Somebody asked me what I thought they could be doing more of to meet themselves over the next six months.
Here's what I said:
Walk. Walk every day for six months. Don't put anything in your ears. And for goodness sake don't carry anything electronic in your pocket that might distract you when you spot a park bench along your way. Just walk and don't try to ask yourself when you're going to meet yourself. As you put one foot in front of another, just allow things to bubble through you.
Here is what you can expect
Ideas. They will slowly start swirling around from your subconscious. Most might be half-formed and broken, but allow them time to bounce around. You never know what might happen with them.
Feelings. You might become overcome with sadness. Or happiness. Memories of things that have hurt you in the past might come back. Allow it all to pass through. It's all good.
Sights. You will see things. When we walk, we experience life on a different level than from the luxury of motorised transport.
People. Inevitably you might encounter other humans. Some might want to strike up a chat. Others might ask for help. Others might be willing to help. Some might just be minding their own bloody business and when you stare too much at them with your new found goofy smile from all your walking they might feel a little creeped out - but every single person will eventually help you meet yourself.
How exactly does this work?
There is a clear and demonstrable link to increased creativity through meditative repetitive actions. It places the brain in low focus mode which allows the subconscious to push more ideas to the conscious. History is littered with creative geniuses who espoused the virtues of regular walks.
So how does creativity link with finding yourself? The act of creation brings us closer to the core of our being. We are through what we create. By writing, we often find bits of our identity hidden in the words that pour from the pen. Kids draw aspects of their identity in their drawing.
Walking is just a useful trigger. It has the added benefit of letting you get out, breathe fresh air, stir the body and let you see things you could generally miss.
It's such a simple thing. Walking.
If the journey of life is a thousand steps somehow, somewhere, you have to take the first one.