A Mindful Walk

Over the years, when I found something inspiring, I put it into the pile on a shelf in my office, now 4 inches high. This morning I pulled the stack from the shelf and began to explore the gifts inside. I came across some guidance for taking a mindful walk that I’d created with some colleagues for a leadership retreat we led each quarter for our new executives. I modified it (below) as a guide for myself – something I can be intentional about when I venture outside each day for a neighborhood walk with my husband Jim. Perhaps you’ll feel invited to give it a try, too, and see what happens?

A mindful walk

Getting Started

  • Pause, standing still and observing a moment of silence.
  • Notice your feet solidly on the ground, feel the strength of your legs, notice your core supporting you, allow your arms to hang softly at your sides, reach your fingers out wide with your palms open, and let your neck and headstand tall toward the sky.
  • Take 3 deep, intentional breaths.

During your walk

  • Pay attention to your breath. Don’t try to change it, just notice it. When your mind wanders, simply bring it back to your breath.
  • As you walk, expand your awareness of your body. Feel it moving. Notice how it feels as your feet come down on the ground, how the muscles in your legs work as you walk, whether your core is engaged, how your arms are moving.
  • As you continue your walk, begin to move your attention outward. Notice your surroundings. What gets your attention? How does that feel?
  • After taking in the environment, bring your focus back to the experience of walking and your breathing. When you catch yourself thinking about something else, bring your attention back to the walk.

Wrapping Up

  • Take 3 deep, intentional breaths.
  • Fill your heart with gratitude…perhaps for your ability to move or your health, for the beauty of nature, for your mindfulness experience…whatever arises for you.
  • From this quiet place, set an intention for your day.

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Vicki Flaherty
Vicki Flahertyhttps://andthenopenspossibility.wordpress.com/
VICKI FLAHERTY creates and spreads joy in the world through one-on-one coaching to support individuals being their best, facilitating mindfulness and resilience-related experiences, blogging about leadership and life, and capturing moments of joy through her photography and poetry. She believes in being present in the moment, focusing on what really matters, honoring every individual, listening from a place of openness and caring, examining issues from different perspectives, and acting with passion, courage, and creativity. The common thread of her career is that every step involves helping people succeed. As an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, she designed a variety of people-focused experiences such as onboarding, mentoring, career development, and talent management programs for organizations. She’s created leadership, mindfulness and resilience programs for a Fortune 50 company, and is most fulfilled when facilitating experiences that help people lead their lives with clarity, intention, and authenticity, and that encourage health and wellbeing. She loves taking long walks along the Iowa River, cooking delicious food, and traveling with her husband, and she enjoys yoga, gardening, writing, and photography. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter, and subscribe to her blogs: Leading with Intention, And Then Opens Possibility, Where Possibility Awaits, the joyfull eye, and the small things.