Joy

Walking is Life

You think about getting out for a walk but somehow time passes and it doesn’t happen. You think about joining a walking group but the timing never seems to work with your schedule. You think, Oh, if only I had someone to walk with, I’d feel motivated to go out. But you just don’t have anyone and it’s time consuming and frustrating to try to find someone. Now what?

Time for a change. Now. This moment. Time passes and whether or not you make a choice, you’ve made a choice. Even though saying it out loud can feel scary, take the step for you.

Nature awaits you right outside your door. Start small. Small successes grow and flourish. Go out to walk around the block. Or call a friend to meet you at the park or around town for a walk. Or find a group that’s out walking when it’s convenient for your schedule. Get yourself one or two women to walk with 1x a week that are looking for support and accountability, too.

Why is being outside so important? So many reasons but perhaps the more specific reason is that you are connected with nature from deep inside yourself and the you inside yourself knows it. It’s where we come from and part of who we are; part of the cycle of life.

As humans we often separate ourselves from our planet. We get inside our heads and forget that the life happening around us that’s non-human is as important as our lives. For what would we do without it? Who would we be without everything else?

Staying in connection with anything nature, even if they seem to be playing in the background – plants, flowers, weeds, pigeons, crows, squirrels – helps to keep our beings grounded and calm and inspires joy and creativity.

Plenty of studies show again and again, that nature in whatever form you find, has a calming effect on the human psyche.

Time to give yourself the gift of a small success. Step out for a walk with a friend today. You’ll be glad you did!

What’s Your Story?

The other morning early, out for a walk on my usual loop, I was heading east through the neighborhoods and out to the pasture that borders the houses. Turning to pick up the sidewalk that runs adjacent and then a cross over the wooden bridge and away from civilization.

This may be a bit of an exaggeration since if I turn around I can see tons of homes, but facing forward feels like an adventure into nature. Wide open land, trees, cattle, horses, birds, hawks, geese, sky, clouds and fog.

Maybe it’s because they’re mammals, but cows are always endlessly fascinating to watch. Standing there observing, there’s a hint of movement out of the corner of my eye in the next pasture. A fox? It’s hard to see clearly through the morning fog and the blending of leftover summer brown grass that hasn’t yet turned its winter green. And then there are ears bouncing. And then more ears bouncing.

A pair of jack rabbits that were almost at the fence near where I was standing, turn and bolt away in the opposite direction, deeper into the pasture. And then another pair of ears, and another and another.

As my eyes focused, there were at least 10 rabbits dashing, hopping, bouncing, jumping and playing with each other as they found new territory to cover. They were playing and having fun. What a sight!

When they got further away and barely visible, I turned to continue on my walk with a bounce in my step (was I a practicing rabbit?) and a smile in my heart. Seeing these moments feel like a gift that I received because I was there in that moment of their play.

It’s a story that I can share with you, in hope that you will be excited to go outside and find your own story to share. Stories are a part of our collective history. Curiosity becomes contagious.

 

Celebrating 2017 & Welcoming 2018

Why does the arrival of December seem to come as a surprise?  Perhaps it’s the turn around; the looking  back instead of ahead. It is the end of a calendar year. But if you take away the idea of “time,” as in a calendar sort of way, and instead proceed as usual on to the next month, it doesn’t seem quite so extraordinary.

Recognition of the conclusion of one year and the beginning of the next does offer us the occasion for celebration. A time to stop and consider life.  A time to reflect and take it all in.

A time to let go of the resistance we hold: to time, to change, to what we don’t like, to what makes us unhappy.

When we let go of resistance it feels a lot like relief. And feeling relief really is a cause for celebration.

What is it about resistance that feels like such an integral part of our daily lives? While it sounds good as a form of not tolerating or accepting things we don’t like, is it really a productive path to be always focused on what we don’t like or want?

Consider this: resistance creates resistance. The war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on anything.  It’s still a war full of resisting.

Dedication to Humans

In Honor and Tribute
to Firefighters, Police, Medical Personnel
& All who give of themselves, opening heart and home 

 

What happens to community when there’s a crisis?  We humans come together!

October 9, 2017, fire broke out near where I live. It became multiple fires and spread very quickly due to the fierceness of the winds.

People died; more than 7,500 homes and structures were dstroyed; many more people were and have been displaced and evacuated to evacuation centers, to friends and family homes, hotels/motels, anywhere people could find a safe place to bring themselves and their beloved animals.

People woken abruptly in the middle of the night, groggy and disoriented, having to flee from the fire with nothing but the clothes they wore, not knowing if they would return to a home or to ashes. Not knowing if they would make it out alive. Not knowing where their animals were.

Neighbors and strangers knocking on doors to get people out of their homes and safe. 

Smoke filled the air for miles around as the fire raged and burned, carrying small particles of the structures that were burning, making it dangerous to breathe, to be outside or even open windows and doors.

Help and welcome has been everywhere and abundant. So much so there were signs saying, No More Donations Please. So so many people pitching in to help strangers who needed it; to help one another. Strong, incredible leadership. So much kindness.

What a world we live in. One day people are hating on each other, the next they’re diving in to save a life.

The Shape, Sound and Colors of our Conversations

What shape, sound or color does a conversation feel like? Is it bold and brassy or intimate and whispery? Does it feel hot like the sun or frigid as ice? Does conversation draw you in like a magnet leaving you wanting more or does it feel so scary that you want to run as far and fast as possible? Is it the size of the moon or as small as a dandelion?

The conversation that can be experienced with some when walking outdoors for could be all of the above, but the likely hood of it being a positive powerful experience is profoundly possible. Why? Because the movement of walking incites the flow of energy and thoughts. It delivers vitality to a space and place for thinking. When life force and emotions get to connect with the wonderful world of the outdoors, spurred on by the blood and muscle that’s thrilled to be moving and shaking, the content of your talk will invariably be spontaneous, powerful and real.

Give yourself the freedom to walk where you want and for how long it feels comfortable to you. Tune out any voice that says you should do this or that. Any walking is inspired walking. It doesn’t matter how far you walk. Give yourself the permission to step out if only for 5 minutes. Remind yourself that what you are doing is with the intention to feel good and this is only the beginning.

Nature Offers Presence

My friend and I agreed to meet at a local park for a walk because it was a beautiful day and we both wanted to get out for a bit of a stretch.

Since I had a little time before a business meeting, I thought I’d just get there, take the walk and go to the next stop on my calendar.  As we began walking, I was aware that I was feeling in a hurry, distracted because I was on a time frame due to my next meeting.

I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but at some point I noticed that I wasn’t thinking about my next appointment. Actually, I’d forgotten about it as I became immersed in the beauty and serenity of the day. Leaves sparkled. Birds swooped and called. Lizards scrambled for cover. Trees creaked and leaned (was it towards me)?

The wind was soft and warm. The sun was hot but not too hot. Shady places were enticing as trees offered a cool respite. My friend and I didn’t talk much but somehow by unspoken agreement or acknowledgement that it was all too perfect to talk, would stop in synchronicity to snap photos or look around as the magic of the day became our enchantress. The wonderful ease of nature and how she draws you in, washing away any tensions and transforming you into the person you know you want to be. Solid, grounded, full of life, happy, excited.

The discovery that I could leave behind the tension of time and become immersed inside nature reinforced what I already know. Walking outside is stress relieving and healing.

Let Life Surprise You

The other day, I stopped for gas at a station that was very busy and of course I was in a hurry. Plus, I get frustrated even having to stop for gas. When I get inside to pay, there was a big line of people waiting for the one and only cashier. Thoughts buzzing through my head. Do I want to wait? How long will it take? Can I somehow cut this line?

The impatience clearly must have showed on my face as I heaved a huge exasperated sigh. Turning to see how far the line went, my glance falls on a very large, very dark man with gold teeth and Rastafarian hair who’s looking at me and gently asks, “You just getting gas? You can go in front of me.”

Still in my head, I say, “No thank you, I don’t want to cut the line,” barely acknowledging his kindness as I move past him towards the back of the line. While standing waiting, I’m thinking about what an unexpected kind gesture this stranger offered me and I barely gave him the time of day.

#NoWomanLeftInside

Our motto is our calling ~
#NoWomanLeftInside

What does this mean exactly?

Simply this.

We believe that no matter what speed you walk, when you walk, how you walk or where you walk, there’s someone out there for you to buddy up with for company and conversation. As a good friend often remarks, “It’s all about community.”

What Does Summer Mean for You

Summer Solstice. What does it mean?                                                

Technically speaking, “Wednesday at 12:24 a.m. Eastern Time marks the summer solstice, the scientific start to summer for half the world.

The Northern Hemisphere will dip toward the sun, basking in its warmth for longer than at any other time. The solstice occurs because the Earth spins on a tilted axis. This slouch of 23.5 degrees is also responsible for the other seasons.

For the United States, this is a remarkable time for the sun. On Aug. 21, the country will experience a total solar eclipse, when the moon passes in front of the sun and casts its shadow on parts of the Earth.

Little Successes

Do you ever hear yourself say:                                                                                          

I think about going out for a walk, but I don’t have anyone to go with. Or –

I’d like to go for a walk but I don’t have time. Or –

I can’t keep up with a group because I walk too slow.

Or …….

Having someone to walk with helps answer any of these reasons about why you can’t get out for a walk.

A walking partner helps motivate. When you meet a friend for a walk, you get talking and don’t even notice (or notice less so) how far you’ve gone.

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