Well, all that is true and good, but thinking about taking a walk because you HAVE TO EXERCISE makes it seem like a CHORE. Anything thought of as a CHORE it will definitely get relegated to the 'NOT FUN' and the 'NOT DONE' category.
What if we turn that around and think about walking as a mini-vacation in the midst of your busy day? If you 'walk for wonder' it can be just that … a mini-vacation.
Guess what? You already know how to Walk for Wonder and you've done it before, probably many times. For example, while walking to the coffee shop something catches your eye that makes you smile. Maybe it's the sloppy chocolate-smeared face of a child with an ice cream cone, a large exuberant puppy pulling it's owner along the sidewalk, or the first buds of green on the trees in springtime. That momentary glimpse of beauty or sweetness stops your whirling brain, settles your breath deep into your belly and, Voila!, an instant moment of relaxation. You buy your coffee and go back to your tasks refreshed, re-balanced and feeling in harmony with the world around you.
So…how does one Walk for Wonder and not merely for exercise?
Start walking. (natch)
Open your eyes and look around. Yes, yes, I know, your eyes are usually open when you're walking. But where are they focused? Looking at your feet while your brain swirls the day's events about? Staring blankly ahead of you as you barrel through the lunchtime crowd? Even in the busiest cityscape there is something to 'wonder' at. So…eyes open.
Check your shoulders. Are they relaxed? What about your neck? As you walk shake your shoulders a bit, roll your neck slightly, yawn. Yawning will help relax your jaw and draw in more oxygen to your lungs.
Pay attention to your feet. Feel your feet spread slightly with each footfall. Think of the soles of your feet like a drain in a sink and just open them up in your mind's eye. Imagine all your tension and stress draining out, pouring into the ground as you walk.
Check in with your senses - aka Get Sensual Baby!
I mean it...now that you're walking and your body is relaxed check in with each of your five senses:
Now that you've relaxed your body and checked in with your five senses you can do a bit of brisk walking if you like. If not, save your brisk walking for another time, remember, this is Walking for Wonder -- Not for Exercise!
One last step. Just as the flower has graced you with beauty and the breeze has brought you to your senses, now I ask that you pay the favor forward and smile at a passerby. Just a simple acknowledgement of their presence. Make a connection, however brief. Appreciate the joy that simple human interaction might bring to somebody in the middle of their busy day.
That's it, you're done!
By the way, the sneaky thing about Walking for Wonder is that it also gives you the benefit of (drum roll please) … exercise.
May all your walks be filled with Wonder! Then share the Wonder by leaving a comment below describing a moment that woke up your senses or fed your soul.