The Power of the Amble
Bonded in Ambling
Are you an ambler?
Consider this phrase—To amble.
What does that mean to you?
Mr. and Mrs. M. Webster, the Dictionary Folk, say: to amble is to walk or move at a slow, relaxed pace.
Can you bring more amble-like energy into your day?
Just breath and consider.
How many synonyms for amble can you muster?
Do you participate in these activities, any of these types of movement?
Left to my own devices, I do none of them. Phrases that better describe me might be:
Checking off the list.
I don’t even know what list.
Some list in my head perhaps?
Some list on an index card, sweaty in my palm or wrinkled up in my back pocket?
I am attempting to work less, to hang out with myself and life more.
I realize this is a blessed problem.
And, indeed, I have hours and sometimes even days that are spacious and inviting and generously opened for pleasure and choice.
Sometimes I have me some good, solo fun.
Sometimes, however, I find myself pushing, pushing to the destination, the ever-important grocery store, as if it were a monumental meeting with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Moses and Buddha, all at once.
It’s the grocery store, for goodness sakes.
It’ll probably still be there in a few minutes, perhaps even in a few hours.
I guess my habitual behavior makes sense, though.
I have been working consistently, full-out, for fifty years.
It makes sense I would still be working, while shifting toward not working, while shifting into the Land of the Amble.
I am blessed, I have an Ambling Coach: Zac Joey Doodle, my best friend, animal companion, healer and guide and adorable genius of a being, a monk in fuzzy dog clothing.
He is 91, in people-years, and having a fine senior citizenship. He and I walk—we walk a lot.
He will no longer participate in my rushing.
He walks, with relaxed and slow focus.
He truly meanders.
He is the Essence of Amble.
He slows me down, eyes off my FitBit and onto the sunrise.
Speaking of the sunrise, do you know about Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing started in Japan in the 1980’s. By being in nature, by allowing our five senses to absorb the tranquility and balance inherent and available there, healing on many levels becomes possible. It is about ambling, about doing nothing in nature—and the evidence-based data behind it is startling, encouraging, shocking, and so very exciting.
Here are just a few evidence-based improvements from simply being in nature, with hardly an amble:
- Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells.
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
- Increased energy level
- Improved sleep
Just as impressive are the results experiences as this becomes a consistent practice:
- Deeper and clearer intuition
- Increased flow of energy
- Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
- Deepening of friendships
- Overall increase in sense of happiness
No exercising needed! No pushing, no thrusting ourselves up the hills of our lives. Being outside, breathing in, smelling, relaxing, seeing the glory—we are one with all of it—and we are healed, as we return our rhythms to that of the earth.
If you are interested in more evidence-based data, here are some links to some startling studies:
Maybe it doesn’t have to be hard?
Maybe we can relax and breathe and be outside…and be healed?
How good is that?
Dear Friends, how might you bring more amble-like energy into your day? What would it look like to push a little less, to relax a little more? How might you be outside, amble gently into springtime, allowing your body to soak up the deliciousness, the healing, the stress reduction?
Keep me posted—all voices welcomed; all experiences sacred. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the days of the Kripalu ashram, we use to say, “There is nothing to do and there is nowhere to go.”
That just might be scientifically accurate information!
Renewal and blessings to all,