Last week I graciously found myself in San Antonio, Tx, attending the initial Mind-Body Medicine Class offered by cmbm.org. We (I and the other 100 or so strangers) spent 5 days experimenting with new ways of practicing meditation and creating awareness, and then sharing those experiences with each other — a powerful exercise in itself, and one that is integral to my health coaching practice.
Since my return, I have been playing around with the different techniques I learned. This morning, I pleasantly remembered that the house in which I am currently staying has a painted labyrinth in their backyard — perfect for a walking meditation!
The premises of this exercise is to simply walk slow. Slower than a stroll. Maybe even as slow as taking a step, pausing to reflect on how the pressure feels on you heels and in your hips, and then taking the next step and pausing again. There really is no wrong way to do it as long as the pace is slow.
Both times I have done this exercise have been powerful for me. I usually start out feeling restless and agitated by the pace I have set for myself. “This is pointless.” “I feel stupid.” “I have barely moved in the past minute!” To walk without destination can feel strangely unnerving, almost unnatural. It messes with my head. But eventually I let go and am able to tune in to how my body feels, and before I know it I’ve found this peaceful pace and accompanying flow that shifts my entire being – my heart slows down, my breathing slows down, my thoughts slow down. I slow down. And by the end of my walk I don’t want to stop.
Being to be is intoxicating in its own way. All tension dissipates and I’m left with an encompassing calmness and peace.
Today in particular I am reminded of the strength in my physical body – particularly my legs – a much needed reminder after having been sick for a few days. I am also reminded that I only need to take one step at a time. No rush needed – just one solid step at a time…no matter what my goal is. So I carry that message with me today, knowing that with each step, the next step becomes clearer.
May there be strength and power in your own steps this week.