I began walking as a journey to get back to fitness and good health. I didn't expect it to be a spiritual journey as well.
I have been finding more and more that the path I'm heading down never leads to where I think it will, and most times it leads to something even more wonderful than I had imagined. I began walking as a way to get back into shape. I allowed stressful thoughts, work, and life wreak havoc on my body. It was getting to the point of being very unhealthy, and I was ready to make a change.
Walking is not my favorite activity. I have extra bones floating around in my feet, and walking or even standing can be excruciating at times. Being outside in the Texas heat is also not a love of mine, I sweat just thinking about it. But I wanted something that could ease me back into better health, so I plodded forward.
I started with a mile and a half a day, the perimeter of my subdivision. It was quite the trek at first scaling the hilly terrain with the painful feet, underused lungs, blazing heat, and bad attitude. I thought perhaps the attitude was the main problem, still I plodded on.
In the beginning I carried a heavier load than my weight, I just didn't realize it at the time. I felt that I was all alone, but all of my thoughts came with me. They were not good company. Many times they talked about what bad shape I was in, brought up everything I ever did wrong, reminded me of things they thought I should feel guilty for, or others who upset me. My mind would race. The blood would be pumping from anger or hurt, not from exercise. I really started to dread the walks. Yet still, I plodded on.
But I was feeling physically better, and I got my self up to 3 miles a day in a short amount of time. I had more energy, changes were happening. But what to do with my travel companions? It was truly time to let them go. I was ready for that change too.
I thought about all I have been doing towards a spiritual path, and realized that I could literally walk that path every day. I set aside time to meditate, to focus on what I want to attract into my life, but I never thought about doing that during my walks.
Once I realized all of the negativity I was bringing along with me, I was able to release it the same way I do when I meditate. I begin my walk with a mindful presence. I notice everything around me, especially when my mind starts to wander. It is very easy to come back to focus when you look at the trees, the butterflies flitting by, or the squirrels chasing each other around a tree.
The next step for me was prayer. As I round the first hill and the road levels, I begin my prayer. I am at the point where I don't care who is around, or if they think I'm talking to myself. The prayer is what's important, not what others think. I also don't care if anyone sees me make the sign of the cross to close my prayer, it's something that feels right for me.
I pray to God, to Jesus, to the angels. These companions on my walks are so much nicer! I thank them for everything in my life, even the things that seem bad. In fact, my entire prayer is a thank you. I know in my heart now that what looks like a problem, is really a blessing. I just need to trust.
I pray with thanks for what I want to bring into my life, and I pray in present tense as if it's already here. I pray for my family, friends, and strangers. I pray for those that I am having difficulty with. I have learned that the difficulty only lies in my choice to be upset, not in them anyway. I have also learned that I don't need to have a battle with myself anymore either. Now that I have chosen to be lifted up through prayer on my walks, the pain has been lifted too: from my heart and my feet. And now I march on!