Today’s focus is Gratitude for our feet that walk about 7,500 steps a day! According to WikiAnswers: "The average moderately active person takes about 7,500 steps a day. Assuming every day the person walks, an eighty year old person who began walking at one year of age, would have taken 216,262,500 steps in their lifetime. An average person, with an average stride, living to this age of 80 will walk about 108,131 miles."
I learned how to really appreciate every step while trekking the rivers of Costa Rica. It’s not easy. If it rains in the mountains the water down by the ocean is unclear and muddy, but if the mountains stay dry you’re in for a stroll in the beautiful blue hued waters. Regardless of the path and the water hue, your journey down the river has to be mindful and filled with purpose.
Every day while leading yoga retreats in Costa Rica we take a Thank you Walk – a walk of gratitude. I encourage you to mirror that and take a daily Thank You Walk at home. If your life is busy, crowded, stressed, take your “thank you walk” to your yoga mat! It’s easier than you think; during practice just set your intention on the feeling of a leisurely walk and practice with that mindfulness and purpose. If that is not available keep the same intention whether you’re outside, in a mall, at your office, or on a treadmill and take the time to reflect on all things big and small that you are grateful for.
As you walk try to imagine yourself on a pilgrimage through life in which you notice all the blessings you’ve received. Take time on your journey to stop and experience the joy of life's wonder. Recall positive experiences and moments of healing and love. Visualize those persons who have been most pivotal in your life adventure. Remember we have 7,500 opportunities to practice gratitude each day with each step we take or from Rumi, “Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.”
There’s simply nothing more inspiring than to keep going. Our hearts are more resilient than we sometimes give them credit for:
“It is not easy to keep your heart open in the face of the trials of being human. Life can so often be difficult, disappointing. When we finally stop struggling with life, stop wanting it to be anything but what it is now – not giving up – then our heart will indeed fall open, and we shall know beyond all doubt that all is well.” (Unknown)
Why should you do this? The research shows you can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time so when you combine gratitude with physical exercise, you give yourself a double boost of positive energy. You flood your brain and body with positive emotions and natural anti-depressants that uplift you rather than the stress hormones that drain and slowly kill you. Julia Cameron puts it best when she says “Walking with our soles is really walking with our souls.”