Walking for active meditation

I’ve always been a walker; I especially love getting amongst the trees and walking up and over hills under the open sky (I’m a country girl through and through). It’s where I find the majority of my inspiration. It’s where all those various thoughts and ideas seem to click into place.

I’ve not had a consistent walking practice for too long, really. Where we currently live requires walking via a busy main road for a while, to a local park and woodland that is only small. It’s uninspiring. So usually I prefer to drive to a beach or a boardwalk somewhere and walk for a while there (with Georgie in her pushchair) before driving home again, or onto the next thing. Not the most convenient, and tricky to sustain with regularity when the walking isn’t a part of my daily rhythm, being something I need to plan.

I had walked daily when Beau was born – we were living in Long Bay then, so within minutes I would find myself in an inspiring place amongst the green and blue and quietening sound of nature. But irrelevant of that – even if we still lived in Long Bay – life’s just so much busier with two. Or rather – once your eldest little one starts having a life of their own (kindy and so on), it becomes increasingly difficult to spend an hour or two a day ‘just’ walking.

And yet, today my feet were calling to move. To walk for some time under the winter sun, to quieten my thoughts, and to get out of my head. So I took Georgie to the Orewa Estuary – a familiar spot – and we walked the 8km, some 10,000 steps, around the water, through the new housing developments, behind the rugby fields, and back along the other side of the water through the tree-lined paths. You could almost have forgotten it is winter.

The walk took us around 2 hours, which included a little stop for Georgie halfway along – for her to have a run around in the grass and some lunch – and, when she fell asleep on the second half of the walk, I sat on a bench for a while and just enjoyed the sun.

It’s always more than the exercise; mostly it’s about the active meditation walking brings me. It’s a time to mull over my various thoughts and ideas, and to start making sense of things.

Sometimes (considerably so in the past) it might evoke some poetry or other creativity, or a call to action. And lately – such as today – it helped the clouds in my mind part so that I was able to realise some things like a light-bulb going on.

Some things from today:

  1. In a variety of ways, I realise I haven’t been honouring myself at all. I’m not sure why, or since when, but it doesn’t matter now – because I’m ready to start truly owning who I am. To stop adjusting, or accommodating, or censoring myself. I’m ready to unclip my wings.
  2. I’ve been so busy lately trying to fit myself into a neat little box with a neat little label – that I hadn’t realised I don’t need a label. I don’t need to explain or define myself in order for everyone else to understand and make sense of me. (In the age of t’internet it pays to remind ourselves that we are not commodities to be marketed).
  3. And, actually, I can walk for two hours every damn day if I want to!

Ps. how cute is she?! >>>

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