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It's easy like a Sunday morning, so the song goes ...

Another drizzly Sunday morning but what more can you expect in the midst of winter on a winter's day. It is actually the perfect weather to take myself off on a walking meditation, to get outside in the fresh air, shake off the cobwebs of the mind and begin a new week.

As part of my practice to become a holistic therapist I have been committing to meditation each day, usually in the still of the morning and also writing in my gratitude journal. I have just added this practice in to my daily journalling so that has been easy to adapt to. Some mornings I am in the zone, other mornings my head is as useful as scrambled eggs, so many thoughts and ideas and questions , lots of left field irrelevant questions. Today on this blustery Sunday morning I decided to do something different.As part of my daily walk routine I decided to adapt it to a meditation walk to practice the five senses of gratitude. Usually on my daily walks I listen to a podcast but on this chilled out Sunday it was all about the senses, the quiet, the here and now , no distractions.

The waterfront where I live is rather beautiful and provides a great walk with lots of people, dogs, kids on scooters and everything in between. I think I had around thirty seven hello / good mornings, a few doggy pats and dodged a few free wheeling kids having a great time on their scooters. Everyone seemed so into the day. It sure puts a spring in your step. Just the act of a general good morning to random strangers leaves you feeling connected.

As I walked I tuned my senses into all that I was grateful for, when we practice mindfulness we see more, hear more and everything just seems so .... well .... what's the word ...alive maybe or interesting. It seems we have a whole world living around us if we stop to watch and listen.

Practising gratitude - what did I see ?

Swans , a little family of swans just living life along the waterfront. Between all the new townhouse construction, shipping vessels, people and dogs out walking they just kept gliding along without a care in the world.

The pops of red from their necks stood out amongst the rich black of their feathers, my other senses of touch really wanted to feel their feathers but that would not have been wise.

I took a moment to observe them just gracefully moving along not mattering if it was a beautiful lake or developing waterfront they were on , they were just in the moment and I was grateful for this quiet stillness.

Practicing gratitude - what did I hear ?

Between the mist of the falling rain I heard this sound of energy and glanced over to see a team of ducks landing in the water , their wings propelling them forward. The action made me smile as it actually looked like I do when someone is driving and I pretend to brake in the car, foot on an imaginary peddle, body pushed back in the seat. The ducks leant forward and puffed out their chest as their wings and feet flapped away to land. Following on from the successful landing they then continued to duck dive in the water. To me it seemed like a duck game as one by one they continued to fly ahead, flap away till they landed then bob and dive into the sea. No ducks in the photo as I was to enchanted watching them, but instead you can admire the gorgeous mist. Which leads me to my next sense to be grateful for - smell. The smell of sweet rain as it falls and mingles with the aromas of the salty sea. Seaweed that is washed up from the sea damp and raw has its own unique smell, much different to when it sits in the sun to dry out. This smell is fresh, sweet, salty. I saw a man bagging up the seaweed and pondered what he would be doing with it, I also thought how much his car would smell. The smell of fresh rain is a comforting aroma, when you are rugged up warm and in the moment it is "invigorating" and makes you feel alive. How grateful was I to breathe in fresh clean air on a winters day, just lovely.

Practicing gratitude - the sense of touch .This was a very heightened sense on my walk as I really have a compulsion to touch lots of things. As I walked along this little jetty I placed my hands along the cold wet steel rail. Firstly because I just know it would feel good and secondly because I wanted to peer over the edge and didn't want to fall in.There is a whole micro world under the sea and I took a moment to observe and run my hand along the rail, flicking of water droplets just because I could. As the rain continued to fall the number of walkers disappeared and I got to enjoy a few kilometres of the walking track to myself so could touch the trees, the solid stonewalls that I walked past and put my hands up to touch the rain without anyone thinking I was a weirdo.

As my walk was coming to an end there was one sense left to practice gratitude for - taste.

What's better that a cup of hot chocolate on a winters day, the sweet taste of warmth. I must admit on the walk back along the track at around the six kilometre mark the thought of this made me walk a little faster.

The winter sun was beginning to shine through and my head was feeling clear and calm. A very lazy Sunday lay ahead and that was something I am eternally grateful for, a hot shower, warm home, and comfy chair.

We have a lot in life to be grateful for, sadly we don't take the time to acknowledge that. The act of taking a meditation walk and practicing gratitude can give your day a brighter outlook.

May you find some time for you.

xx in gratitude


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