First we have to tune in–to slow down–to listen. If your life is anything like mine it is noisy even when it is quiet. I have young children and there is a wonderful constantness to this part of life. Even if I am not particularly busy, the moments, hours and days are very full and constantly noisy. It is hard to listen to the urges from my heart when there is so much pulling me to distraction–even if it is good distraction. And so we have to carve out some time from the noise.
For the next few days as we approach the new year you will walk. Go for a simple walk around the block once a day. Alone. Maybe walk for 45 minutes or more. Even 15-20 minutes is fine. You’ll prepare your mind and heart by calming down, tuning in, getting quiet. Creativity and inspiration often come from stilling the mind enough that you can be fully present in your environment.
On these walks you aren’t going out for adventure, beauty, exercise or exotic location. In fact, seek the familiar. Go to the exact streets where you live–the ones on which you feel the most safe, comfortable, familiar. Why? Because you don’t want to activate your fight or flight response or to be on guard. You don’t want to be in awe of the natural beauty around you nor stressed about the unfamiliar environment. It should simply be ordinary. If you have a favorite hike in a spot you love, that’s fine if you can be relaxed.
When you’re in a familiar place on a normal walk, your mind can empty of worry, chaos, busyness, preoccupation and planning. So just walk. Not fast. Not slow. Be empty enough to begin to make space for yourself and for something new in the new year.
Here is a helpful hint and you may not understand until New Year’s Eve when I explain your Vision Board, but try, please try so hard to not think. Try to just be. Try to not feel that you are supposed to be doing something other than what you are doing (which is walking on your streets). Try not to fill the emptiness of your thoughts with lovely fantasies and imaginings of your fabulous new self, life, house, body, relationship or whatever. Just let your mind wander and become soft. Whatever it finds is OK. There are no rules and there is no way for you to do this wrong. For the next three days, be OK with not knowing anything about anything. Be OK with not planning. plotting, designing or imagining. Just get quiet enough to hear any whispers that might float up from your heart.
If anything new or inspiring occurs to you as you walk, then go home and jot it down in a journal. And if not, then that is perfectly fine too. You aren’t going walking to find pearls of wisdom–if you do that is a bonus, but you are going walking just to walk.