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Changing your mind: The Mindful Walk. Saturday November 1, 2014

This is the second of my mindfulness exercises that I thought I would share with you.

This is one you can do anytime you have a few minutes to spare. You can do it whilst walking from the car/bus to work, getting some air at lunchtime or just getting out the house for a walk during the day. You try to engage as many senses as you can in the environment that you in.

Start by just feeling the air. Is there a wind? Is it hot or cold? Is the sun shining? Can you feel the warmth on your skin?

Listen. What can you hear? Can you hear birds, traffic, people. Think about what you can hear. If you can hear birds what do you think they are doing? Where is the traffic going, imagine the people in the cars, taxis, lorries and busses and pavements, make up stories about what they may be doing.

See. Look around you. Look at the big picture and then look at the small. I have found some amazing caterpillars by stopping and looking closely at the bushes. Look up. If you are in a city there is some wonderful architecture to see, look for detailed carvings imagine the people who were involved in their creation. The designer, the sculptor. Try to work out how the architecture was made. Were the bricks moulded or is it carved stone? Where did the materials come from? If you are in a park try to find out why the park exists, think about the trees, how old are they, why they were planted in that place?

Touch. Feel the things around you. Touch the trees, touch the buildings (be careful with this one people may think you are slightly mad) are the surfaces rough or smooth, cold or warm are there patterns you can feel?

What can you smell? Focus on the scent around you. Can you smell flowers, cut grass, hot dog stand, peoples cologne. As people pass you try to catch their smell (not always pleasant but certainly educational) try to imagine why they smell like that. Are they going to an important meeting, seeing their loved one or just on their way back from a bad night out!

I try to do this one every time I go out with my dog and I find that I am generally calmer and more relaxed when I get back. Hope it helps.

A Moodscope member.

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Hopeful One Sat, Nov 1st 2014 @ 8:50am

Hi Penny- great post.. To put it in the language of Zen when you eat -eat. When you drink - drink when you walk- walk, or when you do dishes - wash dishes and so on . The steps you go though that you so well descibe come through awareness which to be stable comes through regular meditation as I have said before. Awareness can be applied to every thing we do - without exception. We may not always succeed but it is important to establish the intension in our minds.The calmness that follows occurs I think because our focus shifts from the destination to the actual journey as slowly all distractions are eliminated. The destination and the journey become one and the same if you see what I mean .

Anonymous Sat, Nov 1st 2014 @ 9:22am

HI, great entry Penny,yes it helps. - I do try so hard to do all this sometimes- I find when out on the routine dog walk, sometimes it's a joy- others a chore- others just avoided as I can't be bothered! If I start off in a negative frame of mind & the mind is racing on my walks - I have to work so hard at doing all this- and IF I can - it's great, it really does work, and you go home happy and pleased that you actually DID manage to get out today- and walk the poor dog. For those of you -hopeful one- who have really embraced and m,anaged to achieve the Zen practice etc- I envy you, & hope to achieve this. I've been on an 8 week minfullness & go to recap sessions, but sometimes the depressed mind can talk you out of it all too easily!! Persaverence required.

Best wishes.
Jen. x

heather Sat, Nov 1st 2014 @ 9:44am

Thank you Penny - this is lovely. Love to all from Heather x

PWD Sat, Nov 1st 2014 @ 10:16am

I am booked in to an8 week mindfulness course,I am looking forward to it. I have practised mindfulness in the past it Definately works but have slipped back in to old habits

Hopeful One Sat, Nov 1st 2014 @ 1:29pm

There is no doubt that perseverance and practice over and over again makes the awareness more permanent not perfect. There is one other aspect which needs to be acknowledged and that is to be non judgemental while all this is going on in one's mind. Each time we judge ourselves we break our own heart. So if you feel or have depression thoughts simply acknowledge and accept them as the state of your mind at that time with no judgement. This will create a space in your mind to follow what Penny does on her walk. I admit it is not easy but guarantee you it is well worth the effort. X

Anonymous Sat, Nov 1st 2014 @ 9:01pm

Thank you Penny, love ratg x.

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