A mindful walk

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Over the years, when I found something inspiring, I put it into the pile on a shelf in my office, now 4 inches high. This morning I pulled the stack from the shelf and began to explore the gifts inside. I came across some guidance for taking a mindful walk that I’d created with some colleagues for a leadership retreat we led each quarter for our new executives. I modified it (below) as a guide for myself – something I can be intentional about when I venture outside each day for a neighborhood walk with my husband Jim. Perhaps you’ll feel invited to give it a try, too, and see what happens?

A mindful walk

Getting Started

  • Pause, standing still and observing a moment of silence.
  • Notice your feet solidly on the ground, feel the strength of your legs, notice your core supporting you, allow your arms hang softly at your sides, reach your fingers out wide with your palms open, and let your neck and head stand tall toward the sky.
  • Take 3 deep, intentional breaths.

During your walk

  • Pay attention to your breath. Don’t try to change it, just notice it. When your mind wanders, simply bring it back to your breath.
  • As you walk, expand your awareness to your body. Feel it moving. Notice how it feels as your feet come down on the ground, how the muscles in your legs work as you walk, whether your core is engaged, how your arms are moving.
  • As you continue your walk, begin to move your attention outward. Notice your surroundings. What gets your attention? How does that feel?
  • After taking in the environment, bring your focus back to the experience of walking and your breathing. When you catch yourself thinking about something else, bring your attention back to the walk.

Wrapping Up

  • Take 3 deep, intentional breaths.
  • Fill your heart with gratitude…perhaps for your ability to move or your health, for the beauty of nature, for your mindfulness experience…whatever arises for you.
  • From this quiet place, set an intention for your day.

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico, while on a morning walk with Celeste, the sweet girl who makes sure everyone at our hotel knows they are loved and appreciated.

Author: Vicki L Flaherty

I am most alive when I am creating, whether through writing, photography, gardening, cooking, crafting, sewing, yoga. I enjoy traveling because it opens me to greater awareness and new possibilities. I find a special joy when I’ve helped someone see their brilliance and express their full potential. As I've focused on living more mindfully, I've found special joy in expressing myself through poetry and photography, and in truly being in relationship with those I meet along my journey.

4 thoughts on “A mindful walk”

  1. Hello, Vicki! Thank you for your article. I also accumulate items that may be inspiring. I like your idea. I will look through my stack and use them as input for creating compelling images. I am also working on a new website. Will send you the link when I publish it.  I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy. Best, Hector

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