Jim is out of town on a boy's golf weekend. I decided that was no reason to skip our Sunday morning family ritual. So I got up and had a lovely blueberry muffin and cup of tea for breakfast. Then I slapped on the hiking boots, harnessed up the puppy, and headed to the park.
Safety is always going to be our primary goal in this blog and today was no exception. I chose a park that I knew had a lot of Sunday morning walkers. I also took along my high-powered mace, my cell phone, and my extremely protective dog. We women can never be too careful!
As we walked I kept a sharp eye out for fall leaves. Liza and I are getting ready to do a crafting project and have been slowly collecting leaves. I'm not quite sure what we're going to be doing with them (she's the crafting guru, not me), but I know that orange is the elusive color of the season. So Scoob and I quietly walked and looked for orange leaves.
30 minutes later we reached our turnaround point and I had a fistful of leaves. In spite of not finding any orange ones, I still felt very relaxed and at peace with the world. It made me realize that I had just done a walking meditation.
What's that, you ask? A walking meditation is where you walk and concentrate on one thing to the point where you shut down everything else. It's recommended for folks who can't sit still to do a more traditional meditation. If done correctly it will help you to relax and find inner peace.
If you think you might like to try one, be sure to choose a safe location. Then focus your mind on one thing. Some options are to count your steps, tune into one sense (such as sound), or think of the word "in" as your breathe in and "out" as you breathe out. Don't beat yourself up if your mind begins to wander. Just refocus on your object and continue walking.
I've been meditating for several years now and am getting quite good at hitting that inner state of peace. However, I had never really tried a walking meditation before. As Scoob and I made the turn, I decided to experiment even more. The fall season in Ohio is quite lovely so I decided to focus on all of my senses. I breathed in that lovely fall air and noticed all of the gorgeous colors. I also listened to the sounds of the wind and the birds and touched the dew on the leaves. It was such an enjoyable experience that I extended our hike and did a side loop trail as well. By the end, Scooby and I were both pleasantly relaxed.
It was an a-ha moment for me. I love meditation and found another way to practice. I urge you to give it a try and see if it can benefit you as well!
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