Archives for posts with tag: walking meditation

Yesterday as I walked through town on my the commute into the office, I found myself fighting a feeling of urgently wanting to “just keep walking”. I walked through town wondering about neighborhoods I’d never seen. I took a couple sort-of-scenic detours down streets less familiar. I even slowed my pace a bit to more fully enjoy the moment. It was hard to fight off the feeling that I just didn’t want to be forced into a cubicle, a labor-box, in return for money… I wanted to walk on. I wanted to put miles on my feet, and feel the morning breeze in my hair. I wondered how far along the Willamette River I could go, along the paved walk of the Eastbank Esplanade, and where the day would take me if I only simply walked and walked and walked…until…

I pause in the usual place, and gaze across the river to the city that has been so much of my life for so long.

…I pause in the usual place…

…And then I arrived at my usual destination, quite properly grown up and adult, and sat down at my desk with my coffee, and got started doing all of the things. I started the day looking forward to hanging out with my Traveling Partner in the evening; by the end of the day, which was upon me rather abruptly and somewhat unexpectedly, I was tired to the point of regretting making any plans that did not include quiet, meditation, and an early bed time. lol Some adult I am. 😉

...And on the other side of the work day, I return home.

…On the other side of the work day, I return home.

Actually… I did okay on the adulting. I enjoyed my morning walk. I allowed myself my emotions, and the freedom to let my imagination explore other potential choices. I showed up where I was expected to be for a day of planned employment. I worked well and efficiently, and got things done that needed doing. Tired at the end of the day, I reached out to my partner in a comfortably self-aware fashion, and suggested a reschedule – because I needed rest, and a late night would potentially impact days to come. I got home, and took care of me. I think, just maybe, I still struggle a bit with how very different my thoughts on adulthood are as an adult living life, than I expected to from the youthful perspective of someone not yet quite adult. (I had no idea I’d value sleep so fucking much, for one thing. lol) 🙂

Here it is today, again. Time to begin again. Again. I wake. Do some yoga. Meditate. Enjoy a shower. Dress. Sit down with my coffee to write. I’ll ride the train over the hill, then walk through town to the office. I’ll work my shift, and return home. I’ll enjoy a brief evening, in some modest way, and call it a night sufficiently early to get adequate rest and still rise again, well before 5 am. It is an adult life built on my choices, directed by my goals. I’m not imprisoned in my life; I’m building something. It takes time.

I look ahead to the weekend with a smile. Right now, it’s enough.

Tomorrow… I’ll begin again. 🙂

 

 

A steady rain falls this morning. I woke a number of times during the night, and it was raining then, too. My dreams were lively, rich in surreal detail, and graphic, but lacking in emotional content. However grim the imagery was, I felt nothing; my brain was just “taking out the trash”, clearing buffers, wiping away bits and pieces left behind that serve no useful long-term purpose. No nightmares, just data processing in moving pictures. It’s important that our consciousness be ready for a new day, it only makes sense that while I sleep, my brain is busy in cycles, resting, getting caught up on things, resting more.

(Note: I am not a sleep scientist, this blog post is not science, my subjective experience has not been rigorously scrutinized and peer-reviewed, following years of replicable research. There are people doing those things and they are very much worth reading! I’m using words, to share my subjective experience, my own thinking, lacking in any hardcore vetting against known science. My writing may serve someone a useful purpose, be helpful, or an entertaining read, but please don’t settle on me as settled science; do your homework. Use your critical thinking skills. Walk your own mile.)

I woke feeling more than usually rested. I woke feeling more rested yesterday, too. Both mornings follow days with much less involvement with my handheld device, my computer, or the internet, generally. I feel less distracted moment-to-moment. I feel less emotionally volatile. I am less easily frustrated. I feel more content. I find myself wondering how many generations of saturating all-day computer use human beings will commit to before becoming actually able to fully multi-task their consciousness, for real? (No, you can’t. There is science on that.) No doubt over time our consciousness will change with the tools we use regularly, we are adaptable. We become what we practice. Epigenetics is real. Our children’s children will have different characteristics than our Great-grandparents did. Some of those differences may indeed be cognitive. More to the point in this moment, though, is that setting aside the complicated dense multi-channel continuous streaming information into my consciousness for a couple of days has had real value on my overall state of being. I feel more relaxed. My rest is more restful. I feel calmer, less anxious, more easily able to “hear myself think”. I think I may have gotten more done, too, using my time more efficiently, and spending no minutes staring into a repeating feed full of copies, memes, and reshares for unmeasured hours of the day.

A favorite trail was flooded. It was necessary to choose another way.

A favorite trail was flooded. It was necessary to choose another way.

The rain continues to fall quite steadily. It rained yesterday, and I enjoyed the short hike I took through the park in spite of it. Time well-spent, in the wind and weather, breathing the fresh air, seeing the trees tossing in the wind, and hearing the water birds on the marsh calling to each other. This morning the rain is falling harder, enough harder that some of the fun of hiking would be washed away in it. So… perhaps not this morning…

Favorite places for a moment of meditation are flooded, too.

Favorite places for a moment of meditation are flooded, too.

I’ll spend the day taking time for being here, now, and enjoying (or enduring) what is real, and live, and in front of me. Tidying up a bit more. Taking out the trash, the recycling, and maintaining order. Those are useful practices, too. I have found that the state of order – or disorder – in my environment reflects the state of order – or disorder – in my internal world, as well. My consciousness seems only ever as ordered as my environment. Keeping my head, minding my emotional wellness, tends to result in more will to keep my home tidied up and very neat. Keeping a tidy orderly household seems to promote and support my cognitive wellness. I don’t know what the science says about all that; my experience confirms it for me, and as “ways” go, it works for me. 🙂

Today is a good day for practicing practices. Today is a good day to enjoy the woman in the mirror. Today is a good day to be open, to be kind, to be aware – and mindful that change is. It may change the world – we have that power. 🙂

 

 

It’s morning. I’ve already gotten sucked into reading the news and found myself being baited into reacting to this or that with, of course, outrage. The media stokes the reactive side of our nature, because in reactions are ratings – and consumer spending. It’s that simple. I let it go, again.

I found myself baited into outrage via Facebook a short time later. I let it go. Again. It’s too early to tilt at windmills. I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee. I pull myself free, and make a point to sign off. It’s a good day for a digital detox. I’ve no desire to let my devices dictate my day, or my experience. 🙂

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

Twice more I find myself pulled into emotional reactions that aren’t really anything to do with me, directly; I am reacting to the outrage machinery on which the media relies so heavily. I let it go. Again. And then again. I sign out of more stuff. I sip my coffee and redirect my attention to my own experience, right now – this one, here – and take note of a couple things I’d like to get done today, for me. It’s a short list, and I smile at it, wondering if today might be the sort of day that nothing on the list gets done… I’ve no interest in being pinged on by the world, frankly, and our messy tedious ongoing social issues are commonly of a sort that are willfully chosen, inflicted on all by a few, and entirely easily resolvable – if we chose to do so as a body politic. That seems unlikely to happen today. Perhaps instead of fussing over all that, I simple get started with the weekend…maybe head to the trees for the day, and put some miles on my hiking boots?

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I take some minutes to consider forest trails…

Date night was called off last night, due to my traveling partner potentially being contagious; his Other is sick. I definitely don’t want to get sick while I am likely to do interviews. It made sense to change our plans. I enjoyed a quiet evening, and got a good night’s rest. Both are experiences I enjoy. I miss my traveling partner. I smile thinking of him, looking forward to the next time we’re together.

Where

Where will life’s journey take me?

Yesterday I was in a lot of pain. Today less so. The reduction in pain makes everything seem easier. Yesterday I couldn’t bend low to empty the dishwasher. Small things. I feel eager to hit the trail, this morning and realize that I’ve made my decision about the day, without being aware that I had; I’m already distracted from writing, from making my list, from drinking my coffee – even distracted from the outrage engine working tirelessly to get my attention on The Next Terrible Thing. I’m plotting my journey, staring intently at a map unfolded in my lap… keyboard, blog post, world…all but forgotten.

It's a good day to walk on.

It’s a good day to walk on.

I think today I’ll head for the trees. 🙂

No rain today. It’s not a holiday. Today is simply a weekend day wedged between one holiday and another. I am not working, and it isn’t raining; I walk a few miles. It’s a good day to walk (from my own perspective most of them are). After considering many trails within easy reach on such a day, I decide in favor of the closest paved trails through forest and meadow (only recently passable on foot) and head out with my camera and my thoughts, and commit to walking farther on foot, versus traveling farther to walk fewer miles in the same time.

Some of it is about what is in the distance, on the horizon, possible or probable; there will be verbs involved.

Some of it is about what is in the distance, on the horizon, possible or probable; there will be verbs involved.

It’s the end of one year, the beginning of another, and consistent with my tendency towards organized hierarchical thinking (as a human primate – it’s a thing we favor) the ‘new year’, as arbitrary as it really is, seems a fine time to wrap things up that no longer have value, or have reached a natural end, to reach out to initiate new things, shore up works in progress that need a boost or re-commitment of will, or to take a deep breath and re-calibrate this whole experience in some way through reflection, consideration, or discussion. In short, it’s a time of year I often spend on self-reflection.

(I re-read that last paragraph and I am reminded of my traveling partner’s observation that there is room for brevity in life, in poetry, in text messaging – and surely in my own use of language as well? Fair enough, Dear One, you are quite correct. I’ll reflect on that, too; it’s a lovely moment to reach out for healthy changes, and to refresh my thinking on all manner of things – even language.)

Today I just walked. Footsteps over miles. Miles of mud. Miles of pavement. Miles under clouds. Miles alongside small local waterways. Miles of trees, squirrels, crows, ducks, geese, and the sound of nearby traffic and all of the busy-ness mankind has created to occupy time. Miles of musing about things I have seen, things I have heard, and things that I wonder. I wander. Miles. Miles of tiny mushrooms in a variety of shapes and sizes and habits of growth. Miles of opportunities to pause. Miles measured in moments, one after the other, each so very precious – each now only a memory. I reflect on the miles, and I reflect on the moments. I reflect on what is behind me, and how far I’ve yet to go.

Sometimes it is a matter of details, perspective, and a willingness to be aware, without judgment or interpretation.

Some of it is a matter of details, perspective, and a willingness to be aware, without judgment or interpretation.

Today is a good day for reflection.

It’s been a very comfortable pleasant day. I slept in, and slept deeply. I walked to the farmer’s market, and assembled a very nice picnic lunch, and loaded it into my pack. I headed into the trees for a few more miles and hours of autumn leaves and birdsong.

Autumn rose hips along the trail.

Autumn rose hips along the trail.

Yesterday was okay, too. I did some great work, but had had so little rest I was more or less a zombie analyst, and didn’t notice the day go by, and don’t really remember that much about it. I got home shortly before 6 pm, and was crashed out not long after that. I was up again around 9, and stayed up some little while before returning to bed, and to a deep sleep rich with surreal dreams. Stress reaches this point where it both disrupts my sleep and requires ever so much more than usual amounts of rest to recover from it. I slept a lot last night. I napped this afternoon after my hike – one of those sudden urgent naps when sleep simply overcomes me and I must succumb to it.

Tonight is gentle and easy. The deep consciousness encompassing sleep of my nap this afternoon left me wrapped in drowsiness. I’ll probably go to bed early again tonight. No reason not to; one of the perks of adulthood is the opportunity to choose rest. That great boon is sometimes forgotten in the fuss and bother of all the other sorts of things I think I ‘have to’ get done; choosing rest, real rest, is sometimes the best thing I can do for myself – or my partners.

I am okay. I’ve still got work to do – this fragile vessel isn’t going to heal itself without some practices and some verbs. This broken brain needs a little support, structure, and patience to find some better ways to handle small challenges. Sometimes I am going to fall short of my expectations – or fail to meet my own needs in some important way. I’ll begin again. One step at a time, one practice at a time, one moment at a time – I can begin again.

It may not be the shortest path - but this journey isn't a race, or a contest - I'll just keep walking.

It may not be the shortest path – but this journey isn’t a race, or a contest – I’ll just keep walking.