Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Walking for Life

While in Arizona over Christmas, I got in the habit of walking an hour a day with my friends, Anja and David. It felt so great I continued the practice when I returned home to Florida. It's a healthful addition to my daily life. Some days I walk around the neighborhood if I feel I don't have time to drive to some spectacular destination (there are many of them here where I live). One day I walked from my house to Staples and returned a cable I didn't need. Another day, when it was cold and raining, I walked up and down every aisle in Home Depot. Both journeys filled me with a sense of accomplishment. I didn't get stopped by weather or some made up rule that had me want to walk someplace beautiful or not at all.

As I'm continuing with my daily walks, I'm discovering much about my environment and my surroundings. Now I'm always on the lookout for where I might find an adventure nearby where I might be going that day. This morning I had a breakfast meeting near Stickney Point, so afterward I walked on the hard white sands of Siesta Key. The picture (of Venice Beach from the South Jetty) is from another day when I had an errand to run in downtown Venice. You can see my whole walking path in the picture: from where I'm standing on the jetty and around the curve of the beach to the end of the high rise condos on the shoreline. The water was such a beautiful emerald green the other day I had wished I had brought my camera.

One day a week or so ago when it was particularly windy, the pelicans were all close to the jetty with their huge beaks open like scoops on the water, gobbling up fishes who were swept into their waiting mouths by the current. There was so much excitement, it felt like the pelicans were having a party. I did manage to get a picture of that with my phone.

On Monday nights I have a Landmark Seminar (Invented Life) in North Sarasota, so the past two weeks I've headed up early. First I stop to buy French bread and croissants at C'est La Vie on Main Street, and then head over to Saint Armands Circle to walk around and enjoy the shopping possibilities there, including a new shop (The Artful Giraffe) that sells my very own Heartful Art creations.

The adventure continues. Sometimes I walk with friends, most of the time alone. Either way, every step I take is a gift to myself. Not only in the positive impact this new practice is having on my health, but in the beauty I've seen and the exhilaration I've felt in all my senses just by looking up and out and exploring more of the world I live in.
-Raphaella Vaisseau,

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