Sunday, May 30, 2010
Last week's post promised a month of uni-tasking, so you might expect this post to be about my first week of doing one thing at a time. And it would be except for the fact that I decided to start that challenge on June first, in order to give myself time to access and indulge my multi-tasking habits. There are many, I found out. June first is going to be a bit of a shock.
I will write instead about my mini-challenge of the week.
Every time I go hiking, I say to myself, "I should do this every day." So this week, I did.
The weather has been beautiful here in Western New York. Taking advantage of this and the abundance of trails that we have nearby, I was able to take a hike through the woods every day over the last week. Each time I went somewhere new. Most often I walked by myself which was nice because it encouraged me to focus on the experience. I find solo walking to be meditative and being in nature, surrounded by lush green trees and foliage, listening to the sounds of birds and moving water is both calming and energizing.
If I do have anything on my mind, and I often do, when I begin to walk, thoughts bubble up. It is the usual monkey mind, brain spinning thoughts, worries, problems. As the trail unfolds, my thoughts trail off. I am transported. Taking in the sights, smells and sounds, breathing in the fresh air, I feel a sense of wonder and gratitude for being alive. Being on the trail orients me in a way, even when I am lost because I forgot what blazes I was following. Lost or not, I know where I am. The earth is beneath my feet. I am surrounded by life. I am a part of this beautiful living earth. My world is not those thoughts that spin in my head. Just because I often live there does not make them my home. Here, surrounded by the splendor of the earth, is where I belong.
Getting a regular dose of connection with the earth has been therapeutic for me. I am emerging from my week of walks feeling stronger, happier, calmer and more energetic. And I didn't have to go far from my house to find my home.
"Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath." -Natalie Goldberg.
Wishing you balance,