Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Walking on Wednesday ~ Changing It Up and Back to Basics

One benefit of a new walking path.
It has been a long several months without my walking or running. I got bogged down with stress, and found getting out to do my morning runs, or even just walks, to be completely stressful. That isn't what they started out as, and not at all what they should be, so I stopped. Completely stopped. Running and walking was stressing me out, the totally wrong way to go about it, so I stopped. I knew that doing things that were causing more stress, rather than helping, meant it was time for a change. 

It makes sense and seems logical, but in reality it is quite difficult to make such a sudden change when it is something that started off so good, so right, and then over time turns into not so good, and so not right. It happens slowly, yet the change we need must happen immediately.

Another benefit of the new path.
After some time off, and still feeling the stresses of the rest of my life, I decided one day, after a days work, to go out in the late afternoon for just a nice walk. No pressure, no agenda. Just to walk. I had put in my days work and thought it may be a great way to unwind from a day of stress. I also decided to take a different route. A place I don't normally go for walks or runs because this is a more crowded route, often with other dogs, so I thought my runs would be interrupted with having to greet other dogs and people. But this time,I didn't let that deter me. I needed a change, and changing the route would make the change complete. I needed to get back to the basic reasons I started walking in the first place. To enjoy nature, to get some exercise, to improve my health, not run, go a certain distance, and do it all before I started the rest of my day. I needed the simple reasons again, back to the basics.

This approach was uncomfortable at first, late afternoon early evening walks on a completely different route, potentially having to deal with other dogs, people, lots of ducks.... After I got out there, I found it worked very well. Most of my walks now are in the afternoon, along this route around Lake Louise. 

Lone duckie, but one of many along my new route.
The new scenes, the ducks and geese, (many many more than the lone one in this picture to the right, and the dog just loves this little fact), plus the beautiful water features (a fountain and a waterfall!) are so much better than Main Street and sidewalks all the time. 

My walks are now a pleasant way to process the day, and unwind to a nice relaxing evening. I even started walking with a someone, either a friend or my daughter, most of the time, and only sometimes alone. I used to be a loner because I didn't want to slow someone down, or slow down for anyone (pressure I didn't even realize I was putting on me or others). But it is much more meaningful to be doing it with someone else, something I never would have found out if I didn't change it up!

Back to the basics, a walk just to walk and enjoy, maybe run if I feel like it. Changing the time of day to later adds something I never thought would fit into my life - the real possibility to enjoy because I don't have to hurry back and rush off to start my day, I can just go home and let my experience sink in. 

The change wasn't easy. It took me 4 months to get back to exercising. It was hard to go in the afternoon, especially hard to let myself take it easy and just walk, taking pictures, enjoying the new scenery, enjoying the company. It all was uncomfortable at first, I was so conditioned before! But change I did, and finally I am back to exercising. I wouldn't be doing it at all if I didn't change it. Better scenery too, and I am now much more open to trying different routes and areas.
Reflections on the lake, on my new walking route.
Change is difficult. Change can be very uncomfortable. Sometimes the hardest part is knowing we need a change. But change to get back to the basics is often the jump start we need to move on and go forward. Now that I am back to basics in my exercise, I am itching to make changes in other areas of my life. Changes that four months ago I would not even consider! Without making that one change, the acceptance of knowing when to change, and seeing the great benefits, who knows if I would be considering others.....

Do you find change difficult, or embrace the changes as they appear?

2 comments:

  1. Good on ya for finding a new way to get back to exercising.

    The word "exercise" is a chore I avoid, so I admire that you let it slip but still found a way to get back in.

    As long as I control it, I like change. Forced change was never my friend...
    ~Sunfire

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  2. Thanks Sunfire! Forced change IS tough. I am struggling with that at the moment, but in the end I still think we should embrace it, as it still means we are going forward.

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