pilgrimage

Walking Creates Health: Part IV

In the previous 3 parts of the Walking Creates Health series, we’ve looked at how walking is the ultimate multi-tasking miracle for women. Walking creates health for our bodies and our minds in myriad wonderful ways. In this final installment, we’ll be uncovering how walking creates health for our souls.

To recap, for the sake of this blog series, when I refer to walking I’m referring to the 1MWW Practice:

  • Taking mini-walks throughout the day.

  • Going for a brisk 25-minute daily walk.

Before diving into today’s topic, I’m going to offer up my personal definition of the soul. In my life, I experience the soul as an immaterial essence, which is spiritual in nature. Another way to say this is I feel the soul is the energy that causes life—a spark from the divine if you will. The soul has governance over the mystical aspects of our life that are just outside of our language to completely explain. However, wonderful advances in technology and quantum physics are bringing us closer and closer to a full understanding of this animating energy without taking away the mystery, the magic, the wonder.

Here’s how walking creates health for our souls! Walking increases creativity up to 60%. That’s stunning and wonderful and is the reason why I encourage all creatives and business owners to walk every day. Creativity comes from inspiration, which is defined as, “A divine influence or action; and the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” We’ve all experienced inspired moments, walking has the ability to bring us those moments on a regular basis.

Walking also brings peace of mind, especially walking in nature. Walking outside is also linked to greater awareness of our Selves (body/mind/spirit) and the world we inhabit. We feel a greater sense of connection when we walk and engage our five senses.

Walking also enhances our intuition—our inner knowing—the “still, small voice within”. And walking is a known action for problem solving. The Latin phrase “solvitur ambulando” means “it is solved by walking”.

When we walk we create health for our bodies and minds, we activate our creativity, solve problems, experience peace of mind and enhanced awareness. Is it any wonder then, that in this relaxed yet vitalized state, our life visions, our dreams of who and what we can become reveal themselves. This is one of the elements of walking I most enjoy—a sense of stepping into the possibility of mySelf and my life.

This article would not be complete without mentioning two spiritual walking traditions: walking the labyrinth and taking a pilgrimage.

A labyrinth (not a maze!) is a patterned path, frequently circular in form used as a walking meditation in spiritual practices. The labyrinth represents a journey into our own center, our own Self and knowing, and back out into the world.

Labyrinths are used in all faiths as a moving meditation. It is believed that as you walk the sacred geometry, the different pathways actually help to calm the mind, open the heart, and rejuvenate the Self.

Ancient labyrinths exist worldwide and have been used in the spiritual practices of such diverse peoples as the ancient Greeks, Hindus, the Hopi Indians, and more. One of the most famous labyrinths is in the cathedral of Chartes, in France. Labyrinths occur in many parts of the world and in almost all religious traditions; they are experiencing a wonderful rebirth as we seek connection with something deeper, more profound, and more sacred in our lives. One of my dearest friends, who lives in Minnesota, creates a snow labyrinth every year in December to mark the holidays, the Solstice, and the inner journey. I love walking that labyrinth!

The pilgrimage is another form of spiritual walking. When you hear the word, pilgrimage, I imagine the following come to mind: Mecca, and the Camino de Santiago. These are the most well known but there are many more throughout the world, like Glastonbury Tor to Stonehenge in the U.K. and the Kumano Kodo in Japan. As I write this post I feel the strong urge to put several of these on my Walking Bucket List!

There is a simple yet profound connection in putting our feet on this planet and propelling ourselves forward. Every walk we take has elements of these ancient traditions and today we have the technology and science to more fully grasp how profound an act it is to go for a walk. What an exciting time we live in when we can acknowledge and validate the value of the intuitive traditions of our past with the technology and awareness of our time. Quantum physics is where I leave off but know this: every walk you take is creating health for your body, your mind, and your soul. What magic there is in this knowing and this practice.

The alchemy of walking is irrefutable, something we humans have known since we first stood upright and walked into our future. Keep walking, walking women. It’s a great privilege to walk with you.

P.S. Please post your comments on this article and the others in this series in the comment area below. I’d love to hear from you. Also, join the 1MWW movement to create health for your Self (body/mind/spirit) every day. To join go here: 1MWW. I can’t wait to walk with you!