When I’m working at my home office, by mid-day I’m usually ready for some outside time. Fortunately I live in an inviting neighbourhood. A short stroll in my ‘hood helps recharge my batteries. And when the batteries are charged, its easier to do those good things: focus, listening, empathy… associated with the collaborative mindset.
Here’s what a neighbourhood stroll does for me:
Its physical. Goodness knows, like most of us, I can use more physicality in my life.
It’s a mind/body happening. Ask any good speaker, mediator, facilitator, parent… about the connection between mind and body.
It’s something different. We all know that insight often arrives, after we’ve rested on our “great idea”… the ‘spacing effect’.
Sometimes I use it as a time to meditate. That’s right, meditate. Most of us are wrestling with distributive attention, I’ve found doing nothing other than walking and listening (and hey, what’s more important than listening?), to all the sounds around me, even if only for ten Zen seconds, helps calm my monkey brain.
It’s’ connective. With so much of our life spent online, its easy to lose touch with those other worlds – a midday stroll reinforces my bigger connection; between my inner and outer worlds; to neighbours, to nature…
Make the most of your neighbourhood stroll habit
Similar to any habit you are nurturing:
Do it regularly.
Do it with intention; e.g., as a natural transition between activities, as meditative exercise, …
Then let go, and be present, to yourself and all that’s around you.
Of course, you can do the stroll anywhere. You don’t have to be in a postcard-like neighbourhood setting. Downtown can work. A stroll works anywhere, where you’re feeling safe enough to relax your mind. At other times, a companion stroller is great. I enjoy ‘walking meetings’.
How about you? Do you routinely take a midday, or morning or evening…, stroll? What additional practice/benefit does it provide you?
If you are in the Victoria area, Lorne Daniel of Rethink Urban (@RethinkUrban) is leading a series of walks, starting this Saturday, exploring walkability in the Greater Victoria region. I’ll be at the one this Saturday, expressing my neighbourhood stroll habit, collaboratively learning, and in good company.