Running, Walking, Sitting

Posted on January 2nd, 2020

We each have this one life to live. It’s our opportunity. But our opportunity for what?

On the face of it, the opportunity is clear. It’s simply the opportunity to be living, to experience this moment. And this moment. And this moment. We can string them together any way we’d like, or any way we have learned to value. We have collectively spent thousands of years developing intriguing, often captivating ways to string these moments of our lives together into stories of meaningfulness. 

But as we live, the stories fade into just that, stories, and we are left with what we began with, this moment, and this moment, and this moment. So what’s the opportunity in that? 

Sometimes the opportunity is to skim the surface of each moment, to experience the essence of movement as it happens. This is running. Running covers the territory in a rushing flow which can move into states of transcendence. Life itself becomes movement, with the landscape something to pass through. Connections are made on the fly, and companions are of the moment.

Sometimes the opportunity is to experience the moments more slowly, to hold the connections between them, not in an abstract, story-like way, but with the grittiness of how it happens, as it happens. This is walking. Walking covers the territory too, but more slowly. It doesn’t transcend anything. Instead it offers the experience of communion with the landscape, a slower opportunity for observation and integration of what is observed into connection. In this way, walking connects everything into a whole.

Sometimes the opportunity is to move deeply and silently into each moment, to notice its approach, its essential presence, its fading. This is sitting. Sitting doesn’t move, but when sitting is done completely, everything moves around it. Sitting brings the territory to itself. Sitting doesn’t create connection; it discovers the deep connections already existing, and it sharpens the experience of them.

Each of these ways has its own qualities in every dimension, its own way of connecting, its own loneliness, its own mythology. One is not better than another, except in that one may fit us better and become our predominant choice. 

When we drop the stories about our lives, we can live blending these three. We become easily responsive to the moment itself as it shows up, sometimes running, sometimes walking, sometimes sitting. Any mix of these is a complete way to live. Any way we choose can lead us to the essence of existing.

Posted in Change | Individual Counseling

Please remember, this is a blog. It is not psychotherapy or treatment of any kind and is not a substitute for the individual treatment you can get from going to see a good therapist.