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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

2012 MY DIARY - JAN 3 - walking

Tuesday January 3rd 2012

Walking helps cure a lot. It’s not just exercise for the body, but also for the mind. The repetitive motion of your legs, the sound of your feet as they hit the ground, the swish of your arms by your side as you move forward - all of this helps you focus on what you are actually doing, and forget what plagues you. By concentrating on the motion, you can empty your mind and thus rid yourself of your troubles, or at the very least ignore them for a while. The repetitive action of walking induces a form of light self-hypnosis, whereby the mind is triggered and the imagination soars. Thoughts are clearer in fresh air, and therefore solutions to problems are more easily found. Visions and memories appear sharper, dreams flood your brain, hope seems within reach. As you draw in the clean sea-side air, your lungs breathe in oxygen which stimulates the cerebral cortex which orders blood to flow faster around the body. The heart beats faster, as it also needs to pump extra blood to all the moving muscles, and not surprisingly, with a quickened pulse, you feel energized before you can feel any tiredness. As your heels draw soothing energy up into you from the ground beneath, you feel a sense of relaxation, and your emotions cool off as your body warms up. This allows you to think more sensibly, to feel more powerfully, and asses more accurately. Everything appears to work better, answers arrive without struggle, questions arise without warning, ideas flow freely. Everything seems to move with natural force, as we gather momentum.
The two legs we were born with were made for walking. We humans were destined to walk, and to move ahead, to be more exact. Walking is therefore a metaphor for life; as we take steps forward, we propel ourselves into the future, creating our own continuously changing destiny. With each stride, we change where we are, we change our point of view, and at any given moment - as long as we keep moving - we will find ourselves in a different place, and a different time.
Walking is essential, and keeps us in good health and even better spirits. Without regular walks, our bodies would not function properly. Our muscles would become atrophied and deteriorate, our bones would shrivel up and crack, our tendons would become weak and tear, and our internal organs would become blocked and inflammed. Our bodies would be clogged up and stiff, and circulation would be poor. We would be in pain, and unable to support ourselves on our very own two feet. We all know the expression “to stand on your own two feet” which means to be able to support yourself – not just physically but mentally i.e be independent. So, in a sense, standing or walking on your own feet, is a symbol of taking care of yourself and being your own boss, making decisions for yourself, taking charge of your life and making progress. That is how important walking actually is.
Walking with company is a way to share and can be fun when done with friends, and intimate when done with loved ones. Walking alone, however, is truly relaxing and a different experience altogether. When you put one foot in front of the other and take that stroll on your own, your isolation allows your senses to become fully aware, and you benefit from the walk the most. Alone you can notice everything: your attention is on the buildings and trees one minute, then on the sea and ground the next. You can see every detail of the world around you; you can watch people as they pass you by or sit around in cafes or on benches; you can absorb the most minute fluctuations in the waves, clouds and sky; you can distinguish each and every sound, from the bird cry to the engine humming of the car as it zooms by. And each time you walk alone, even if you are taking the same path, over and over again, you will notice something different, something amazing, fun, interesting, or new. You will experience the things you are familiar with too, and derive some sort of comfort from this. All in all, the promenade will be one full of experiences, full of life. Simply full.
So take that walk, empty yourself of your problems, so you can fill yourself up with that incredible feeling and all the benefits that you can only get when you walk.

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