I was starting to feel like spring was never going to show up this year but we finally had a warm weekend! We have had temperatures in the 80’s for the past few days which has meant a lot of outdoor time for us. My dogs can’t handle the winter temperatures for too long so we spent most of the winter indoors. We had to get creative with indoor games to keep them exercised but getting outdoors again has made them super happy. This weekend I made sure we went out on a couple long walks through the walking trails in our neighborhood and I took along my new book, Mindful Thoughts for Walkers for me.
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That particular trail isn’t that long, about 2.5 miles or so, which was a perfect walk for them. You could tell they loved being outside because after every few feet they’d stop to roll around in the dirt or take a few nibbles of grass. They kept putting their noses to the wind just to take in the smell of spring and feel the warm sunshine on their tiny faces. I shared a few shots of them in my IG stories because they were just so dang happy to be out there.
I let Wilkins off leash for a while to run and play. He’s so full of anxiety that he never wonders too far. He’ll run about as a far as he feels comfortable then he’ll turn around to see how far away I am before running back at full speed. I never worry about him wandering off; he’s a stage-5 clinger about 99% of the time, haha. I do worry about our chihuahua though because he’s so tiny I fear for large birds and predators. There are foxes, wolves, and bears in the woods around West Virginia and I just never know what might be watching him so he stays on a long leash most of the time.
I keep a dog stake in my pack so that when we reach an area with a view or a great clearing I’ll drive the stake in the ground and leash the dogs to it. That way they can still run around and play but I can sit and pray or do some meditations.
I’m currently using Adam Ford’s Mindful Thoughts for Walkers for meditations on the trails. The dogs were so exhausted they just lapped up their water and slept while I did my meditation on stillness and silence. Stillness is one thing I’ve certainly been missing in my life lately. There’s been so much going on with my career and lately, I’ve always been focusing hard on growing my blog and negotiating brand partners for the rest of the year. Brandon’s still going through withdrawal from stopping his anxiety medications and I have recorded a couple of podcast interviews. I’ve been working long hours and moments of stillness have been missing from my days.
My meditation for finding stillness on the way led me to shut down the sounds, thoughts, and ideas in my to help me focus on the stillness in the quiet world around me in the moment. The dogs were sleeping peacefully beside me, breathing deep from the long walk. There were a couple little rabbits in the valley in front of us, a chipmunk on the tree to my left, and a couple of robins flying around. Every day at dawn and dusk we see a small family of three deer in the area so I knew they were lurking somewhere out there too.
I must have sat there for, easily, an hour doing nothing more than listening to the sounds of the wild and soaking in the warmth of the sunshine that finally decided to arrive. It was exactly what I’ve been needing – quiet, peaceful, and beautiful.
Mindful Thoughts for Walkers is a tiny little book you can easily toss in your pack or bag while you’re out walking and it’s a great resource for leading you through meditations. There other variations of the book such as Mindful Thoughts for City-Dwellers just in case you’re not in a position to go out on walking trails each day. For less than $10, it’s a great buy.
I promised the dogs I’d make our long walks a daily routine from now until the weather gets too cold for them to be outdoors for longer than 15 minutes. I’m just trying to decide if I want to make it a morning routine or an evening routine; I’m not a morning person but I do love watching the sunrise. I’ll let you guys know via IG stories what I end up deciding.
Do you like to do meditations? Where do you find your favorites?
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