I have been really enjoying walking lately. There is nothing like the open air, being alone with your thoughts, finding peace with nature, oh, and getting somewhere, albeit tired, dehydrated and sweaty. I embarked on my longest, most daring walking journey, yet, this weekend. I walked to work. That meant that time was of the essence.
For the most part, I really enjoyed it. But I’m not going to lie, I did allow some anxious thoughts to creep in to my otherwise zen experience. I’m not going to make it on time, I thought I was much farther than this, I am going to be really sweaty, no one’s going to want to be around me.
I go through a really nice, older neighborhood on my way. Walking enabled me to experience and enjoy my journey in a lot more detail than when I normally zoom past in my car. I was noticing a lot of things I don’t usually notice, how you can smell the fresh foliage from the trees that line the street; interesting signposts with street names I ordinarily overlook, the craggy rocks in the sidewalk, the curve of the road, how there’s only a sidewalk on ONE side. I was literally able to stop and smell the flowers.
I was really able to get lost in my thoughts. In fact, I was so deep in my musings that I almost got run over by a bicyclist. I was so startled that I tripped off the sidewalk.
I got to thinking that the walk was so much like any journey to a goal. There are peaceful times, there are anxious times, there are times when you are unsure, times when you are in danger, in safety.
During my daily life, I tend to get anxious when I focus on the destination or outcome. Not that it doesn’t need to be considered. But it can’t be your ultimate focus. Otherwise when it doesn’t always go the way you planned for it to [and it won’t], you will get frazzled.
When I am in the moment, experiencing all that there is to experience; the noise, the smells, the warmth of the sun on my skin, I am in a much better position to navigate the way to my goal.