Now that the coldest weather has lifted, I am determined to take a mindful walk each day. Though I admit, sometimes my walks are not mindful; mindless is more like it. My mind wanders. I plan. I drift off and get stuck in old conversations or thoughts about the future. Presence to self eludes me.
And then I remember. It is time to be here now. To be fully present to myself and this precious moment. My phone is off. I vow to do nothing but walk, just walk.
One step, then another. One breath, then another. Easing into the rhythm of walking and breathing. Feeling my foot meet the pavement. Noting bird song in the distance. Beauty to my left and to my right. Be here now.
And just when my mind begins to meander once more, there it is, looming up in front of me. A sweet smiley face someone has taken the time to draw on the walkway. "Hello, I see you," it says. "Do you see me?" And I do. I am grateful for this humorous reminder to come back once again, to surrender to walking.
"Just walking" is one of the best ways I know to offer presence to myself, especially on a Corvid-19 day when so many thoughts and emotions can press in.
The same can be true for you, for any of us. May our walking bring us back home to ourselves.
From My Heart to Yours
Today, I have a gift for you, a short, guided practice (MP3). I call it "Inner Smile Practice." It's perfect for walking, or when you're at the grocery store, or whenever you feel the need to be more present to yourself and others.
To receive this practice, SUBSCRIBE to this blog. The link to download will be sent to you in the subscription confirmation email. SUBSCRIBE by entering your info in the green box on the right side of this page. That's it! Thank you for joining me in the practice of Presence.
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How to cultivate presence for yourself at this time? Lots of options here, friends. Here's one of them: a little secret about the breath.
a calm, open-hearted space of welcome & service.
I'm glad you're here. Welcome to this space of exploration, deepening understanding & the practice of presence across traditions.
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Dr. Janice Lynne Lundy (PsyD, DMin, MPC)
is The Gerald May Professor of Spiritual Direction & Counseling at the Graduate Theological Foundation. She is an interspiritual director/mentor, educator and counselor who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for nearly thirty years.