Yesterday was the final day of my 7 day challenge to Stop walking with my eyes shut. It has been an interesting journey for me. I highly recommend it.
As the week has progressed not only have I been more aware of what I see. I also have become more aware of sounds. Did the birds suddenly start chirping louder? It is as if the sounds of nature volume has been turned up so that I notice all the wonderful sounds. 😀
If you are a regular follower of my blog you know that I am currently having health issues. This exercise has been very good for me. It has taken my mind off of my stress and worries and switched my focus to the beauty of this world. According to the Mayo Clinic Positive thinking can reduce stress and improve health. By doing mindfulness exercises like this you can learn to have a more positive attitude.
Yesterday I was able to go further than normal! I was very excited for this!!!! I did have to stop and take many breaks. If you know me- this is not something- I typically enjoy doing. I usually go as fast as I can. I don’t like taking breaks because there is more to be explored. Today as I was sitting by the water, I realized that being forced to take breaks was a gift. It was giving me the gift of actually enjoying nature. Sometimes you notice more if you sit in one spot and observe and meditate. An article on learning to observe nature.
As I watched Jack explore today and play. I realized that dogs naturally do this exercise. They use all 5 senses as they explore. They stop and smell everything. They hear something and you see their ear raise as they focus on the sounds. They taste things. They stop and look at things. And yes, they taste things. Here is an interesting article on Dogs and mindfulness. Here is another article on how dogs help us learn mindfulness And meditation skills.
As I was walking back to the car. The fatigue was setting in. I had to really focus on staying positive. There were times when I could feel my mind starting to shift to negative thoughts. I found myself thinking how very far away the car was. Could I make it? Was the rain going to start? As these thoughts started to creep in I did a couple of things- stopped and closed my eyes and just paid attention to the sounds and smells of nature and enjoyed the feel of the light raindrops hitting my face. This 3 second regroup helped immensely. The other thing I did was acknowledge that I was tired. I gave myself permission to take breaks. If there wasn’t a bench to sit on- I could sit on the grass. I just slowed down and accepted that this is the energy I currently have. I am still enjoying nature with Jack.
This 7 day challenge May officially be over. But I will be continuing the practice. I am loving seeing the magnificent world for the first time. Thanks for following along. I appreciate hearing from you and your experiences. Leave a comment below. 😀