Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! I get to make yummy hearty soups, TIFF just finished, Nuit Blanche is around the corner, not to mention open fires, getting cozy, and surrounding yourself with love. Whether it be that you re-commit to your yoga practice, dive in to a friendship that seems to have fallen by the wayside, or giving yourself a time out to read that book you have been wanting to read since last January. Now is a great time to re-evaluate. To ask yourself what else it is that you need to do to make your journey a content one. It is an amazing time of year to get outside for long walks. Walking in times of stress, anxiety, or restlessness has always been something that has brought me a sense of calm. I take my golden retriever, who lives for long walks, and I breathe. Sometimes I play a game with myself when I feel like I have no control over what is happening in my life. It is a game that I made up for myself years a go, back, when I had attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York.
During my first year at the Playhouse one of my teachers had asked me to look at a desk and tell him what I saw. Besides the desk, I told him I saw a pen, some paper, and that was about all. He patiently pointed out to me that there was a shadow that was mirroring the pen on the desk. There were particles of dust both on the desk, and floating through the air due to the ray of sunlight shining through on to the desk. The surface of the desk also had a color, it was smooth, it was old. Not to mention the paper- I could go on and on. The point was, as he said, ‘You need to see things more clearly.‘ It was true.
I realized that it is scary to really look at something or someone. To really take someone in. It is scary to see them but most importantly to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to be seen. So over the years when I walk, I ask myself, ‘How much can I see?‘ I ignite my five senses. What colors do I see? What are the sounds that I hear? What does the surface of what I’m walking on feel like? Is it hot? Is it cold? What does the air taste like? What do I smell? I get as specific as I can. Why do I do this? I do this because it takes me out of my head. You know that noise upstairs, the thoughts that should technically be leaving and entering, seem to enter but not leave. By walking, my breath moves down towards my pelvis. By walking, I get my heart rate up. By walking, I am moving blocked energy. By walking, I find my feet again. My mind becomes quiet. My breath steady. I am grounded. I see clearly. I am present.