Day 13: TAKE A MINDFUL WALK
Of all the mindful practices, Kindspring has taught me so far, this one is my favourite. And not just because it allows me to lose weight without ever seeing the inside of a gym.
I've always enjoyed walking. I learned it from my Dad. Not the walking, but the act of deriving joy from it. From putting one foot before another and the other before the previous one, until you look back and find yourself further away from when you started.
I am grateful to live in a country where there are thousands of people out on the streets walking at any given point in time. Partly because not everyone owns a car, partly because local transportation can be expensive for some people, but mostly because walking is a thing we've always done.
Deals on wheels and offers of free home delivery have spoiled some of us in the cities, but the vast majority of us still walk.
I like that.
I believe that there is something primeval about walking.
It is just you and the earth. The pace slows down, allowing you to drink in your surroundings, to watch other people, and get a glimpse into life all around you.
There is so much you miss when you whiz by in a vehicle.
The way to walk mindfully is to put our phones into our pockets and keep our eyes on the road, and the world around, Let that world settle playfully at the edges of our minds.
Let us negotiate the world on foot. See how far our legs can carry us.
Let us look around us, and pay attention.
To our feet and how our bodies are reacting to the sensation of walking.
How our muscles feel after a long walk.
The beating of our hearts.
Put away all thoughts of speed, and how a car would have been so much faster and more convenient.
Walking helps us realise how vast the world is and how small we are.
It helps us realise a truth that the ancients have long known:
That paths are made when we walk.