Walk No. 3: Walking Awake through Your Living Space

Posted by – August 17, 2020
Categories: General Excerpt Fitness & Sports Health & Healing

Walking Awake through Your Living Space

The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.
—JON KABAT-ZINN

 

OVERVIEW

This may seem like an odd name for a walk, since unless we’re sleepwalking, we’re always awake as we walk through our living space. But I have a feeling you may know where I’m going with this.

Each day we travel through our living space, and unless we have just moved in, have recently redecorated, had a flood or other disaster, or have a real sense of presence, for the most part it soon becomes a blur.

And by a blur I mean that things have become below our conscious radar—we pass items en route to other items; for example, grabbing the television remote from the end table, but never noticing the end table if it were not for the remote placed atop it.

Part of this is the brain’s way of shielding us from overload, and part of this is that we have become, in a sense, asleep to our environment, as we are at the same time moving at our, often very distracted, speed of modern life.

Walking Awake through Your Living Space can reveal quite a bit.

Whether these discoveries prove to be large or small, it is always beneficial to do a deep check-in with the place we call home. And it is indeed an ongoing process.

For some of you, “walking awake” through your living space may not be an experience you’re looking forward to, as the last thing you may want to do is really see and feel your living space. All the more reason to embark on this walk/exercise. Remember, awareness is the first step to change.

And at the forefront one must remain grateful. Encouraging you to have gratitude for your home environment—and the fact that you have a roof over your head—is important to me, but I know gratitude does not always come easy. At least agree now to let the seeds of gratitude take root within you—and within your living space.

 

BENEFITS

You get a chance to connect with the place you call home in a way that you may not often, if ever, do.
You get to see, hear, smell, touch, and sense what makes you feel light and inspired, open and expansive, comfortable, and supported—versus heavy, uninspired, closed off, uncomfortable, and unsupported.

You get to discover what changes you would like to make, or feel called to make, in your space and yourself.
You gain a greater appreciation for the space you live in, and a better understanding of what may or may not be working for you anymore.

For partners and families, this is a chance to evaluate if the space still meets everyone’s likes and needs.

This is a great walk/exercise for kids to participate in as well, though it’s good to set guidelines for children who participate in this walk. You can start by asking them to find, share, or discover their favorite spot or spots, their favorite items perhaps, and where they feel the calmest and most comfortable.

It sparks creativity.

 

WHEN TO DO
  • When desiring to, or needing to, deepen your connection to your living space.
  • When taking stock of your life.
  • When feeling the need for change, not just in your space, but outside your space as well.
  • After an event that has caused or is causing a deep shift in you: a divorce, a marriage, the passing of a loved one, the birth of a child, the leaving of a child (empty nest), a new job, a new direction, or falling in love.
  • When feeling the need to sell or give away unused items, or items that no longer inspire or serve you.
  • When looking to declutter and lighten the overall energy of your living space.
  • When curious to see what every moment of your life has now led up to.
  • And of course, pick a “when to do” time when you will have the least distractions.

 

HOW TO DO

Turn off your TV, shut down your computer, and reduce or eliminate any other potential distractions that are within your power to reduce, including your phone.

Perform your GBS Pre-Walk Check-In.

With this specific walk, give extra focus to the last step, “sense the space around you.” You may wish to carry a notebook and a pen to jot down any thoughts that arise for you, or you may wish to just keep a mental list.

You may choose to set an intention prior to beginning. An example may be: “I will now see, hear, feel, and sense anything in my living space that needs to be seen, heard, felt, or sensed for my highest good and the highest good of all.”

For those aligned with prayer, you can say a prayer asking that “all that needs to be revealed within my living space shall be revealed to me.”

For those of a critical nature, remember to only be as critical as is productive.

Pick a direction and start to move through your living space in the most present and aware state of mind that you can be in, with all your senses alive and activated.

Moving slowly and deliberately, look at everything, from the structure of the space itself—high ceilings, low ceilings—to the doors and doorways and the windows and floors—to each item: the rugs, carpets, light fixtures, decorations, furniture, appliances, books, linens, etc.

Allow yourself to stop where you feel compelled to stop, look where you feel compelled to look, touch, feel, smell, and listen. Do you hear anything you haven’t heard before?

Notice the colors. Notice the lighting. The lack of lighting. The dust. The areas that are clean. The areas that could benefit from cleaning. The areas you love but spend too little time in.

Run your hands across items you do not normally touch, or perhaps have not touched in months or even years.
See how each item, object, color, or specific space feels to you as you give it your full attention. What do you need to see?

Notice the space between items, and the lack of space. Notice what makes you smile and feel good—again, allow gratitude in—and notice what makes you feel not so good.

Do you have an absolutely favorite spot?

Do you have a place where you feel the most centered? The most alive? The most inspired? The calmest? The strongest? The most you?

Do you spend time in this area or areas?

How is your sleeping space? Is your bed in a position you prefer?

Continue to feel your feet making contact with the floor as you move through your space.

Know that your mind may be triggered to go in many directions, heading off into thoughts, old memories, maybe some judgments.

Explore them briefly. Then use your breath and the feeling of your feet connected to the ground to return to the present.

Conclude your walk when you have covered the amount of space that feels right.

 

TAKEAWAYS AND REFLECTIONS

What did you learn from Walking Awake through Your Living Space? Did anything surprise you? Confuse you? Inspire, or spark, something within you?

How does your living space make you feel—in body, mind, and spirit? Are there changes that you’d like to make? Was gratitude present for you? Are there items within your living space that you are ready to part with?

If you have not already done so, make a mental list of, or jot down, your experience(s) having walked awake through your living space. Remember, the purpose of your living space is not only to provide safety and shelter, but also to make you feel good: healthy, inspired, refreshed, balanced, centered. If you’re not there now, do what you can to take the steps to get yourself there.

Know that seemingly tiny changes or movements—like placing items in areas that feel better to you, or allowing in more light, or even changing the type of lightbulb—can have deep and lasting effects on your mood, attitude, and overall well-being.

Repeat this walk every so often, and see what comes up. In the meantime, stay awake to your living space … and the world.

Tags: Glenn Berkenkamp

About the Author

Bevin is the publicity and marketing manager at North Atlantic Books.