“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” (1)
I’ve chosen this idea from Thich Nhat Hanh as the intentional focus for the week. It is a body centered practice and can be a movement meditation. Focusing deliberately on the feet’s connection to the earth can take us out of our head and hopefully remind us of the myriad ways our home planet supports us.
But first, I need to tell you about the previous week and how I arrived at this week’s choice. The focus word last week was “new”. The first week of my experiment feels like a success in that I did find ways to practice, embrace, and be aware of the uniqueness of each moment. The prompts and messages I left for myself at home and at work were helpful in having the concept stay uppermost in my mind. And even though I had a constant internet stream of other good ideas to work with, I stayed the course with this one idea. That alone was a big success.
However the down side was that I noticed immediately the concept I picked gave me a lot of opportunities to get stuck in my head. I could write reams in my journal about “new and unique” and I could talk about it at length, but this was just circling around the topic with my mind rather than experiencing it. There were moments of absolute uniqueness: walking along Westerly creek and seeing a tree for the first time, feeling the weight of the key and hearing the click when opening my office door, tuning into water streaming over my hands when washing dishes, and the first exquisite taste of morning coffee. But for much of the week I played with ideas about the concept rather than experiencing it. It’s always good to know where you are not. It provides information on where to go next.
And where to go next is to a practice that by its very nature will take me out of my head. Thich Nhat Hahn’s beautiful quote, “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet,” seems like a great place to start. It is not a complicated practice. It requires only that we observe, be present, and tune into that feeling with each step, again and again, and then again. That’s my work for week two.
If you are just joining me and want more information on focus words click here.
(1)From Thich Nhat Hanh’s book from Peace in Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Every Day Life . To learn more about Thich Nhat Hanh and his work check out the Plum Village webpage.