The pink granite crunched beneath my feet as I walked the labyrinth. Just me hanging harmoniously with the dragonflies, birds, and bees.
An experience no different than any other… I walked (as I often do), the sun shined (as it often does), and mother nature did her thing – as she always miraculously does.
Yet, I felt satiated, as if I’d just had a delightful meal or heartwarming conversation.
What, then, made this simple act of walking complete in and of itself?
I suspect it had something to do with my intention to just walk. Nothing to walk away from or toward. No agenda to hurry up and get somewhere. A restful walk infused with awareness of the body as it coordinated one gentle movement at a time.
Have you noticed how easy it is to make walking all about getting somewhere? Worse, we use walking as a stop-gap to fire off a text or email without having any idea of the fact that we are walking.
This is where mindful walking comes into the picture. We re-learn to walk with awareness and sensitivity, to experience one sole at a time striking the earth. Our senses open to the surrounding area, as we take in smells, sights and sounds.
Combining mindfulness with movement may be one of the most powerful ways to tame anxiety. The whole mind-body system refuels as we simultaneously allow the mind to rest and the body to de-stress.
You want to know the really cool thing? You don’t need a labyrinth to walk mindfully. You only need an intention to just walk. Think about all the places you stroll – hallways, grocery stores, stairs to and from work. What about infusing mindfulness into just one of these commonly traveled paths for a little respite from all that thinking and doing?