Who ever said we have to be alike or think alike to get along? I have no idea. But we don’t! In fact, contrast and differences make for colorful conversation and deeply significant growth. By walking together, we have an opportunity to “counteract the tendency to ‘otherize,’” the opportunity to have an understanding of where the “other” is coming from.
Have you ever been listening to what someone is saying and thought to yourself, “Wow, I never thought about it like that!” It’s that moment when your perspective shifts if even a sliver, and you see a new view.
There are a lot of “what if’s” floating around out there. What if’s don’t count. They haven’t happened and in fact, may never happen.
Focusing our attention on “what is” can help us stay grounded and centered. Life in the moment. As I look around, I see a lot of people stressed, afraid and suffering. I see and feel fractures in our country that are profound and divisive.
One of the beauties of living in the US means that each and every day we have the opportunity to “vote” for what we want; how we choose to live our lives, how we choose to treat others, how we choose to behave, how we choose to accept or not accept the gorgeous diversity that makes our country the unique place that it is.
It’s only a belief that we have to be “like minded” in order to get along. My best long time girl friend and I recently went on a road trip together. We got into an argument about something and stopped talking to each other like little kids. It hurts to get mad at a dear friend. It hurts to get mad at anyone. It’s hard to think, “I’m not beyond this yet? What’s wrong with me?”
So what did we do? How did we resolve it? We took a walk. We put on our shoes, coats and stepped outside together. Shoulder to shoulder side by side facing in the same direction.
There is something magical about walking outdoors with another woman. It’s where we connect with self, earth and each other without having to say anything. Facing in the same direction.
Did we settle our differences? Well, we still have different ideas about certain things but in the end, yes, we worked through the rough patch. The truth is, we didn’t even know what we were disagreeing about. We had stopped listening to each other and got stuck in our own idea about being right. Conversation and feelings can spiral out of control before you know it’s happened.
Women instinctively walk and talk together, but it takes practice to hold on to the memory of the treasured experience we get when we walk. It takes practice to hold onto the magical encounter of delight from being outside in movement and not let it dissolve into the stressors of everyday life. But practice you can. Practice we must.
Be your most open self when you are out walking with a friend or are deep in the thick of the everyday busyness of your life. Hold onto the magic that found you while out on your walk. Keep it safe in your pocket as you go about daily life. Keeping it close will remind you to live in the joy of the extraordinarily ordinary moments you discovered while out walking with a friend.