A (Backwards) Walk in the Woods

I don’t know about you, but the past couple of months have been a little rough mood-wise for me. I tend to suffer each winter from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), and my body has been feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and low. I’ve been negative and giving myself guilt over not being “productive enough”. When I give myself permission to be mopey, especially in these darker winter months, my compassion for myself grows and it’s much better. It’s so easy to forget that our lives are cyclical and constantly transitioning from spring, summer, autumn, winter. The tides ebb and flow, and so must we. Life is about change & adaptation – remaining compassionate with ourselves in our “low” times is essential to maintaining fullness & well-being.

There were a few beautiful, sunny, warm days last week here in Asheville, NC. I took full advantage of the brighter days, and went for a walk at one of my favorite spots – Biltmore Estate. My legs & hips were being a little funky – my walk wasn’t as smooth as I wanted. I felt some older shin-splint injuries acting up. So I switched it up and started to walk backwards. I ended up walking about 1/3 of the hour walk completely backwards. How liberating!! It was refreshing & rejuvenating not only from a muscular standpoint – it gave some muscles a rest, and worked new ones – but also somatically, all-over it offered a new perspective. I was looking backwards, but blindly moving toward an unknown. I was looking at the places I’d been, without a visual of where I was going. I thought about the past year and how cathartic reflecting on the past can be when we start something new. When I did turn around, I was slightly dizzy for a few steps, which offered it’s own perspective of adapting to moving forward again. So often we move forward, anticipating our next steps, possibly getting anxious or contracted about what’s to come, we forget sometimes if we looked behind us, we’ve already come so far.

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