Take A Walk!
Some days you just need to get out and get some fresh air.
Feeling cooped up at my kitchen table while working remotely, I found it particularly challenging to focus this afternoon.
It has been an exciting past couple of weeks with generative discussions that have prompted me, in turn, to produce generative, distilled and insightful outputs.
All seems right in the world when the sun is shining, there are good tunes playing in the background and the 'white space' to think intentionally is afforded to you by your peers - fortuitous conditions for 'flow'. And...voila! Just like that, a thoughtful idea is born and articulated eloquently for you to share.
That being said, I've learned to be mindful about drawing from the well too often without refilling it every now and again.
So, with a slide deck staring back at me on my screen without any productive thoughts on the horizon, I decided it was a good idea to go for a 20 minute 'inspiration walk'. An opportunity to get some perspective in the great (urban) outdoors.
What Is An 'Inspiration Walk'?
In a nutshell, an inspiration walk is an exercise designed to help you get outside and actively solve a challenge that you're facing. I stumbled upon it from the folks at the Stanford d.school (big fan, by the way).
They provide a playful audio track that guides you along a series of tasks to help you frame a challenge, gain fresh perspective by observing your surroundings, and reflect. All in under 15 minutes to boot!
The Challenge On My Brain Today
Lately, I've found myself overthinking things in place of listening, tuning in and being open to an intuitive answer.
Things I Observed On My Walk
When "zoomed in" closely on a tree...
Several tiny ants going about their day crawling upward along the tree bark.
Numerous holes, scratches and blemishes that, after staring at it for a while, formed a pattern that even started to look like symbols.
Each hole, scratch and blemish had a surprising amount of depth - in the form of concentric circles with varying degrees of colour.
When "zoomed out" from the same tree...
The difference in size and apparent health of the surrounding trees.
Colour! Beautiful green leaves. And Life! An army of birds that flew overhead into the branches.
A sense of scale in looking at the grass, picnic tables and people that 'framed' the tree in its setting.
Indeed, I thought it would be fun to quote myself. #FortuneCookieWisdom
Was The Inspiration Walk Helpful?
Yes, it was. It was rather therapeutic to intentionally observe nature for a change.
Not only did I feel refreshed and energized after the walk, I felt positive having actively sought out perspective to help me reconcile the challenge on my mind.
Curious to take an inspiration walk of your own?
The awesome folks at the Stanford d.school make this endeavour very approachable.
All you need is your phone, earbuds, a pen and small notebook!
Originally published on September 13, 2018