Welcome to the middle path
- Jana Svoboda, LCSW
- Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Tiny Resolutions: Walking into a New Year
I spent my last evening of 2014 watching Wild, Cheryl Strayed's beautiful memoir about her grief pilgrimage up the Pacific Coast Trail. Two of my friends recently returned from walking the Santiago, and I've been thinking a lot about walking the earth as a spiritual practice.
Today's challenge has some simple guidelines but room for improv: TAKE A MINDFUL WALK.
Walking's great for the body and soul, and the metaphors abound. Some of the suggestions for today's challenge come from a recent experience guided by local treasure Anna Hoffman, who leads quarterly workshops on walking with the seasons.
Before you begin your walk, spend a few moments noting what you have been grateful for in the past year. Then turn your awareness to what you'd like to bring in to this new year.
It's up to you where you go, but be encouraged to walk in nature. The simplicity and beauty allow the mind to breathe more. Begin your walk with intention-- a prayer, meditation, ceremony or song. It doesn't need to be elaborate, but take the time to mark your beginning.
Somewhere along your walk, make a small and respectful change to the landscape. Nothing obtrusive, harmful or disruptive; just a little artist's mark in the natural world. You could build a wreath out of fallen lichen, stack a cairn, carve a spiral in the mud.
Leave your walk the same way you began, with mindfulness and gratitude.
If you'd like, when you return home you can write or draw a little of what you noticed.
There's a plethora of benefits to time spent walking the earth. You can find some of them in these past blogs:
Take a Walk
Spend more time in nature
Song of the day: