CF Wellness Bootcamp: Day Two
Today, you begin by reading your well-being action plan. This is simply to place those action items at the forefront of your brain, so as your day proceeds, you will be more likely to remember to do them. Throughout the day, your goal is to complete your action items. Very simple. Hopefully, you chose action items that were not too daunting, and you will get to experience a wonderful sense of accomplishment each day.
Perhaps you gleaned from the chapter on exercise that it is one of my favorite topics. It is because of this that I introduce it in this very early stage of Boot Camp. Don’t worry. It’s not going to be difficult.
In fact, the goal for today is to go for an easy, gentle walk with the sole intention of enjoying the feeling of movement. The reason for introducing movement early is obvious. Not so obvious is why I will ask you to merge movement with awareness of sensations.
Here is why: I look at the human body as an energy transformer. We take energy in, in the form of sensory input, food and fluids, and through the air we breathe. We then use this energy to maintain our body and to live…to work, play, move, communicate, think, etc.
Throughout the boot camp, we are going to explore this energy management, because a well-managed energy system leads to optimal wellness. In today’s walk, and for the next few days, we are going to look at how you take in energy through the senses.
I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather, as I am as I type this. If so, go for a walk around your neighborhood and focus on what you hear. Try to get out of your mind… This is easier to do with what I call “interval mindfulness.” I learned this from a ChiRunning seminar. The idea stems from the fact that when attempting to focus on something you are not used to focusing on, it is best to do it for short intervals, then relax for awhile and think about whatever you want, then go back to the focus, etc.
So “mindfulness” intervals are just that–short periods of time where thoughts get put on hold temporarily (don’t worry, you get to think again) and you become mindful (pay attention to) one thing, and only one thing. It is a bit like a moving meditation.
For today, I suggest you focus on hearing for one minute, no more. Pay close attention to everything you hear. Try to find as many sounds as possible. When you start to think…and you will…just gently catch yourself and go back to listening.
When the minute is over, relax and just walk as you normally would for a minute or two. This “normal” interval is just that, the way you normally are in the world… thinking, seeing, imagining, singing…whatever.
Then, do it again…and again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Walk for at least 15 minutes or so. Don’t think of it as exercise for your body (even though it is). Instead, think of it building your “attention” muscle. These “mindfulness intervals” will show up frequently in the Boot Camp (like…tomorrow). My hope is that you will begin to enjoy them.
If your weather is less than ideal, either bundle up and do it anyway, OR, drive to a shopping mall and walk. The sounds will be different, but just as interesting.
Finally, don’t forget to check off your Wellness Worksheet Action Plan at the end of the day. Count up the number of “yes I did that”, and divide that number by the number of things on your action plan list. This is your Daily Percentage.
Don’t get mad at yourself if you didn’t get 100%. If you did, great! If not, it gives you a goal to beat tomorrow!