A good walk is one of the best ways to clear the mind, to focus the mind, or just unravel the tangled threads of a situation. The mind works better when the feet are moving.
When my mother wanted to describe a troublesome, complicated situation, she would say “All the circumstances got involved.” It sounded funny at the time, but as I have dealt with life’s challenges I can see how often “all the circumstances get involved.”
To clear up involved circumstances, Aborigines do walkabouts. Essentially they walk until they find a solution or peace with a problem.
Native Americans do a vision quest in search of a guiding star for their lives. They can be on a walking quest for days or even weeks. Any kind of inner stagnation can become the object of a vision quest. They may be searching for a life goal, clarity on a relationship, or a vision containing the power to deal with a recurring life problem.
Whatever you prefer to call it, walking can serve all these purposes and more. I do walks to write songs when I get a little stumped. It has never failed to help with the writing.
I also like to do “walking affirmations.” Take a short statement you wish to implant in your subconscious mind and repeat it throughout the walk — not in a grit-the-teeth determined way but in a relaxed, pleasant way. I find slow walks are best for this kind of practice.
Walking meditations have become popular. A walk to simply explore and find wonders to relish is always a joy. A walk to unfocus the mind when it has become too attached to a problem or situation, like illness or the death of a loved one, can bring thoughts of comfort.
We are mostly shallow breathers in our automated, non-exercising society. A short walk to simply take in deep breaths of fresh air will oxygenate the entire body. Just make sure you don’t do this on or near a highway where there is a lot of carbon monoxide. I prefer the lake area near my home or several public walkways through dense woods.
Cease viewing walks as a burden. Realize they are special treats for you to add to your life for pure pleasure. See them as wings for your soul, for that’s exactly what they are.
~ Beautiful words by Dalton Roberts