I’ve been doing my daily walking meditation for 17 days now, so here’s an update on how it’s going:
On the very first day, I realized I need to get out of the house earlier so I won’t be tempted to chat with friends and neighbors who are also out for their morning walks. After all, I am supposed to be meditating!
The next day I did get out earlier, but not quite enough. There were still too many distractions … kids, school buses, barking dogs (yes, including my own), etc. I guess it’s time to find the girl that used to enjoy getting up early to exercise. I know she must still be in there somewhere! I was also overly dressed on Day 2, and therefore, needed to take off my jacket and tie it around my waist. By doing this, however, the phone that was in my pocket began to swing and continually hit me in the leg. I decided that this was my first walking meditation lesson: There will always be events and people to bump into and annoy you; but, the key is to not let them throw you off-course. Thanks to this awareness, I was able to return to my meditation and barely noticed the phone for the rest of my walk. In the future, however, I made it a point to check the weather a little more closely!
By Day 3, I knew it was time to break up with my MapMyRun app. During my meditation, I found myself wondering when “the voice” was going to tell me what mile I had reached, and my current pace. This is very un-zen like! My pace doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am doing something good for both my mind and body. I also found that the mileage at the end was different each day, even though I was walking the same route. This again was taking me off the entire focus of my 34-day meditative practice, so we ended our relationship, and on Day 4, I went for a walk … unaided and at peace.
On Day 5, I decided to change my route because I felt bad walking through the Frisbee game the neighborhood kids played each morning at the bus stop. Unfortunately, by doing this I encountered a garbage truck, and once I caught up to it, I couldn’t shake it. Finally I started running. Interestingly, this is what I do in life as well … run from the things that are “smelly.” What I realized, though, was once I stopped running, I could return to being “safe, happy, healthy, and at ease;” AND, I was able to appreciate and enjoy my journey even more. Once again, another lesson learned. That being said, I believe the biggest victory that day was after five days of wishing the children waiting for the bus a “good morning,” and just getting blank stares, I actually received a response!
Week 2 brought cooler temperatures, lots of wind, and a bit of rain. By the way, both wet leaves AND worms are slippery if you accidentally step on them … yuck! This week was definitely filled with challenges concerning our loved one, and although I admittedly cried a couple times, what I realized was that I wasn’t getting caught up in the drama of the situation like I used to. When my husband was ready to jump in and try to “fix” a particular situation, I was able to see that it was best to just relax, let go, and trust that things would unfold exactly as they were meant to. Eureka! I think this daily practice of mine may really be making a difference in my life.
By the end of the second week, I began having a little trouble meditating during my walks, so on Day 14, I decided to give it a break and allow myself to ruminate about everything that was on my mind. I wish I could say I had some big, “ah-ha” moment during those 3 miles, but I didn’t. What I did realize, however, were that my feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed were coming from that fact that I was once again focusing too far in the future, and just like my daily walks, I needed to take things one step at a time. With this awareness, the following day I was able to return to, and experience, the many benefits of my daily meditative practice. Here’s looking forward to the next 17 days … as long as it doesn’t get TOO cold!
“Stressed is caused by being here and wanting to be there.” Eckhart Tolle