Walking Meditation

We walk for many reasons. To gain something. To get rid of something. To get somewhere. To get away from somewhere. Etc./add your own reason. People generally agree, however, that walking is good. No negative vibes come from walking. (Even “walking away” is beneficial.) Now how about adding another dimension to your walks? How about walking meditation?

Meditation means contemplating and thinking deeply and includes focusing and noticing the present moment. It is possible to do this outside in nature while you are moving; one can achieve a form of meditation while walking. Walking meditation is unique and intentional, and it is different from seated mediation. I think that it is accessible to a broad range of people and landscapes.

Here are guidelines for walking meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Website:

Walking Meditation

Wherever we walk, we can practice meditation. This means that we know that we are walking. We walk just for walking. We walk with freedom and solidity, no longer in a hurry. We are present with each step. And when we wish to talk we stop our movement and give our full attention to the other person, to our words and to listening.

Walking in this way should not be a privilege. We should be able to do it in every moment. Look around and see how vast life is, the trees, the white clouds, the limitless sky. Listen to the birds. Feel the fresh breeze. Life is all around and we are alive and healthy and capable of walking in peace.

Let us walk as a free person and feel our steps get lighter. Let us enjoy every step we make. Each step is nourishing and healing. As we walk, imprint our gratitude and our love on the earth.

We may like to use a gatha as we walk. Taking two or three steps for each in-breath and each out-breath,

Breathing in “I have arrived”; Breathing out “I am home”
Breathing in “In the here”; Breathing out “In the now”
Breathing in “I am solid”; Breathing out “I am free”
Breathing in “In the ultimate”; Breathing out “I dwell”

Find a special place, and go….

Empathy to Advocacy

“All advocacy is, at its core, an exercise in empathy.” ~ Samantha Power

It is, isn’t it? Why do you advocate for someone? Why do you speak for someone who is unable to speak out for themselves? What is the sense in it? You may not have named it yet, but if you are a sensitive soul who can know and feel what others are experiencing, you likely live a life that includes advocacy.

When we think of advocates, empaths may not be the first kind of person that comes to mind. We usually are not attention seeking people, though we often find ourselves on the front lines. The struggling and the wounded are drawn to us because we see them.

The hard part for empaths is to see and to help without being crushed in the process. You have to find your niche. And you have to recognize your capacity and your limits. Your compassion needs to be strong with a healthy balance. You need to know how much you personally can and cannot handle.

Many empaths are drawn to the helping professions, myself included. My niche is with children.  I teach children. I am not a mainstream classroom teacher, however. I teach the strugglers. Sometimes, the hard cases. Sometimes, the misunderstood ones. Language, poverty, special needs come with this territory.

My compassion, understanding, and empathy are my greatest tools. When a child feels safe, loved, and supported, they will make great gains in school. My job is to ensure this – to advocate on a daily basis with the wider school community because often “you don’t know what you don’t know.”

If you are a parent, you are automatically an advocate as well. Depending on your child, your role may be lesser or greater. Even so, as empaths, we do not like conflict. (It feels like everyone’s insides are yelling!) However, we will quietly and firmly come forth to speak out for our own children as much as is needed.

An advocate is part of who I am, just as being an empath is. I didn’t seek out this role, it sought me out. I just needed the courage to own it. You too.





Accept the Help ….Really, It’s Ok

Empaths are not good at accepting help. And we are really terrible at asking for it. We are great at giving it. We are born nurturers. But what happens when the born nurturer needs help? We often go it alone as long as we can. And that’s often the wrong choice to make.

Empaths sometimes forget that other people can’t sense us like we can sense them. Not even close. Others don’t know what our feelings are if we don’t tell them. And if you wait for help that no one knows that you need, believe me, it’s not coming.

At the point of collapse, I usually ask for help. And I get it. My family doesn’t like to see me face down, and neither do my friends. They pick up the slack, do the things that I would normally do, and genuinely give me the TLC that somehow I thought I didn’t need or deserve. I become the receiver and not the giver, and because I am collapsed, I accept it. But I don’t like it. Not at all.

As I get older and wiser, I am slowly learning that it is okay to ask for and accept help before you collapse. (Then maybe you won’t.) Note that if you get an initial negative response (which is usually small), weather it. It’s okay for people to not be joyful about unexpected demands. However, more often than not, those who care about you are willing to help you. Let them. LET THEM.

And if you need to go outside of your inner circle for help, do it. We are a society of help providers and of health providers. You can find the help that you need (and you don’t have to wait until collapse mode).

Asking for and accepting help is a healthy choice and a healthy habit. And you want to be healthy, right? Your health and well being matter as much as those around you, right? Ask and you shall receive. It’s ok.



Hello, Resiliency. I’m kinda tired. In fact, I’m really tired and worn out. But here you are again beckoning me to come out and play. To take your hand. You wink at me, and tell me that it will be alright. And somehow, I believe you. After all, we have been through a lot together, haven’t we? An awful lot. And I’m tired. I don’t want to walk down that long path again. But you know me. I may sigh or complain. But I will walk with you. Honestly, what choice do I have?

I am not the curl up and give up kind of person. Empaths aren’t. Though emotions, experiences, and memories, (and sometimes health), may knock us off our feet, we rise. We move through it. We move through it all, and we come out the other side. Changed, but not ruined. It’s just that it’s a long journey. It’s a painful journey. And I’m tired. You tell me that things will get better. That people are counting on me. That I will feel better. Little by little. Step by step. That moving forward is my only choice, so why not embrace it?

Okay, I take your hand and off we will go. You tell me that I am not alone. We find healers. We find friends. We tell family the truth about what is going on. We seek out nature. We seek out music. We read. We love our pets. We rally for our children or our spouses. We eat better. We don’t sleep so well (yet). We walk. And we walk. And we walk. And we pray. A lot. And you are right. Little by little, step by step, we realize that we are going to be okay. We won’t be the same, but we will be okay. We were knocked off our feet (again), but we will stand strong again. And I will stay with you, Resiliency, until I make it to the other side. Hand in hand, side by side. You are a force of nature, and I finally realize, that I am too.


What is the draw of lighthouses? Aren’t they past their time? Why are we still drawn to them? What is it about that beacon of light that still pulls us in? What is it about a building that continues to speak to us?

I spent some time this past weekend visiting lighthouses with my sister. They were all over 100 years old. Some were retired, and some were still operational. Some were in disrepair, and some were restored. Yet, I found them all beautiful.

I think that lighthouses are a strong symbol for us. They literally are the lights in a storm. They exist to help and guide you to safety. To remind you that you are not alone. They are an eternal visual symbol of hope. Hope that you can get to shore. You can weather the storm. You can complete this leg of your journey. Don’t give up.

I did some internet sleuthing on lighthouses, and I found this on Reference.com. “Because they are constructed to withstand powerful storms, lighthouses are frequently depicted as symbols of strength. They are also used to symbolize shelter, protection and peace for the same reason. Lighthouses expose the connection between inanimate structures and human emotion in a way that few other buildings can.”

And yet for all their guidance, sometimes the ship crashes, the boat sinks, and there are injuries and casualties. It’s a reminder that life is hard, there is heartache, and things don’t always work out as planned. But we notice that the lighthouse will still stand, and its light will still shine. There will be a tomorrow, and life will go on. When we survive a “shipwreck” we acknowledge that unexpected disaster can strike. There are no guarantees of smooth sailing in life.

I think that lighthouses remind us that hope and light will continue to exist. Lighthouses may become non-operational, but the idea of their guiding light lives on. The guiding light is faith. And faith’s hope and light are eternal. Who doesn’t love a forever light?