Candid: revealed essence, authentic self, a captured moment of truth when the guard is down often when no one is looking. Revelations through walking. Open and honest truth. An inner glimpse. Candid conversation can lead to understanding and change.
Often the best photographs of people are captured when their guard is down. Moments when they are fully focused. Moments when they may be stressed or challenged. First moments, first impressions, first meetings. Moments of expressed joy and delight. Equally moments of exhaustion, rest and repose.
In these moments the mask may still be worn such as the moments that we first meet someone but we can still get a glimpse and insight, maybe you may call it body language or a clue into the authentic core of a person.
The Art of Walking
This blog is about the art of walking and how it can stimulate dialogue, how it can resolve issues, solve problems, dissolve past barriers and energies.
Each morning before we begin our daily pilgrimage to Jerusalem we stand together and repeat the aspiration of why we are walking. It reinforces our commitment to focus our thoughts throughout the day. The daily liturgy ends with, ‘ambulando solivitur – it will be solved by walking’.
Walking can become a powerful tool to open up our hearts to find our way both for inner peace and peace in our world.
Along the journey we meet strangers and within moments we consciously and subconsciously gather our first impressions. The body speaks its own language that belies what the spoken word may be saying.
Facial expressions, body stance, the level of animation of people we meet – their body language is the universal language that crosses the barrier of spoken language.
A hearty smile reveals a lot about the character and life of the person you meet for the first time. The way they engage you with their eyes.
A few days ago we were guided through the forest by a big burly French huntsman. It was very clear that he had a big heart. He was generous with his time to help us and one could feel his zest and energy for life. It was quite clear that he was an honest man who lived a full life.
Big Picture Linking
First impressions are often big picture stuff in the sense that we pick up on subtle cues, and linking them together they give us a gross idea of who this person is, how they live their life, how there stories mould their view and how they live their life.
Some people have more awareness of their environment and pick up these cues of body language, expression and ‘aura’ of others easier than others. Some people are quite sensitive to the ‘energies of others’. When traveling this can be highly useful to quickly understand the motives of others to stay safe.
Walking longer distances as we are doing allows the opportunity for longer more candid conversations with others. As we traverse the landscape with each step there is a slow opening up through conversation of a person’s life. Walking allows a space that brings out stories and the walker’s inner truths.
Traversing Through Conversing
The act of walking allows with each step with each word to traverse the landscape of one’s life. Walking side by side provides an environment for opening up.
Long walks encourages a slow flowering, an opening up of heart, a revelation of depths, of softness, of vulnerability.
Just like an onion there may be many layers to peel through but the act of walking allows this gentle flowering, the slow opening up, this tender stripping back.
Bringing Up Stuff
Times of walking alone in silence is also very powerful to strip back those layers of life, of stories, of letting go of the past and energies that have held us bound. It provides an space for self examination.
The repetitive motion of walking creates weariness and fatigue, the perfect environment to ‘bring up stuff’. To regurgitate and chew the bitter cud held deep down in the depths of ourselves that we may have kept hidden sometimes for decades.
Candid Inner Dialogue
With no other distractions but simply putting one foot in the other the stuff that surfaces can be talked about. Not through an inner monologue but pure honest dialogue. We have the opportunity to have candid conversations with our inner self.
Long walks give us the ability for gentle yet critical self examination and the opportunity for healing.
Walking alone can bring up and reveal hidden or suppressed truths. These candid moments open up our soul, our core. Excuses and falsities melt away as we sweat away toxins under the blazing sun.
Walking It Off
How many of you have used the power of walking in your life?
An incident may have happened where you feel someone has wronged you and you become hot under the collar. You may have had an argument with a loved one, received an unflattering email or are greatly stressed.
Often a long walk can help us to ‘cool off’ and prevent us from inflaming a delicate situation, can stop us from rash actions like taking things in our own hands, hurling abuse or writing a nasty email.
Walking it out or walking it off can help us burn off the negative energy and open ourselves to new perspectives.
As we traverse the landscape of our lives burning away negativity we lighten the load so that we can walk towards new perspectives, experience new vistas of hope. Having walked through the forest of darkness, we reach the edge and look forward having let go of the past. Unlike Lot there is no looking back.
The Subversive Act of Walking
Simply walking is a subversive activity. It is gentle slow deliberate non-confronting, yet can be powerful and political. Walking creates a slow opening up for talking, for conversation.
A landscape can be traversed, explored, laneways walked down, fields ploughed through, bridges crossed, rivers forded, dark forests entered. Walking the landscape allows for new perspectives, ideas to be developed and discussed, new possibilities and horizons to open up.
Resolve, Solve, Dissolve
Talking is like walking. Dialogue gives the opportunity to traverse the landscape with openness. To find understanding, to reach middle ground together, to dissolve past grievances, to walk towards reconciliation and lasting peace.
Walking redirects and aligns energies. Energies can be used to create separation or in the case of walking side by side can create connection.
Walk The Talk
Walking gives the opportunity for people to walk in the same direction. Whether it be people walking in solidarity or rivals searching for new grounds of understanding.
Walking side by side creates an equal starting point. Walking gives the opportunity to walk towards the same destination.
Monologue oppresses. It stymies speech and expression. It prevents other viewpoints. Suppresses knowledge. Limits ability for change and freedom of speech.
Great change can only happen through open and equal exchange of thoughts and ideas. Through open and candid conversation.
Dialogue involves both listening and speaking.
Giving a platform for expression, becoming a respectful sounding board for listening creates openness and understanding.
Walking to Jerusalem is about creating a conversation. It is about dialogue. It is about the power of walking to create solutions.
Amos Trust in their wisdom understood that this one walk will not solve all the problems in the Middle East that is wishful thinking. It will at least open up opportunities for greater awareness and dialogue to happen.
Open Up the Gates For Conversation
It also gives a voice to the oppressed. To use our privileged fortitude of being born in free countries to walk in solidarity with a people who have been silenced through occupation and military blockade.
Walking in solidarity we hope to open up the gates to conversation to help a people who’s avenues for free speech have been violently and systematically controlled. Walking together we can tear down the walls of fear, mistrust and oppression.
Walk for Peace
As we walk to Jerusalem for peace in Palestine we hope to create an environment for more level headed conversation and awareness to happen.
Awareness through walking can provide a podium for conversation to happen, for fear to be replaced by understanding and respect, to change the dialogue not through engaging in violence and suppression but through peaceful walking.
Walking Towards A Peaceful Future
There is a long walk ahead of us to Jerusalem and no doubt much learning. In our simple act of walking we hope that it may help those in the Holy Land to some day walk hand in hand side by side as equals walking in the same direction. Every little step counts.