Today I walked to the coffee shop where I like to work.
I was inspired by my friend & future podcast co-host Scheherezade, who for reasons I'll let her explain over at www.thedelightfultable.com, has been biking everywhere since January of this year. I figured that I could give my car a break and spend 45 minutes taking my time from point A to point B - what a great exercise on so many levels - sustainability, mindfulness, actual exercise, presence, gratitude.
So today I walked, all the way down Lincoln Blvd from Santa Monica to Venice till I arrived at my beloved coffee shop Deus where I can never refuse the toast and Blackberry Jam.
Now, I drive down Lincoln every day, and I'm familiar with the route. I know the general lay of the land, but today things got GRANULAR. It was such a different experiencing going BY it versus being IN it.
On one side of the street, the morning sun was hot and possibly sunburned my left shoulder. When I crossed the street, I had the luxury of shade.
I deliberately and with some trepidation smiled and said hi to a group of homeless men and their dog outside St. Joseph Center. Groups of men in any form, with or without home, can feel a little vulnerable when you're out walking alone - I've been working at a sexual assault clinic too long, though to be honest, I've never had a case resulting from a group of men and a morning walk. I just noted my knee-jerk reaction and said hi anyway. They seemed pleased.
A few steps later, a man was quite literally sleeping in a planter. I felt a wave of gratitude for all the "problems" in my life.
I walked by an old diner I used to go to back in the day - I didn't know that it was temporarily closed. Patrons feel strongly enough to have left love notes.
A couple at a bus stop was bickering about being late.
It was a rich walk.
Am I suggesting you give up your car and start biking or walking everywhere? Well, if you live in LA, we both know that is crazy talk.
But I am suggesting that you periodically question your routes and routines - routines are amazing for productivity, but not always for waking up and smelling the roses. And frankly, even your habits and routines for productivity should be questioned. Sometimes we get so caught up in our ways that we miss something, an opportunity for connection or productivity or a new way of seeing things.
What is a routine that you don't even think about that you could play with changing up or questioning? I'd love to hear in the comments.