Today I am grateful for a clean house, working heat and electricity, windows that open and close, and much more about this place my family and I call home. I am also grateful for the mental benefits of running.
Yesterday on my 12-mile run, I played no music and had no headphones in my ears. That is my typical policy in recent months and years, whether I am running with Darcy or solo. From time to time, I may use my armband radio, but even that is a rare occurrence anymore.
I appreciate the true connection to nature, and the flow of thoughts that can take place as they wish. The quiet and the endorphins clear my head in a most efficient way. I get ideas for blog posts or columns. I process a situation or emotion that has been weighing on me. I often will say some of the prayers I say daily, or do an A-Z gratitude list, or pray for my family members and others, one at a time.
Running stride for stride, taking in my surroundings and my current thoughts, gives me a true sense of presence in the here and now.
I don't mean to sound judgmental, and I include myself in this, but our ability to multi-task really equates to our inability to give our full attention to any one thing. Mind full or mindful? I have more energy, better focus, clearer thinking, and a sane pace when I am mindful. A full mind only serves to create more tension and a longer to-do list, and a lot less serenity.
I would rather see others walking and talking on the phone than not walking at all, but how about a little "stop the insanity" from time to time? Unplug from technology. Tune in totally to right here, right now and the sounds that don't come from buttons you can push. Here and now is our anchor. If we are never fully present, we are adrift.
I would rather be on the stable ground of now than the shifting sands of yesterday's regrets and tomorrow's worries.