Day 3 – Walking With Awareness

For more info about the 28 Days please go here – Time to read this post- about 2-3 minutes, time to do today’s suggestion – as long as you like!

I took the above picture on the 1st of January – it makes me feel cold just looking at it but I remain beyond impressed at the grit of these people! A little exercise outdoors does wonders for our general well-being and today’s post is about how to use that to bring about a sense of peacefulness. Perhaps not by jumping into a freezing loch though – for any interested non Scottish people, the phenomenon of wild swimming on the 1st of January is called “the loony dook”, it started in the 80’s as a New Year’s Day hangover cure with a swim in the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry. This has become a huge annual event in Queensferry with fancy dress, bagpipes and a lot of hot porridge!

I’ve managed to train myself over the years to be a lot more aware aware of my surroundings, (I’m sure the senses of the people above were extremely alive after their swim) to stop frequently and to take in the beauty of the view but I still find myself often caught up in thoughts and internal dialogue. The other week on a zoom call with a meditation group, the person leading the meditation (thankyou Sharon Rossi!) took us through a walking meditation in our mind, focussing on all the sounds she had noticed that morning on the beach near her home – I felt like I was there and certainly wanted to go there… I realised that I ignore or don’t notice sound so much so have started this practice in my daily walks. Even in a quiet place it is astonishing what we can hear and if what you hear is traffic, people talking, planes or trains etc it can still be a soothing exercise to treat all you hear as simple sound waves. You could even imagine that the various sounds you hear simply flow through the body in a cleansing way, taking stress and worries with them.

So todays suggestion is to find time to walk and focus your senses – sight, sound, smell, perhaps even touch – as you walk. Don’t think too much about where you go (if possible) but just let yourself be led by something else. Our ego – the part of us that is the will to take action in its most benign sense – will usually dictate where we go and what we do. See if you can let that go; think back to when you were a child with that sense of adventure, what might you discover today if you open up to what’s in front of you, just as it is.

Whenever you find your mind taking over, say “stop” in a gentle manner and bring your attention back to whatever sense you are drawn to. This is a simple, and pleasant way to take a complete break from the mind. If there is something you have to think about or figure out it will still be there when you return home and you may well find that your mind now has more clarity and space. When we engage in this way with the senses, especially combined with simple rhythmic movement and allow the mind to go quiet creativity is enhanced or uncovered, more creative solutions or just simple clarity will present if there is a problem to solve.

At this moment in time on the planet the energy is very intense and there will be a lot of change this year; as everything around us changes it will become more and more important to find a sense of reassurance and quiet within, trying to make concrete plans may also be difficult at the moment but the opportunity to be very creative is here – take advantage of that.

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