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Walking = Meditation. And I could walk all day. . .

I really could. (well except that Id really need some more comfy shoes and plenty of snacks and some shade now and then, but still. . . )

I walk most mornings these days. I begin with Sula, the 13 year old Siberian Husky with a pretty heart-shaped white face and a bit of joint stiffness. Upon starting, she bounds around like a puppy, so happy to escape the confines of the huge backyard wonderland that is her home. Shes a bit routine, like me. There are certain places she likes to do her business and certain poles and hydrants she never tires of sniffing. Sula and I used to do long walks, but these days shes good with a block or two and then shes the one lagging behind me. Below is a photo of when Sula was a little more energetic a few months ago and wanted to hang on the big girl walks.

Its nice to start with Sula. Animals are so present to the moment. Sometimes I try to be like Sula and just pay really close attention to everything around me, thinking, Wow, a branch! And its hanging down and touching the ground, and theres a plastic bag stuck to it! And a bird on the wire! After I observe things like a dog, I bring the dog home and the next phase of walking magic begins. . .

Walking really is magic. Ive taken it for granted before and even bemoaned the long walk that had to take place in order for me to get that beloved candy from the store as a kid. But these days I crave the walks. My legs are healthy enough to carry me; my eyes are healthy enough to guide me; my view is beyond spectacular; the air is crisp and clean; the streets are wide open and aside from the cheerful birds, theyre so quiet; I occasionally spot hawks flying overhead. . . Being surrounded by so much beauty is good for the soul and it really fills me up with gratitude like, sometimes to the point of getting teary eyed I must admit.

Im a sucker for earthy, calming activities. Walking is one of the best for me especially if Im feeling scattered or upset. Walking is very meditative for me. Sometimes I walk to the beat of music, sometimes I just listen to the waves of the ocean (on my iPod because quite honestly I live in the middle of the desert so ocean waves are a true treat to listen to). And sometimes I vision walk. Whats a vision walk, you say? Id love to elaborate!

I started vision walking a couple of years back when I found myself really stressed out. One morning I called my good friend, Kim, and declared that we MUST begin vision walking. Kim and I had previously been sounding boards for each other over the years as we both embarked on brave (but a little scary!) new journeys into different careers, hobbies and relationships. I knew if anyone would benefit from the support of sharing our vision, it was Kim.

Vision walking is a true meditation. We each take turns and just talk. After we update each other on whats going on in life, we dedicate a few minutes of impromptu daydreaming. The person listening has two jobs: to listen, and to envision the other person achieving the goals and dreams shes visioning. We speak in present tense as though this dream life is truly already happening, and the results are phenomenal.

I swear I envisioned the very nature of my relationship with Lee just weeks before connecting with him and embarking on our relationship. It was uncanny and really incredible to witness! Kim and I still marvel over it. Is it placebo effect? Maybe. Do I care? No!

I love to pretend that my dreams are already coming true (and mostly they already are so its not very difficult these days!). I love to envision my vision walking partner happy and content and embarking on her journey with ease and excitement. Ive since begun to vision walk with anyone else who will drop their embarrassment and just bubble out all of their hopes and dreams in present tense.  Vision walking is such an empowering activity to do with others, I urge everyone to try it.

Thats just a couple of ways that walking feeds my soul. Walking is a gift I give to myself as often as I can; it allows me to step out of the daily grind and step into the present moment. Throw in some pre or post walk journaling and its free therapy that will really supplement all other forms of therapy or new wellness practices. The exercise is also a great bonus!

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