The beauty and magic of my ever increasingly long walk in the morning is not just increased think time – but because it ensures completion. You can lift weights, get on a treadmill, or do sit-ups, and when you tell yourself to quit, you can.
But once out for a long walk, the most you can do is sit down for a rest before continuing home. I love it. I find this pushed me further, and further, and a little bit further every week. There are limits, of course, based on time and schedule – but that can be thought-through. It is the same 24 hours you have. We can all schedule and allocated time for things that matter to us. The more they matter, the more rigid we become in protecting their time …
The more time I devote to taking care of me, I get a better me. Healthier me. More productive me. And I’ve found that the most essential work in my day gets done – and that which is less critical gets put over, put into tomorrow’s schedule, or put in the trash.
And there is more.
Lately, as I’ve been walking farther every morning, I realize, in my own way, I’ve developed a technique that works. I doubt it fits any prescribed school of thought on meditation, but it calms my mind.
Listing to tunes, watching nature, footfall after footfall, I make my way around my route – my brain vacillates from project ideas to lost love, from childhood to parenthood, from reading to writing – insulated by time and place from the events of the workday that hasn’t arrived yet.
More enlightened people might explain that I’ve fallen into some form of meditation described and analyzed before. I don’t care if this has a label or genre, it seems to be working for me from two perspectives.
First, I no longer worry about whether I can ‘meditate’ to start my day.
Second, I find peace in this. It gets me past the issues of weight loss, heart-rate variability, and calorie-burn – my eyes and attention are directed instead to elements of creativity and peacefulness. None of which equals a walk on a sub-tropical beach somewhere …
So many courses, books, and friends tout the value of meditation.
I’ve tried many times, but humming quietly with my eyes closed while emptying my mind is something I’ve never mastered.
And now, something different, and better, has taken over my mornings.
The fitness part and some weight loss are undoubtedly valuable. Still, I think the think/meditation time – whatever I might label it, is the real treasure that turns this activity into a more valuable habit than I might have ever expected.