Journaling,  Uncategorized

Journaling: X = eXercise

I’ve mentioned Julia Cameron before with regards to Morning Pages. Another routine she is adamant to maintain is the weekly walk

This is not the cardiovascular exercise walk to increase heart rate, but rather a long, slow meander to increase mental observation and emotional well-being.


When I go for these kinds of walks, I try to clear my head before heading out the door. I want the walk to inform my thoughts, not the other way around. I don’t set out with a pre-determined question I need to answer, or problem I need to resolve. Rather, I allow my mind to be free from life’s distractions so I can enjoy the peace and beauty of God’s creation.

As you take a nature walk, try these suggestions:
  • Intentionally slow your pace and shorten your gait. 
  • Pay attention to the ground: is it soft and smooth, gravelly and hard? 
  • Notice the grass, the dirt, the creepy crawlies. 
  • Look at the sky and watch the birds flit about, the leaves dance in the wind, the clouds float by. 
  • Focus on colors – not generic colors such as green and blue – but specific colors like indigo or pine. 
  • Strain to hear the soft hum of the bees around the flowers or the squirrels scampering up trees.
Nature walks definitely influence my writing. Sometimes I return with an insight into a problem I’ve mulled over for days. Other times I return with a new creative idea I want to investigate. 

At the very least, I come home with a sense of wonder and renewal. Perhaps that will happen for you as well.

* * *
Of course, I prefer to take these leisurely strolls through a local park or arboretum, but the same benefits can be achieved by ambling through my neighborhood. Walking slowly, mindfully, and observing often ignored details is what matters most… not the specific location.

The next post in this Journaling series: Y is for Yearly Word




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