Making time for a morning walk can contribute so much to life. It has literally changed mine. I highly recommend it to anyone. A morning walk can get endorphins moving, improving mood. It can build confidence as you honor a commitment. It is exercise for the heart. It can help you start your day. It can be a daily prayer as you notice the beauty of nature around you. It calms the brain chatter, strengthens the muscles and joints, and enlivens your spirit. Just being outside can have healing effects on the body, mind and soul. It is a win-win (win,win,win) situation. Better than just walking: Take a friend with you or, even better a young person. Give them the gift of nature.
I was recently listening to a podcast, a talk, by a healer named Michael Finney. He was reflecting on actions steps we could take to help in our current world and he emphasized that whatever we do, let it be nurturing. Bringing in and supporting the feminine divine energy by embodying that energy; nurture like a mother. I love this way of thinking about going forward because where, what and how we nurture is up to us. We can be creative (another feminine energy.) I have begun to think about this with everything I do. How can I nurture my family more, nurture my clients more, nurture the mental health system more? These are questions I ask myself as I walk through my day. How can I be a nurturing presence, and contribute to the nurturing energy of this planet?
My morning walk
I decided to bring the nurturing attitude to my morning walk. Nurture myself, by making time for it. Nurture nature around me by staying on the trails and respecting the plants and wildlife. Each day I bring a small bit of food to leave as an offering to the woods for letting me walk there and a bag to collect any garbage (or recycling) I find. It startles me to see so much litter on the trail. It is hard to comprehend how someone could stand looking at a beautiful waterfall and just throw their empty bottle at it. I wonder what was going through their minds as it seems so blatant of a disregard. But no judgment, I do not know what was going on for that person. Perhaps they threw it there to give me the opportunity to pick it up. I used to forget bags everyday, only remembering a few minutes in to the hike, when I see the first infraction. And after so many mornings of forgetting, my mindfulness about nurturing helps me remember. I stopped saying I’ll do it tomorrow.
A few days ago, I took my daughter on a morning walk at Seneca Park. It is my favorite hiking spot because it’s convenient location close to my house. Lily and I collected three bags of “stuff.” She was feeling good about what we were doing and we had a wonderful time together walking, holding hands, chatting, taking in the beauty around us. At one point I was unsuccessfully attempting to reach an unreachable plastic bottle. Lily turned to me and said, “That’s OK the earth doesn’t blame you. God loves you just as you are.” She was nurturing me, the energy is contagious!