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Reflective Walking

Inner Wisdom Tips and Techniques

Reflective Walking

Jenn Shallvey

walking2.jpg

Walking in general is an excellent form of exercise for maintaining well being both physically and mentally. This is a researched fact.

Reflective walking takes this everyday means of transport to another level and enables you to access your inner wisdom better.  For some of us this approach is easier than meditation and reflection sitting. Many will find the physical movement and focus on this movement a good way to distract our mind from taking over.

In reflective walking there are different levels you can explore.

    1.    Walk and focus on your step and breath.
    2.    Walk and notice your surroundings.
    3.    Walk and engage in internal dialogue.

There is more to reflective walking than a short statement in a newsletter. So that you can have fun trying here are a few suggestions that bring the three levels together.  The key is to let what connects and opens you up to your own knowing to emerge. Whether breath, surroundings or words, when you pay attention it is like being on the internet for answers and clicking on a link and then following another and another. Here you are instead clicking on your own internal links to new ideas and new levels of knowing.

Step and breath
Choose a place to walk, usually somewhere in nature without too many distractions such as a park.  Set out on your walk at a slow, measured pace that you can maintain without losing breath or tiring.  Then pay attention to your steps and breathing as you settle in to the walk.  Aim to get into your zone - that is in a rhythm where all you are aware of is your breath and your steps.  

Noticing
You can play with the next in a variety of ways. For now lets just try one. With no thought in your mind start to notice your surroundings. Just let what ever catches your attention catch your attention.  All you do is notice what you notice. It could be the temperature, the smell of the air, the feel of the ground under your feet, the colour of the leaves on the trees. It does not matter. Simply notice without editorial thought or evaluation.

Dialogue
Once you have this experience going you can then step things up.  Now lets have fun and add in some dialogue.  You can do this in a couple of ways. On simple level you can set an intention or question for your walk.  You can then open up and let the surroundings be the triggers for you to reflect further on answers for you.  

So it might be something like “What direction should I go with this job?”  Then you start noticing things. As you do you might see a tree that stands out. You see the tree and in your dialogue simply say ‘what does the tree mean for me?” or “why is the tree important?” etc. There are no specific words, simply triggers for you to ‘click the link’ effectively. The key is that you then open up another route to explore in your dialogue. The answers will come from within. Since you are using irrelevant and non associated surroundings the triggers are simply that - triggers. They have no meaning in and of themselves.

A key to note here. Your inner wisdom is positive and encouraging, not negative and critical. If you are getting the latter in your experience then you are not really connected.  Go back to the other steps.

The walk can be of any duration. The key though is to be conscious when you choose to do the reflective walking bit.  Over time though you will find that your inner knowing pops up without you consciously trying. Walks are great ways to use the change of scenery combined with movement to get things flowing.

Also over time you will find you don’t need a park or special place to walk. Though the added bonus of nature is always a plus.

All this sounds simple because it is!  We over complicate processes.  The only downside might be that people will want to know why you are having such a good time on your walk and will stop you along the way.