Walking is great! Not only as a form of exercise and cheap mode of transportation, walking also slows us down to take in all the amazing things that surround us.
When I walk, I am not only able to embrace the beauty of springtime; seeing the trees beginning to bud (albeit prematurely) and seeing daffodils and tulips beginning to grow and blossom, but I am also able to people watch.
Today, I started my walk after dropping my younger daughter off at school. I walked for about an hour and took in all the sights and sounds of the morning rush hour. My journey took me up and down major city streets so I had a first hand account of this “oh-so-fun” time of day.
I also saw people walking to work, to the subway or waiting at the bus stop. I saw lots of faces; the majority of which were frowning or looking really stressed-out; the weight of the world resting on their shoulders.
It seemed as though everyone had the same look on their face. Everyone seemed lost in thought or on auto-pilot as they navigated their way to their destination.
I get it…I get the monotony of the work week. I get the humdrum of the same old same old. Getting up at the same hour each morning, going through the same routine, getting on the same bus or streetcar, going to the same destination, doing the same job, getting back on that bus or streetcar to come home and maybe, doing something a little different in the evening before going to bed to get up to the same thing the next day.
As an “aspiring Enlightened Male”, I am sympathetic and understand this. However, I also know that there are many things that we can do on a daily basis to mix it up…to lighten up and to be more appreciative so that we can turn an otherwise mediocre day (should any day alive be considered mediocre?) into something better.
As you start your day, always remember that it cannot be repeated. Once Monday is over, its over. Monday is not the most popular day of the week but it is a day and should be treated with the same importance as Friday. Wanting it to be over because it represents the start of the work week is the wrong kind of attitude to take. So, going into the day with knowledge that it cannot be repeated can bring an even greater sense of appreciation and urgency about how you perceive your day. Each day completed brings each of us one step closer to the end of our journey in this life. More importantly, none of us really know when that day will come. So the importance of living each day fully and completely, becomes that much greater. I have talked about this very thing in previous blogs as it relates to our children who have thousands of days ahead of them so if they waste the occasional one, it doesn’t seem like the end of the world. Grown ups don’t have it quite so easy as there are more days behind us then ahead.
Here’s an idea…SMILE. Even if you don’t want to…force yourself. There was not a single face that I saw on my morning walk that had a smile on it. In fact, we as a society, are programmed to think that someone walking down the street with a smile on their face is crazy or a lunatic as opposed to someone who is happy and appreciative for being alive!
As you are waiting for your bus or stuck in a traffic jam worried about your day, your meeting, your report that is due, take a moment to be thankful. Be thankful you are gainfully employed (especially these days with so many people either out of work or looking for a more satisfying position). Be thankful that you are physically able to get out of bed and go to work each day; that your health allows you to do this. Take a look around you. See what I saw as I was on my morning walk; roll your window down and hear the birds, see the trees starting to bud, the bees actually pollenating (who would have thought this early in the season we would see that?), see the blue sky, take in the smell of spring.
If you are in an unhappy position (either professionally or otherwise), envision all that you want; think about what your day would be like if all that you wanted you got. Its kind of like fantasizing about all that you would do if you won that big lottery. The only difference being the odds are much better if you focus on manifesting all that you want versus you having the winning lottery ticket.
When you break for lunch, actually take the time to enjoy your meal and try to eat outside (if weather permits) as opposed to eating “al-desko”. If its nice out, go for a walk…clear your mind, listen to some great music on your IPod.
The things you can do to give yourself the possibility of a better day are endless. They don’t require huge and sweeping changes to your routine or thought process.
A little can go a long way.