Sunday, December 16, 2012

Walking: That's The Spirit!

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”Galatians 5:25

Walking is a vehicle to health. Walking is exercise for the body and mind, but what about for the soul? What is it about walking that not only clears the mind but also renews the spirit?
If we are looking to inject some spirit into our lives then we have to believe in the spirit.
What is the spirit?
According to Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary the spirit has many definitions. The ones that jumped out at me were as follows:
"an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms" Or by my translation the fresh air that brings me to life when I walk; giving me the strength to keep walking when the road gets bumpy.
"a supernatural being or essence"  Again, according to my translation the renewed sense of joy that I get from walking, giving me the strength of my convictions. And, "temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous or animated" as in 'high spirits', which tend to deluge me during my walks.
When I get the Christmas Spirit I also tend to enjoy a few alcoholic spirits at times.
But I digress.

The Spirit can be addressed as an entity all its own. When a loved one passes on we know that they will be with us 'in spirit'. We like to think that like Jesus, for example, they are walking with us in our journey through life.
The spirit can be a feeling of self; that part of us that elevates or devalues our moods.
Why walk by the spirit?
We walk by the spirit otherwise we would be alone. We do not like to be alone, especially when confronted with the puzzles that plague our minds and crowd our crowns. 
So some of us walk with God, hoping that his presence will bring consolation and peace of mind.
Some of us credit our spirit to being a part of our selves, so we walk with these inner lights of our beings that warm us when we move.
I walk with the spirit of a friend who lives half a world away, training for the walk we plan to do together, soon.
And so it is that I walk. Ever with my spirit; that spark of life that brings clarity to my mind and the spring to my step. It is the lifeline that connects my inner self to the tangible world around me.
My spirit soars when I walk. My heart spreads open its wings to let my spirit free and in return my spirit returns with a light that nourishes my soul. It is the spirit that makes one happy.
Meet my walking Buddha buddy. He will be accompanying me on my walks from now on. 
When I set out to walk it is with a purpose. I walk to clear my head. I walk to find peace of spirit and mind.
“ set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
There has always been a connection between spirituality and walking. The last walk I took I thought about iconic figures who have walked before me. Jesus walked with children. He walked with a cross upon his back. Moses and his people walked for forty days and the desert no less.
The Kaaba.
Photo Credit: Author: Al-Fassam (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Muslims walk via pilgrimage to Mecca where they must then walk seven times around the Kaaba.
Buddha walked and walked until he finally settled under his Bohdi tree, which is now the destination of Buddhist pilgrims and tourists.
Kings and Queens, Popes and paupers have walked The Camino de Santiago de Compostela in order to renew their beliefs and re-evaluate the nature of their spirits.
I believe that walking makes sages of us all. Given the chance to clear our minds we can then let in the important messages from our spirits; whether it be God or Allah or the spirit of a tree in our backyard. We walk to clear ourselves of bad spirits and to find the spirit of forgiveness or of hope. We walk to turn our lives around and to lift our spirits. We walk to solve problems.
“If we are facing the right direction, all we have to do is keep walking”
                                                                                            ~Buddhist Proverb

Starting off on the right foot is the best place to begin. We may walk in circles for years before we find the right path but eventually with enough spirit we persevere, enough at least to get us to the next step in our journeys.
"...all we have to do is keeping walking."
So excuse me while I step out for a moment. I have some walking to do.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely... so happy to walk with you from a world away... cannot wait to get my walking Buddha too! :)