we do. We can develop a connection to mundane and uninspiring while attempting to find a new purpose through presence and focus.