Walking and waking.
Both about movement – granted, different kinds – and just one letter different, but, damn … the relationship between the two is, for me, pretty profound.
In my world, walking is medicine. And it leads to waking.
The fact that it enhances my journaling? Double-bonus.
When I’ve been at my computer for hours, and my butt is practically asleep (can a butt go to sleep? i think mine does), and my neck and shoulders are screaming to get-the-hell-up-and-move-already, I’ll throw on a pair of shoes, walk down my driveway, then a half-mile down the road (over the one-lane bridge and past the cow pasture) to a nature trail. (have i said i live in the boonies? oh, i do. i really seriously do.)
Sometimes I don’t even need to go as far as the trail … just down to the bridge and back, and I’ll feel rejuvenated. There are even days when walking down the driveway to get the mail can do it too. (true, it’s a bit of a hill, and a long driveway, but still.)
Yesterday my head was swirling with thoughts of some semi-related situations that I totally can’t control. I know better (oh, do i ever), but there I was: future-tripping, wondering how I could orchestrate all the moving pieces of the universe in my favor (dreaming of magic wands. [poof] …) … and maybe even catastrophizing a bit.
It was not pretty.
I’d already journaled the shit out of it – and that usually gives me perspective and a bit of peace, but not then. I was still in the thought-weeds.
It was time for a walk.
Feet on asphalt; feet on the trail. Cows in the field, a few leaves still on trees. The frogs jumping into the water as I peek over the little wall between the road and the pond. The sun shining; a chill in the air. Deep breaths, arching my back, stretching … and even before I get to the cows, I’m feeling more present. In this moment, and this one, and the next.
And then I remember: I can only do now. Take the step in front of you, Cooperman, the wise little voice in my head reminds me. Just this one. That’s all you need to do. One step at a time.
I got home, opened the journal again, and wrote my “revelation: (that one that i need to be reminded of again and again). Because I know that getting it down on the page can help lock it in a little more. And it might help me remember the next time I find myself future-tripping and spinning out.
One-step-at-a-time is all I can do. And all I need.
Try this at home: Go for a walk before you journal. Be where you are. Breathe. When your mind spins out, bring your attention back to your feet on the ground.