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Returning to country walks (and horses)

When I first moved to the UK, I was surrounded by fields. My college was located in the middle of the English countryside and all I could do after school was to go for country walks. And now, almost a decade later, when we have all been stuck at home for over a year, I come back to this new-old way of spending time. I put on my hiking shoes and go. No target, no viewpoint in sight, just walking. And as I walk, I start seeing familiar pictures. The horses.

I have never been much of a horse rider myself, but I do love animals and feel in a strange way connected to those robust, peaceful and calm mammals. And I love it. I have so much respect and admiration for them and every time I’m around horses, I feel humble and relaxed. Strange, right? I don’t know what it’s about but I truly enjoy it.

I slow down, reflect, and try to take it all in. The scents, noises, and colours around me.

Trying to go for a brisk walk every day gives me the opportunity to reconnect with nature and also with myself. I see and feel things I wasn’t used to feeling for a long time. I slow down, reflect, and try to take it all in. The scents, noises, and colours surrounding me. And it’s wonderful.

It is super important to have a place where you can just be. No pretending, no forcing yourself into anything that doesn’t feel natural to you. From my Instagram feed, you can see that I’ve been spending a lot of time in nature lately. Not surprisingly, when it’s pretty much the only thing you can do now. And one of the reasons is Mark, who was born at the wrong place. He is so deeply connected to nature and through him, I can see what transformative power nature can have. I often write about it on this blog, so feel free to check out this post on walking as a therapy or a on mountains here.

When we go on a hike or drive to the hills, my partner immediately brings down his facade, washes away the stress of the week gone by, and is exactly who he is at the core. A wonderful, honest, and sensitive being. And it’s fantastic - to watch and to be a part of it. He is also incredibly inspiring - when he climbs up a mountain, hugs a tree, runs through the moody fields, and is just insanely happy. He smiles, makes jokes, and stops thinking about anything else. That's why they call men single taskers (explained by Mark Gungor) as they can concentrate on one thing only. And I envy and try to learn from this, so when I’m outside, I try to push all the other thoughts out of my head and just take in the now.

Oftentimes I fail. This post was written whilst out on a walk, so you can tell how much of a multitasker I am. But I’m trying. And that’s the most I can do right now. Just try. This applies to all the difficult processes in our lives. We can just try, do our best and accept the consequences whatever they might be. There’s no room for regrets or second thoughts, when we’re our honest selves, we are the best version of ourselves. And that’s more than enough!

I invite you to try and spend more time outside this week. It might be just a short walk, maybe you get off the bus one stop early or park the car in another street, just so you can spend the few extra moments walking and thinking about nothing. Perhaps some thoughts will enter your mind, but being fully detached from the screen and focusing on what is around you here and now is key.

Detaching and reconnecting is what I call mindfulness (and you know how damn I love it!). Walking is a mindful technique anyone can practice and what better time than now? Put on your shoes, get outside, and just recharge. Enjoy your walk!


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