I’m taking a break from blogging this week to hang out with my family and celebrate my birthday (tomorrow!), my anniversary, and my husband’s birthday, which all fall within the same week!
But I couldn’t help sharing this brief reflection… On the day after Thanksgiving it seems a good thing to encourage a walking practice. Sometimes sitting on the cushion just doesn’t cut it. If your mind is racing or full of relational drama (inspired perhaps by lots of time with family over the holiday:) then moving your body can be the best medicine.
When stress is mounting we can trip that “fight or flight” response, and it can be very powerful to allow yourself to move, to walk or run for example, and at the same time to consciously be with your desire for flight. So often we squish down this response to be polite. It can be a supreme act of self-compassion to say to yourself, “honey, I see that crazy Aunt Mildred is really pushing your buttons. I’m taking you for a walk!” And then do just that.
And as you move imagine the tension draining out of you into the ground. Tune into sounds around you. Connect to the movement of the trees and the clouds.
And if you have a labyrinth nearby, that is a wonderful way to practice a walking meditation. You can’t get lost in the labyrinth, there is only one way in, and one way out. It allows you simply be with your felt sensations of walking. Heel, toe, that tip forward, the balance between the two feet, and the next step.
Here is a worldwide labyrinth locater. Perhaps there is one tucked in your neighborhood you could visit. Or just take yourself on a walk to crunch some leaves and gather some beauties.
PS If you would like a guided walking meditation practice I share an audio for you to listen to or download here.
Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a weekly e-newsletter on real-world mindfulness practices. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and conscious approaches to leadership and parenting. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three young children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at email@example.com
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