The morning amble
Watching my thoughts circle and pivot
We can be like a hawk in the sky
Or a fly trapped in a cobweb
I peel off the sticky threads
Returning to myself
The further I go
The more I lose
And the more I find
Losing my mind
*When we sleep at night, something strange happens; the mind dreams and extraordinary things unfurl.
We wake thinking, “wow, that was insane!” We don’t really take it seriously because that is what we know about sleep
Nothing is real; we are just dreaming; it happens to everyone
That sense of endless possibility and freedom fades when we awaken. Our far-seeing, flying night hawk is hooded. Locked down by the logical part of us, which says, “hmmm nope, that won’t work”, and produces excuses as to why not.
There are other ways to access mindless freedom or freedom from the mind. Meditation is one which I practice. My favourite method involves walking
There isn’t a morning that I don’t get up early and go walking. In winter, it is a shorter window because, obviously, like most humans, I have things to do and can’t amble about all day. Rainy days mean raincoats and rubber boots, but still, we go.
Spring is back, and with it, the longer days. My morning starts before dawn (which is becoming earlier and earlier), and the daily walk extends to two, sometimes three hours, particularly on the weekends, when the pile of jobs waiting can be pushed further to the back of my mind.
What I like most about the extended walks through the spring and summer months is how it gives me time to watch my mind in all its convolutions. Most people are very distracted today, and nobody seems to spend that much time with themselves and, more particularly, inside themselves.
The modern world is all about being “out there”. Want happiness? It’s out there in people, places and things. Doing is where it’s all at. Achieving. Gathering. Hoarding. The only interior which exists for some seems to be the bright screen of a smartphone or tablet.
The true peace of the aimless wander with no distraction is deeply satisfying. I sometimes listen to podcasts but increasingly, I find them too noisy. Other people’s ideas and opinions can wait until I return; walking time is a period of grace to find out my own thoughts about things, and sometimes, it’s surprising.
Walking solo (dogs don’t count – they are the very best of quiet companions) with the phone on aeroplane mode, watching the colours of the sky change as the sun rises, observing the landscape and becoming so immersed in life that you notice every single miraculous thing.
Maybe I am becoming carried away here but allow me to share
This morning I saw a floating blossom of cobweb. What I noticed when I looked closer delighted me. This tiny spider had built a flying machine – a ball of gossamer on which to float across the road and land on a plant further away. Was it a one-off? No, the more I looked, the more I saw other tiny spiders attached to these little flying machines floating across my path.
That’s pretty damn miraculous. I don’t know who you are, but that is worth far more in terms of shock and awe than an Instagram scroll.
I’ve been thinking about my daily morning habit a lot recently. Mainly because I truly look forward to it and can’t wait to get out the front door.
It is my most precious habit and has become a valuable tool for others as well.
I listened to a Rich Roll podcast with mountaineer and adventurer Colin O’Brady (who has walked across Antarctica and scaled ridiculously high peaks etc) but then when Covid hit was forced to contemplate life from a different angle.
One morning, deeply frustrated and anxious after being forcibly cooped up for so long, Colin took himself off for what turned into a twelve-hour walk. He was searching for the same peace and calm that had overtaken him during his time alone walking in Antarctica.
What he found was exactly that sort of peace but what was surprising to him was that he found it in a safe, almost suburban environment. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t in a challenging natural environment. It was the act of walking. Of unravelling. And he wrote a book about it, challenging everyone to do their own twelve-hour walk. He gained clarity and peace and came home rejuvenated and reset, full of creative ideas and inspiration.
Colin’s findings resonated.
I’ve done plenty of those all-day walks when I’m out hiking on extended trips, but I have found you don’t need twelve hours. You just need a couple of hours and a daily habit.
If you do this, depression will fade, anxiety will lift, and all the constructs of the mind will fall down.
In order to be emotionally swayed by your thoughts, you have to take them seriously. You have to take yourself seriously. And you can’t take yourself seriously after you’ve watched some of the crap that you can come up with out there walking.
And the more you keep company with yourself and watch yourself, the greater the contrast between what is real and what is imagined becomes clear to you.
It’s all just imagined
Asleep/awake – same thing, different channel
It may take a few long walks, and a little time, but eventually, all the mental diseases that humans suffer from, particularly in the modern world, can be unravelled. Or so I believe.
We think. Therefore we create
Everything we see is just light hitting our eyeballs and being thrown up upon the screen of our brain. We filter it through likes, dislikes, fears, aversions, attractions, tastes, logic, past, future, projection, intention, and desire.
Our entire world begins and ends in our heads.
But all the time, those little spiders are building flying machines
And we are missing out
Because we are too busy with our fabrications and dreams
Water always finds its own level, and so can we.
Just walk a little, walk more, walk far, and you’ll see
It’s just a dream we are creating; make it beautiful. Because it already is.
If you want to know how to live in the moment, watch a dog. I amble behind mine, and he sees everything, smells everything, touches everything and yes, pees on everything 😂
Have a lovely day, and take a walk X