This past year I found some of the news staggering. I felt so helpless in the face of so many big things going on in the world. So I did what I always do when I feel overwhelmed and helpless, I turned to one of my spiritual practices to help me listen to Spirit's guidance (not to spiritual bypass what was going on).
I decided I would walk my neighbourhood daily and offer prayers as I walked. I would invite Spirit to walk with me and guide my prayers, but also to bring awareness to things I could do in this time of the pandemic.
I prayed for my neighbours and really paid attention to their external homes. I saw so many delightful things that just gave me so much joy. A heart hung in a window. A sign posted on a tree that told me I was amazing. A yard decorated with amazing Halloween or Christmas decorations.
I gave thanks for all the ways each person was contributing to our community. I asked that each of us be empowered to do what we could to make this world better.
I gave thanks for all the beautiful gardens I saw that were tenderly nurtured. I prayed for the workpeople who were fixing things or painting things. I even had a great conversation with someone who was trimming a pussy willow tree.
I prayed for those who passed by me, especially for those with little ones. I know this last year has been tough on parents. They have such important roles in our world and it can be a really thankless job at times.
I prayed for the neighbourhood school and all the staff and teachers who helped to shape our children's lives. It has been such a scary year, I'm sure it hasn't been easy to always show up in a positive way and yet I know they do.
Walking has great benefits for our physical health. Just 30 minutes, 5 times a week reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, reduces the risk of colon cancer, helps control body weight, increases bone density and helps to prevent osteoporosis. It's a great wellness practice as well as a spiritual practice.
Maybe I won't change the world, but I do hope the small things I do with love, make a difference (to quote Mother Theresa).
I look forward to the day I can walk with friends again. I look forward to the day we can do meditative walks together. In the meantime, I hope you will get out and enjoy the spring weather as often as you can. Maybe you'll walk by my house and offer prayers for me!