Dixie Darr

In creativity, Learning, spirituality, work, writing on June 12, 2007 at 6:47 am

Step Lively

“Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way you’re a mile away, and you have their shoes too.” Anonymous

I started walking for exercise, but quickly learned that the benefits went far beyond the physical.
Walkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. As a result, they live longer. Because walking increases the blood flow to the brain, it also alleviates depression and hones thinking skills. Walking, of course, is one of Julia Cameron’s basic tools for improving creativity in her classic book, The Artist’s Way. The others are morning pages and artist’s dates.

When I get stuck in a writing project or wrestling with some other problem, walking helps. Some speculate that the rhythmic and repetitive movement of walking balances the brain. I’ll buy that, and I will also argue for walking outside. Walking in nature activates the senses as I feel the wind and sun on my face, smell the roses or the river, see the changing seasons and listen to the birds. You don’t get that from using a treadmill and listening to your iPod.

It’s raining this morning, so I have to delay my walk until later. I will go out, however. Last winter, when a huge early snowstorm clogged our streets and sidewalks for weeks and made walking treacherous, I went more than a little stir crazy. No less a scholar than Soren Kierkegaard advised, “I have walked myself into my best thoughts.” Maybe your best thoughts are just a few steps away.

© Copyright 2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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