I need to spend as much time as possible outside. My entire essence craves time outside with nature. Lucky for me, I live in a city with tons of great places for fresh air and nature.
Pasadena has been getting a ton of rain the past month, so I have had to be aggressive about getting outside whenever the clouds clear. These photos are from an afternoon walk I took last week after a morning of rain.
I’ve been meditating and even though I only formally meditate for ten minutes most days, I can tell it’s spilling over into other areas of my life. Usually when I walk, my head overflows with thoughts. My mind keeps up an incessant prattle, darting in a thousand directions. It’s a bit exhausting.
But this month, I have been more present during my walks. Noticing the moss on bricks and plants bending to find the sun. Sometimes I look ahead and I pick a tree and decide I am going to stop thinking until I reach that tree. It’s like a meditation sprint. And it works. Not always, sometimes my brain jumps around with random thoughts in a bid to get my attention. Sometimes I think about how I’m supposed to be not thinking. But sometimes, my brain goes quiet. And the more I practice, the easier it gets to quiet my brain, if only for a short distance.
Mindfulness is an adventure. It’s not an adventure with pirates or swords or magical rings, but it’s still a journey through unknown lands. I don’t know where this is taking me. Sometimes, it’s scary. I worry that if I don’t think all the time, my brain will get mushy and weak. But then I remember that even Olympic athletes need to rest their muscles. Also, the mind is not the brain. And though the brain may always be busy, that doesn’t mean I should let my mind bombard me with constant chatter.
And so I keep walking and wondering, searching to see what this adventure brings.