It has been a whirl wind week with getting back into the classroom, meeting my new students, therefore, this weekend I took some time for myself. This time has given me breathing space to come back tomorrow recharged for the challenges and wonderful happy times that lay ahead of me this week.
Friday evening I went for my daily walk at the park. I made a commitment to myself to walk for my health, daily; almost two months ago I began to walk at the park, making it something to get through. I wasn't used to the hills I had to trudge or other terrain. Now I am walking up to 35 minutes daily and find that it is a respite from daily endeavors, an activity I look forward to and not just something I get through. I walk at a pretty quick pace but at the same time engage all my senses to my surroundings. I find that I come into an acute awareness of the environment at that time. The walks I take allows for time in a busy day to find quiet solitude.
During this time I clear my mind. The endless thoughts circling in my mind cease. I first concentrate on my breath, footsteps, feeling the ground beneath my feet. Once it is only the breath and foot fall, then I expand to feel the breeze on my face, blowing my hair, the sound of traffic, birds flying overhead or sitting in a tree singing it's beautiful melody, children on the playground playing, hearing their laughter, squeals of delight, or the tired fussy child who wants to go home, the little league football teams playing and practicing, the loud cheers of parents, coaches yelling encouragement, or demanding the children play better, to get it together. I also hear water splashing from the indoor pool, shrieks from swimmers, the smell of chlorine, laced, mixed, and mingled with the smell of pine trees, flowers, the small rose garden, the scent of different people as they pass me on the trail. Also I tune into the fading sunlight as it penetrates the canopy of trees that I am under, light dancing on the path. Simultaneously I am aware of what is going on with me, my body, and inside of me. I know when I must push myself, picking up speed, the feel of my heart pumping nourishing blood through my body, the tingle and burn I feel in my legs, from ankle to thigh. Every one of my senses accosted while I am in tune to the whole of it. During and after my walks I am blissed out.
When I'm finished, I drive back to my house, go to the gazebo with my journal to write. Combining the quiet solitude of the walk and time in the gazebo, all the while surrounded by beautiful nature, thoughts pour out of me. During those times I have listened to the voice within myself.
In the quiet, a phrase keeps coming to me: Living Whole Heart and Soul. At first I was just given the thought of Living Whole. I began to think about what living whole means. What does living whole mean to me, in my life? Living Whole in my mind has now evolved to Living Whole Heart and Soul. Right now in my life I know living whole heart and soul means engaging in things that nourish me from the inside and outside. Quiet time daily seems to effect even the most smallest aspects of my life. I feel as if something is missing if I have not had quiet time during the day. It is elusive at first then I think well I haven't spent time really listening to the silence today, whether that turns into daily prayer, meditation, or just sitting with the silence. Daily exercise of my body engages and helps my whole being. I know that abiding by an organic, vegetarian way of life also nourishes me. I have moved closer to veganism and a raw diet that is low in sodium, carbs, and cholesterol. I feel as if I have more energy and vitality when eating this way. Daily prayer, meditation, and visualization also enriches my way of life. I read daily also. Along with this, writing in any form, occasionally painting and drawing, lets my creative side speak. To balance all the solitary activities I also find time to socialize with family and friends. I also know that growing up an only child makes it easier for me to relish in solitary quiet time and that some social situations make me withdraw, overwhelm me, and wish for smaller groups of people. Laughter is my daily dose of medicine.
This idea: Living Whole Heart and Soul has anchored in me, resonates within me in a deep place. This idea is taking flight and feeding my creative ideas that are flowing.