7) Practise ‘presence’ à pied
Take a mindful walk. I love going for early morning walks. This is not something I often get a chance to do, what with the daily routine. When the chance does arise though, I highly recommend it. Everything is so still and quiet. Not many people venture out early – a few dog walkers, a keen runner or two, perhaps. It feels special, like you have discovered a new day before anyone else. If you are brave enough to try this in winter, you are in for a treat.
Wrapped in layers, you step out of the door and are greeted by that first blast of chill in the air. You shiver and brace yourself as you pull your hat down a little more firmly. Pay close attention to your senses, each of them heightened and invigorated to be outside at this early hour. Notice your breathing – the cold air through your nostrils on the inhale, then misty and warmed as you exhale into the stillness. Childlike fascination at this vital sign made visual.
Look around you. Notice the trees and foliage glistening with frost, sparkling in the subdued morning light. Absorb the lonely cry of a bird overhead, drifting on thermals, floating. With each step, feel the ground beneath your feet, hard and frozen, followed by soft damp tufts of grass – the textures of nature laid beneath your soles. Leaves crackling, twigs crunching, your ears awakening at each new sound. Inhale deeply the earthy scent, the hint of wood smoke lingering in the air. You blink, your eyelashes wet with moisture. The icy air nipping at your face, flushing your cheeks with colour. Sometimes I can taste the salt present in the coastal air…
You arrive back home, your body alive and tingling, your mind refreshed and alert, ready to embrace the day ahead, thankful of the warmth and comfort of home.
You can learn more about the practice of presence in the courses I teach. Visit my website for forthcoming course dates.
Image courtesy of Galina N at https://unsplash.com/