My Form of Meditation: Daily Walks
Meditation is something that I think everyone thinks of initially as sitting crisscross applesauce and breathing exercises - some think of meditation as lying still while listening to earth sounds. As someone with anxiety, I can honestly say I've tried it all. I overthink a lot and it's something that I've been working on and am very aware of when it's happening. Most times I'm able to snap out of it but there are times when it gets to the point where I start to feel like I can't breathe. Usually, when this happens I try to catch my breath and in the past, I would turn on some sort of meditation video on Youtube and try to calm my nerves. What I found is that even after a thirty-minute video my mind is still racing. Honestly, at some point, I think I truly gave up on the idea and just thought I'm meant to be anxious for the rest of my life. Yes, I am very dramatic, I know.
The past few months of my life have been pretty transformative. I went from a twenty-something-year-old living on her own in a big city to moving back home with a new job. As you can imagine, my thoughts lately have been racing. What does the next year of my life look like? Where do I want to live? Will I get promoted? Will I be single forever? the list can go on and on. One day, I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw Alex Elle's page which I love. She makes the best aspirational quotes and she has two amazing books on self-love/healing. I clicked on her page hoping to find something uplifting to get me out of the funk I was in. In her bio, I saw that she had a podcast and I was so EXCITED. I took note of it so that I can check it out one day.
The next morning, I was in a bit of a funk and thought I'm grown I can stay in bed all day if I want to. So that was the plan until I revisited Alex's podcast and I saw it was called This Morning's Walk. It's about her and Libby Delanas' dedication to walking at least once every day. It's an opportunity to experience the transformative power of walking. I thought you know what? It won't hurt to go for a quick walk and then I'll come back to bed for the day. As I started to walk, I turned on their podcast which discussed facing doubt and having compassion for your mind and body. I quickly realized how therapeutic it felt to just move my body and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. I immediately felt like man this is so calming for me and with every step, all my thoughts just ran through my head and left my body.
I ended up walking for 40 minutes around my neighborhood and by the time I came back home I felt so energized. It was as if that time by myself and getting fresh air just really gave me what I needed to start my day on a positive note. I've been walking every day sometimes for 40 minutes sometimes for 5 minutes but I always feel better that I chose myself for those few minutes. I didn't let my thoughts get the best of me or my day slip away from me. I chose myself, I chose to breathe, and I chose to honor my body with movement. Walking is my way of centering myself and coming home to me. I realized that this can look different for everyone and you have to figure out what works for you. It's okay if you try something and it doesn't work. Have compassion for yourself be patient with yourself and listen to what your body tells you it wants.