“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
I was taking a walk today, on this beautiful, sunny morning, and I noticed something that I know I am guilty of doing also. Everyone I saw was so into their heads or their music or walking their dog, that I don’t think I saw one person looking around and aware of their environment.
Has this ever happened with you? Have you been preoccupied with your fitness routine, or your music, or your ipod, or your phone, and so on, that you haven’t been aware of what is going on around you?
This month, as with the summer months, my blog is dedicated to being aware and living in the present. So far, I have talked about someone that I am working with, and so this week, as I was walking I realized how persistent and present this is for us to be not in the present. Being aware and being in our bodies instead of in our minds or wherever we go, is a full time job. So many things keep us from being present to ourselves, to others, and to life itself.
I will describe to you what today’s walk was like for me. It was a beautiful morning. The trees are in full bloom, guiding and shading me as I walked. The trees were almost speaking to me, telling me to walk this way, to stop and smell this flower, and to sit for a minute and appreciate this view. Along the path I saw dogs and dog walkers of all shapes, sizes and ages pushing and pulling on their dogs, whining, calling out and talking on their phones. There was a beautiful, winding path over a footbridge giving us a way to meander around the creek. There were a couple of beautiful weeping willow trees gracefully bobbing in the wind and beckoning me with their beauty. I heard some deep caws and calls that caused me to look overhead and see blackbirds perched on branches, and two beautiful, majestic hawks circling overhead. I stopped for a minute to watch the hawks and wonder who they might be…… In my life at times, hawks have come to me after someone I love has passed. So I wondered for a moment as to who they are and what messages they might bring.
I caught a whiff of a flower and stopped to appreciate it. I noticed there is a group of people already gathering to practice field hockey or some such sport. I continued walking and noticed a perfect tree trunk for me to use as a temporary support while I stretched a bit, and did some lunges and squats. I caught myself wanting to call out or talk with a person here and there, but they were in their own worlds. So I caught myself going into my mind and figuring out what I will buy at the grocery store, and how I will organize my day. As I did so, I smiled at myself and continued on walking and admiring the day before it got too hot to be out in enjoyment.
I was speaking with a friend the other day, and we were talking about how important it is to be in our bodies. And yet, our bodies are only an extension of us. Our bodies let us know what we are thinking and feeling and experiencing; if we can be in our bodies. And, our bodies are not our souls. They are not who we are. So, our bodies and being in our bodies and healthy are very important. What is also true is that on another level, they need to be connected to our full selves and to our souls. Can we take a walk in the park and be connected to us, our bodies, and our souls? That is an assignment; and one I will take. How about you?
The four stages; write about them next month or next week.
Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:
How is it for us to be in our bodies, and present to our full selves and to life?
Take a walk and notice how it is for you. How do you feel and how does your body feel walking? Is there a body part that is speaking to you; pulling or stretching or hurting, or feeling good? Take some deep breaths and notice how that is as you walk. Find or notice a tree that speaks to you or a bird that calls to you in some way. Take a moment and talk with the tree or the bird…if you don’t feel too silly. You can always do it silently. Pay attention to yourself and your mind and if it strays or if it is with your body on the walk; or not. As you pass others, are they aware and do they see you?
This walk can be as little as 5 minutes or as long as 20 minutes. This is called conscious walking. Notice as much as you can, and still enjoy yourself. Be as present to yourself as possible.
Then, take a moment or two and let your experience register. Again, we are not judging, we are only noticing!