There are times when you feel sad and neither meditation nor deep breathing helps. Nothing works except grumbling! In these moments, you might feel too restless to sit still and think reasonably. I felt like that recently and the best solution was to go for a long walk. I am lucky to live by a canal where it is quiet most of the time.
When I started walking, I allowed all my thoughts to be present, as well as all the sadness. The more I was thinking, the worse I felt. Anger and hurt were coming up as well. I was walking fast which helped me to ‘burn’ the thoughts until there was nothing more to think about. It automatically dissolved all anger and acceptance started to seep in.

My body naturally slowed down, without me having to do it consciously, and the stiffness eased from my muscles. My neck and my arms relaxed while the tension flowed from my body and merged into the ground. I became more aware of my footsteps and my fast heartbeat. I realised that my energy had moved from my thinking mind back into my body and that being physically connected to ‘mother Earth’ help me be more grounded and present.

I saw a brown duck paddling from the edge of the canal into the water. It looked so cute floating, in its own world, without paying attention to me or anything around. I felt drawn to its peace and I stood there, watching it. I heard a quack and when I turned, there stood two ducks with three ducklings. I had walked right past them unnoticed because I was so caught up in my troubled thoughts.

I smiled, feeling foolish for focusing on the drama in my mind and missing out on nature’s beauty. I had been walking for about fifteen minutes without noticing anything. I stood there for a while, taking in the scenery. The water reflected the blue sky and whitish grey clouds. Some of the few remaining leaves were gracefully falling from the nearly naked branches. They were shades of orange, red and yellow. Winter had arrived. Narrowboats tied to the bank were swaying rhythmically on the water, bobbing around in a synchronised waltz.

As I listened to the silence, a profound stillness arose. I felt it merging with my body and spreading in my cells. It brought up the deep serenity which I had been looking for, but thought unlikely to find on that particular day. Right in the centre of the stillness, I felt a burst of happiness, with the knowledge that I have access to both stillness and happiness anytime. The energy was powerful and I felt reluctant to move as the noise would disturb nature’s elegant silence. When my inner battery felt recharged, I quietly walked away.

One of the ways to avoid feeling disconnected in the first place is by being aware of the games that our thinking mind plays to distract us. Stop the stories that give rise to anxiety, anger, stress and other negative emotions. Stories create more stories. In the same way, worries create more worries. When difficult moments come along, using nature’s stillness is a brilliant substitute until we find our own peace again.

By staying at the core of yourself, you find the answers that you are looking for more easily. Whatever happens on the outside, you can tap into your inner stillness anytime. It belongs to you and no one else. We each have our own stillness to reconnect with and appreciate.