The Ritual Walk
I have always enjoyed walking – a gentle stroll. It allows me time to stroll deeper inward, one-foot strike at a time in the outer world. Walking, wandering, strolling; these gentle movements bring me closer to my humanness.
We live as we move, a step at a time, and there is something in gentle walking that reminds me of how I must live if I am to savour this life that I have been given. It’s on my walks that my best ideas come to me and that clarity emerges. It is while walking that I experience a sense of well-being and connection, and it is in walking that I at my most mindful.
Walking, especially in nature, is a rhythmic activity that drops us deep into the psychic wellspring that is the source of our lives. Walking puts us in a meditative state that we don’t usually feel in the rush of the day to day. The movement of our body at each step helps us to change perception and see things differently. Each step can help us to see a blind spot previously hidden from view. Each step, each forward movement can facilitate a gently and confident joy. When we move, even when it’s a gentle stroll, the rhythmic motion puts us in a meditative state that connects us to the earth we are walking on.
Do you ever just go outside and wander, walk aimlessly just for the joy of it? A walk with no purpose other than walking and being alive to all the beauty that surrounds us on this Earth. It is an experience in simply being. It inspires awe and wonder as it fills our aching souls with beauty and natural splendour, while also reminding us we are part of a universe we can never fully fathom or understand, and yet – there in nature – we know ourselves to be intrinsically linked to and supported by it.
Walking grounds our bodies within the larger body of Mother Earth as she whispers to us on the warm breeze and in that certain slant of light falling across the path in front of you. Mother Earth tempts and teases us with the smell of orange blossom in summer because she knows that our modern world cannot sell us what it is that we really need to be truly and fully alive. A gentle stroll, an aimless wander sculpts our soul as each foot hits the ground. As we walk we can dream, create, think, pray, muse, and simply be who we were intended to be.
For me, walking is a healing activity because it puts me back in natural harmony with my body and the earth. Does walking heal you?