Slowing Our Steps -
Walking To Share...
As we move further into this season with our children, we can reflect upon the quality of our daily journeys and the pace of our walk as we move through our environment. Through each of our steps, our senses are activated to best inform and guide us as we aim towards a destination. In this most natural activity, there are constant opportunities to connect to each other more presently through the joy of just walking together.
To truly walk with someone at their pace is to listen deeply and attentively to them – it is to sing of your appreciation of their expression and of their presence.
By just slowing our steps and walking with our child without rushing, we can better tap into and understand both the emotional and perceptive experience unfolding for them as they also direct themselves and move through the world. Here exists another terrain of interaction and sharing on which to know and be a greater part of each other’s inner and outer experiences.
If we can allow ourselves to not rush, we allow for noticing and witnessing our surroundings with a more attentive eye. With our child, we can lead purposefully while we too follow. Here again lies the heart of play: allowing ourselves to partner in the experience of another, bringing energy, ideas, and encouragement while creativity forms and observation happens.
Walking is also a time when we can share our thoughts and imagination. Or, we can uphold the silence that allows us to notice and feel states of emotion that are often elusive when we are in a hurry. The diversity of the visual structures and patterns before us can fill the need for dialogue. And yet, walking can also be a place of song and dance while we ambulate--as we are sidetracked into adventure and pulled into that object or path that we didn’t expect to encounter. As we do in the sharing of food and drink, music, and site seeing, walking gives a center to our journey that also has the capacity to enrich our emotional base. When our children begin to walk, it is a major developmental milestone because it means that they are capable of exerting self-direction, independence, will power, and discovery. They are further creative in motion. Then, to walk with a child at a pace that allows for equal sharing is to take their pace in an offering of loving companionship, and to celebrate this wide eyed and burgeoning creativity. We support the other’s
experience by walking with them and extending a hand.
Make a time to walk with your child at least once a week.
Think about the walk the day/night before you embark upon it. This is a visualization that will aid the best outcome.
Take a deep breath with your child before you set out for your walk. This walk can set the tone for the day.
Wherever you are walking, determine to walk more slowly than normal. Ask your child to set the pace. Determine not to rush.
Leaving behind our cell phones gives an entirely new energy and focus to that which we are presently involved.
Ask your child if there is a specific path that they want to take, or something that they want to see or walk by.
Share with your child that no matter how short the walk, you are happy that the time is “just for us.” Special utterances of affection can aid the softness of the journey
Stop to take moments to look at a place, structure, or object of interest.
Ask a question that will help a child feel seen, understood, heard. “What do you love most about being outside?
Strive to touch or hold hands at some point – it encourages positive chemistry and exchange.
Make an ongoing effort not to rush as much with your child, for you and for them.
Start off for destinations earlier so that there is time to fall behind, stop and look, and enjoy a moment in between the starting point and the destination.
Sharing fluidly is a practice. Interest and motivation for walking together will build with time and get easier the more often it is practiced. Stay consistent.
Determine to leave behind worries and allow the time to be one for you too to escape your pressures, stresses, and the demands upon you. Take pleasure in that you have this time with your child.
To continue to make it a special happening and have its joy witnessed by others, share about the walk with family and friends. You can journal and draw about it too to document the happening.
Make a mental note of what is different as a result of the walk, any positive outcomes or specific challenges. How did you and your child feel or express yourselves differently after the walk?
How often can you return to the walk? Is there the possibility of taking a walk monthly with your child, and/or as a family?
Key tips for strength and consistency:
Why Engage This Practice?
There is a compassion and art to learning to walk with someone - and our children will feel this…Walking with them, teaches them how to fall into harmony with others and how to be compassionate. It inspires them, fuels and feeds that which they are not always aware needs fulfillment, and we are more greatly bonded through it to our children.
Have a sense of humor and let go of walks that may not turn out as desired or expected. Tantrums happen, arguments happen, complaining and whining happen, skinned knees and downpours happen. We nourish still through our intention alone, regardless of the outcome. This intention alone sits deeply in our children.
Get ready for the magic, strength, and connection this practice will inspire
Keep In Mind..
Whether we walk to school, to the store, through the forest, or to the car – what happens in this time can also open and close and open in a certain quality that which has happened and that which is to come. With this in mind, we can see the walking time and space that we have with our child as a time to take advantage of the measure and care with which we nurture the past, present, and future.
For older children:
With older children, share with them why you believe the walk is important. Because:
It is necessary to just have time together away from the activity of the house, the demands of homework, and away from screens. Both of your phones are left behind!
It is important to make time to connect and be together, to share about what is going on in their life, their feelings and thoughts.
It is perfectly fine if you don’t talk and walk in silence, or a little of both. It is most important that there is this time that is set to walk together.
Commit to the process even if your older child is resistant or bring negative emotions to the practice. Your relationship will benefit from the practice, and they will feel better and about the experience as they reap the rewards of your attention and affection through this practice.
OUR WORLD STUDIO THIS WEEK
This week as we slow the pace at which we walk ....
We hear the sonic landscape
The world is a landscape of billions of sounds. The landscape of life provides a sonic story that is a layer and frequency of experience of which we are all deeply aware and profoundly affected by. Sound is said to inform our imagination more so than imagery. Sound transacts with our mind and our mind not only interprets the sounds origin but it can also simultaneously visually propose the environment and circumstance to which the sound belongs. Listen to the symphony of sound that acts as the score to the day providing tempo and cadence to the day. How does the sonic landscape pull us away and into another frame of thought and awareness ?
Listening to the soundscape
Soundscapes are collected bodies of sound from our world environment. Like a certain place may hold smells, colors, textures, vegetation, architecture and the activity of people, that environment also has a corresponding sound track that accompanies the presence of these other elements. The sonic landscapes that we are most accustomed to affect our pace and feelings about the day and our own activity. They are also what we depend on to feel as though an environment is familiar and to establish rhythm with the world. From the most subtle hum to the loudest siren, sound conducts the way we live.