Why I Walk

Finding quiet restoration through repetitive movement

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If I walk through enough foliage, I call it a "hike"

I don’t meditate. Or do yoga.

Though I should.

I don’t knit or garden or reflect in quiet prayer.

Though I could.

I don’t gravitate easily to these activities for all the reasons that it would be advisable for me to do them.

I need to be On the Move. It’s the result of years of my Go, Go, Go. And that eagerness of knowing there are so many interesting places to Get To.

But, like everyone else, I need time to allow my brain and body to rest. Especially with my compulsion to Plug In and Be Connected and a mind that is Always Thinking.

So I walk.

I walk the dog around the neighborhood. Friends have laughed at how often they drive by and see me doing this.

I walk around the ballfield, other parents likely wondering, “Where is she going?” as I circle two, three, four times between innings.

I used to walk at work, before and after meetings, an aimless path indoors or out. In heels.

I walk in the woods near my house, on a path to a pond, a curve around a reservoir, a steeper hill to a tower with a terrific view.

If I walk long enough and through enough foliage that I can no longer hear car traffic, I call my walk a “hike.”

I walk with no particular destination in mind, at no specific clip and for no required duration.

I just walk.

Walking is easy for me. It’s the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, repeatedly.

My body isn’t at rest and yet it’s restful. I think, but not about my To Do. I ponder The Possible. The air around me clears out space for ideas. My mind whirs but with the energy of creative thoughts.

I walk away rested even though I haven’t been at rest.

It is, I’ve discovered, my much-needed restoration. It is quiet despite the chirping and the rustling. And even though it is full of movement, there is a sense of stillness.

And it has me thinking about our need for Quiet Restoration and Contemplation.

Maybe you meditate. Or find your breath in your Sun Salutation. Maybe you knit or garden or reflect in quiet prayer.

Or maybe you do something else that fills your soul — SoulCycle, half-marathons, playing cards, organizing the pantry.

Who am I to tell you where to achieve Your Stillness? I’m just the lady walking.

But do Unplug. Disconnect. Leave the To Do in search of The Possible.

Whatever you seek and wherever you find it, Go Go Go to your place of Quiet Restoration and Contemplation. And let us know what it feels like when you get there. And then revisit as often as possible.

What about you? How do you unplug and find stillness? Where do you get Quiet Restoration and Contemplation?

Valerie Gordon is a former TV producer who never missed a deadline. Now founder of Commander-in-She, a career and communications strategy firm, she’s dedicated her Next Chapter to helping others find theirs. Contact her at [email protected]

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