Monday, July 1, 2013

Inspiration: Being Present

Walking is one way that I take a break from writing. One way I find inspiration for writing. Walking helps clear my mind as it clears my lungs. It helps move the stuck places so that creative flow can happen. 

And being present is an important component of walking for inspiration for me. 

If you've followed me for a few years, you know that not too long ago I walked a half marathon, I was on a long distance walking relay team, I did 5k and 10k races. And more. That was good. Exhilarating. A real sense of accomplishment.

But it wasn't always being present in the same way. Not for me, anyway. I was present in my body but not as present in the world around me. I had to focus on my pace, on minute changes in my stride, the temperature, my knee, my posture, etc. It was "all good" as the saying goes - but it wasn't creatively inspiring.
Now when I walk I am more present. I still have to notice my knee, my back, and so on. But it's different. I'm not walking to make a new personal best or to qualify for a relay or to increase my time. I'm walking because it feels good and it makes my body happy. And that thing I mentioned about clearing the air - in my lungs, in my brain, in my belly - so that creativity flows better.

And I notice things around me. People. Rocks. Cracks in the sidewalk if there is one; shapes in the cobblestones or the path if not. I see shapes and color and story. I see something happen and a story or a name or a scene comes to me. A person whose appearance seems to carry a story inside. 

Today I went for a walk and these pictures are some of what I saw. I took many pictures and I don't have stories for them yet. But they were inspiring. 

Do you take time to "be" in the world? What do you see? What catches your attention?