I have spent the last two days walking, alone, in silence. Among ancient trees, by water, away from interruptions, and moving, I am tethering myself to my life.
Everything is different for me when I walk. My thoughts, my moods, my experience of myself and my body. I’m reminded of my place in a living world that is much bigger than I am.
Too often, I forget this.
It struck me as I walked how few of us take restorative practices like this seriously. “I’m too busy” we say. “People need me.” “I couldn’t possibly stop.” In the world of many organisations we have turned this orientation into an unquestionable truth for everyone, pushing ourselves and others harder and harder, convinced that if we never stop we will eventually get what we long for.
In our endless quest for productivity, for efficiency, and for more stuff we’ve convinced ourselves that we are machines for doing and machines for consuming.
And because of this, we’re asking ourselves the wrong question. We’ve lost sight of what it is that is the source of all of our actions, hopes and possibilities. And of our productivity.
Instead of “how can I go faster?” we ought to be responding to “how can I be more alive?”. And understanding that everything we care about – everything – will flow from that.