I’ve discovered the creative power of walking more than ten years ago.
It was a tough moment in my life. At that time, I was living near a river, and I learned the soothing power of long walks along the stream of water.
It became my way of dealing with tough choices, unsolvable problems and scary questions.
Years later, my friend Luca came to Valencia to talk and create ideas to evolve our collaboration. It was a lovely warm day, so we went out for a walk. And we quickly realize that our brainstormings were far more creative when we were walking. Without our computers to search and check stuff, and with no notepad to stop the stream of consciousness, ideas kept flowing and flowing.
So, instead of sitting in a café, we spent the rest of our time together walking, talking and ideating.
After I moved back to Italy, we deiced to meet every month for at least a one-day walking session. But after the first one, this pandemic happened.
Stuck in our home, we naturally began to have a walking meeting over the phone every morning; Luca walking in his hills, myself walking around the house.
Some mornings I walk in circles inside my living room.
Only one simple rule; walking while talking.
It is now one of the most powerful practices in my life. Even when I want to have a creative conversation with myself.
To walk quietly until the miracle in everything speaks is poetry, wheteher we write it down or not.Mark Nepo
“First is an intention. Then a behaviour. Then a habit. Then a practice. Then a second nature. Then it is simply who you are.”Brendon Burchard
After a few days without my morning apple, this morning, I woke up feeling incomplete. As if I left out a part of me for too long and now I can feel a hole. This small thing of mine is no more a practice or a habit. It is who I am. Or part of it at least.
These fifteen minutes are a way to remind me every morning who I am. Like looking at the mirror so I can recognise my face.
This post wasn’t planned.
I felt my creative wellspring was drying out, so the plan was to take a few weeks off from this practice. To recharge the batteries and refill my ideas’ reservoir. You know, to write something more appealing or exciting to read.
Then this morning, I sat here, and without even thinking, I found myself tapping on the keyboard. It just makes me feel more connected, more in tune with myself. Some go out for a walk, others meditate or pray. I do this. It’s less about the results and more about the practice itself.
Now I’m ready for the day.
A few months ago, I took two weeks off from coffee. Mostly to be sure that a lovely morning ritual wasn’t becoming a mechanical routine.
It’s a good practice I learned a few years ago.
Because everything can become a hamster wheel if we don’t pay attention. We begin things because we need or love them. Then we keep doing them because they gratify us and they become habits.
And it’s a great thing as long as we remember why we are doing them.
Who are we in that practice or ritual?
Even the most beautiful and joyful practice in life can become mechanical if we don’t pay attention.
So, sometimes it helps to take some time off and take ourselves out of the spinning wheel, to observe and sense.
A pause, to remind ourselves what is important.
Why that thing is important in our life.
Taking a pause is particularly important with the things we love to do, our passions. Because those are the things that can become our invisible prisons if we don’t pay attention.
It’s not the practice; it’s the “I” within that practice that matters.
It’s a profound insight I received from a coach yesterday evening, during a webinar.
Do you ever get caught in the process, so focused on doing it right, that you forget to listen to yourself?
Because I love the practice, because I invested so much in creating the process, or because I fully trust the person who taught me the exercise. Whatever the reason, sometimes I am so focused on finding the right practice and executing it in the right way, that I forget what really matters.
As I wrote yesterday, I am the one who gives meaning to everything I do and experience. What’s the point in doing perfectly something meaningless?
The practices you do are essential, and you should choose them wisely. But the most important thing is to keep listening for yourself within whatever practice you do.
Does it make you grow? Does it help you achieve what you want or become who you want?
Does it make sense?
Right now, here.
I don’t know where I am.
I really want to be here and now.
I did my exercises. I tried with my meditation.
This morning, my mind is all over the place.
Everywhere but here and now.
I can’t hold a thought for more than a few seconds.
Does it ever happen to you?
What do you do when your mind escapes in all directions?
Out of habits, I open my laptop and create a new document.
And this white page before me softly pulls me in.
Like a moth towards a summer light.
One word. Two words. One sentence.
Little by little, my mind goes quiet.
Now, I’m here.