MORE PEOPLE DIE FROM SITTING COMFORTABLY IN A CHAIR THAN ANY OTHER CAUSE
I know you are itching to get into the 30 Day Programme and reset your mind and body, get yourself ready for the future. But there’s a few things we need to agree on first. The most important of these is to break any bad habits that might have crept into your life over the past 12 months or so. And one such habit is thinking too much, talking too much and the worst of it is sitting too much. Indoor pollution is as harmful as outdoor. Sitting facing a screen at a desk for hours on end is occasionally a necessity, but we are speaking about quality of work and sustainability of work as important as length of it. The proven guarantee is this: Get up every 20-40 minutes, stretch. Go outside, every 1-3 hours, and touch a tree. And replace a little sitting time with walking in nature. This whole topic is called “BIOPHILIA” and basically it studies the science of human mental and emotional wellbeing when exposed to nature, green, blue etc. So for the next 30 days I would love you to get up before sunrise, and get yourself outdoors rain, hail or shine and take one single photo of nature micro (a leaf or a flower etc) and post it to an instagram account (make one specially for this and call it something fun). You don’t need to promote it but please let me know it. Now, lets talk about a gratitude walk. OH, and before you go, link to the audio file below on the itunes or soundcloud app … Chris Walker Innerwealth Podcast – This track…
You know that day when you had a car crash or fell off your bike or tripped running or dropped a plate of perfect food on the floor how everything seemed to happen in slow motion. It seemed like minutes went past while things moved in slow motion, including your brain. This zone, is a power zone most people can only achieve during a bad event when the body goes to shock and the brain just can’t compute. But we know better. We, you and I know that this state of mind is called grace, or inspiration or even “the flow” by some genius. Well, in gratitude walks today, you can enter that “Flow” without the flow book. To do it, you’ll need to become an overnight zen master. Lets call you Shintoro the super ninja (I hope that’s ok for all sexes here?)… All you have to do is find some dog poo free grass or sand, take off your shoes, and plant your feet deep into the earth. Then, using all your ninja skill, lift one foot up, hold it off the ground for a few seconds and slowly put it gently down so the heal of the front moving foot places just a few cm in front of the back not moving foot. You are allowed to say “ahaha Ninja” if you want. The key here is focus on the base of your foot. And to make sure everything, hands, knees and the rest, move equally slowly. you might need to use your arms for balance but that doesn’t mean hold the fence. The end result will be a slowing down of everything, including your heart beat. Try keeping your face soft, eyes looking with peripheral vision. 10 minutes of this with bent knees trying not to crush an ant with the gentleness of your landing heal will be huge. Do this twice everyday for 30 days during your work desk breaks.
Walking along playing a trumpet might not be the most celebrated sound you will be known for unless you’re a concert musician, but sometimes we can pretend can’t we. A yogic practice from the Himalayas I learnt was to walk breathing in counting steps and then walk breathing out counting steps. If you can get to 10 steps in and 10 steps out continuously breathing through your nose, you’re ready for university level Breath Walk. (if you get dizzy, stop the practice), I usually start with 5 steps in out, then 6 and so on until 10. It’s a long way and sometimes I start running (hahaha). The key here is to do it gently. (oh, and no phone calls or iPhone ear plugs.) best to do this Eu natural. University Breath Walking is 10 steps inhaling, 10 steps holding, 10 steps exhaling, 10 steps holding empty. Gasping is a sure sign that you’ve rushed the build up. You can also practice this sequence in swimming except you only do the holding part – inhale and exhale in swim are always time poor. The very best time to do this one is morning and evening gratitude walk.
Getting outdoors has one key and vital condition for forest bathing and that is your ability to count your blessings. I think, from my work with monks in Nepal and Tibet that this forms the foundation of happiness, counting your blessings. Did you know that you can’t be grateful and unhappy at the same time. So gratitude walk is healing walk too. From those same teachers in Nepal Himalayas I learnt that we must start with little tiny thinking to count our blessings, ants, worms and butterflies are all life and we may not worry if we squash one but at the same time, we can feel blessed that they exist. Every ant, no matter how small, has a heart and digestion system. Amazing right? So, a Walker Talk starts with counting our blessings that small things are great. Then we can expand to big things, trees etc and finally to ourselves (you know that without an arse hole you’d be dead in hours) so, even be grateful for that tiny blessing. On your Walker Talk, fight the tendency to look at what’s wrong – like plastic bags, or noisy dogs or whatever and instead, be a spin guru and see how those things being on the road, are a blessing. I mean, if you can’t count your blessings walking around the neighbourhood then there’s zero change of doing it in a sweaty office filled with emotionally charged and half interested souls. One 20 minute walk a day morning and or night. Fast or slow, including the breathing or not, but no phones please unless it’s to superhero Chris Walker who is here to help you grow an attitude of gratitude rather than attitude sickness (feeling critical). Keep it up for 30 days… smell the roses.
“A Human being disconnected from nature is a very very dangerous thing, especially to themselves. Then, only then does the ego take over and we think we are what we think. And when that happens, stress – distress replaces gratitude.“
Chris – Da Vinci Walker