I haven’t been feeling well lately. I’ve allowed another person’s stress to affect my well-being somewhat. Fortunately I’ve learned how to get things back in balance when this happens.
My sense of empathy has always been overdeveloped. When I was four years old my sister took me to see the movie Yellow Submarine (which terrified me, btw) and I cried inconsolably because the Nowhere Man didn’t have any friends. The memory of this is still vivid in my mind. I haven’t changed much since then.
Yesterday I realized that one of the things I need to do, for multiple reasons, is get out and walk. I’ve been so preoccupied with problems, mine and others’, that I have barely noticed Summer. That’s a shame because it’s been lovely.
Last night I went for a walk with my kids. That was really nice and I felt a definite boost in my mood as a result. Tonight I went for a walk by myself. About a mile round-trip. The sun was just starting to go down, not quite sunset, but close. The light through the treetops brought me a lot of joy. I was listening to music. It was sublime.
But it was what I decided to do on the way there and back that made the biggest difference in my sense of well-being. I got to thinking, I wonder what would happen if I bless every single thing I see on this walk. So, I decided to bless every person, house, animal, tree, and plant that crossed my path during my walk. As I walked, each time I encountered one of these, I said silently, “Bless you, I love you.” I forgot a couple of times when my mind wandered, but I got most of them.
I’m still contemplating the effects of having done this, but my initial reaction is you can’t really do a thing like that without becoming a kinder, more gentle person as a result. A really good reason to do it, if you ask me.
Part of what I was reminded of during this walk is that nothing beyond the moment is guaranteed to any of us. That can seem morbid to dwell on, but it’s really not. What it teaches us is being in the present moment is the only thing that makes sense when you consider how limited our time here is. If you think about it, being in the now is a way to transcend time and space. It’s possibly the closest any of us will ever get to actual time travel. I really, really hope that’s not true. Though maybe when it’s all said and done, it won’t matter.
Tonight I was also reminded that when you feel stuck or trapped in life, the worst thing to do is stop moving. I truly believe that when we choose what to do based on metaphor, we are able to affect our lives on multiple levels at once. When we feel emotionally or spiritually stuck, moving forward physically can help us feel as if we have momentum – liberated. It’s the same as how emptying and organizing our physical surroundings can bring clarity of thought. When we clear things out on the physical level, it clears the mind and heart as well.
Whatever is troubling you, especially if you feel like you can’t fix it directly, do something symbolic that represents a solution. You’ll be amazed at what happens.
And if the answer involves going for a walk, remember to bless everyone you see. I promise you won’t regret it.