Too much doing and not enough being

I came back from Alt Summit with pages and pages of notes about blogging, DSLR portraits, video blogging, fabric painting, and community building. Plus many, many quotes like these to inspire:

"drive it like it's stolen" - Jasmine Star

"be close to people who inspire you" - Ben Silberman of Pinterest

I have lists of to do's and I spent much of Monday and Tuesday frantically scurrying around in hindsight trying to do them all at once. I was TIRED last night. Ben Silberman also said that "people succeed because they don't stop" but I need to stop, to pace myself.

As much as I'd like, I won't be able to learn all that I want to learn and make the changes that I want to make in a few days or weeks or even a month. I suspect that much of this will be a year long project! 

So time to slow down. Time to get out of my head for a bit and just be.

Something that helps me slow down is walking.

No matter what city I have lived in, I try to live in a walking neighbourhood, one where I don't have to drive much. Part of it is trying to be environmentally conscious (I DO live on the left coast!) but just as much and even more is what I get out of walking. It slows me down. I can see more. More of my neighbourhood, more of what is happening around me. And I can think. 

Ever try texting while walking? How about texting while walking and carrying an umbrella in the winter rain? Yes on both counts for me. Not so successful at it. Not that I should be.

As much as I love love love being connected and the community and the interaction, walking forces me to stop. To take a breather from being constantly plugged in.

I walk my daughter to and from school each day. We have the most amazing, crazy, funny conversations along the way. And sometimes we say nothing and just enjoy each other's company. We just are together.

We live about a 20 minute walk from my daughter's school. I try to leave early enough so that we don't have to rush. So that we can stop at whatever catches her fancy or mine. So that we can amble and wander as we make our way down the street, past the soccer field, through the playground, past the community centre and up the hill to school. Six is a perfect age for rambling.

Walking also helps me in my creative process. Remember my post on Julia Cameron of the Artist's Way and her morning pages? She also advocates a daily walk of about 20-30 minutes. “It is on these walks that my best ideas come to me.”

We are busy. I am busy.Too much doing. Not enough thinking. Not enough being. I need a walk outside where I can slow down the pace. Where I cannot "do" but rather must "be". Be in the moment. Not just hear but listen. 

So I am not putting aside all of my lovely notes and to do lists and resolutions. I am not limiting my dreams to live a more creative life. But I think I will savour those daily walks. And maybe take a few more. And slow down the pace a bit. It will all come together.

This week take a few walks. Step outside. Breathe deeply and just be. And let me know how it goes, okay?