“I’m gonna take a walk.”
This is a common statement guys on TV say when they want to clear their minds after an argument, often with the lady of the house. He goes to “burn off steam.” But walking doesn’t have to be treated only as a therapeutic release.
A walk can be a healthy release and a gateway for accessing creative insights.
A few more reasons to take an idle walk:
-It allows the mind to process thoughts and emotions. Processing is important because the resulting integration enables us to make use of the information. Eventually what we’ve been rolling around in the mind like a jolly rancher in the mouth makes sense. We come to terms with the understanding. At that point it becomes usable.
-Information might be organized when we speak, because that uses the left-brain, logical faculty, but visualizing uses more right-brained functionality, out of order or symbolic understanding. If we have an intuitive hit and take a walk, we give our minds time to churn away at the randomized symbolism.
-Taking a walk creates opportunities to meet people. Along the “journey,” you may ask people questions or they might have something to say to you. I’m reminded of the time when we didn’t have GPS devices and had to travel. When we didn’t know where to go, we approached people and asked questions. Navigating involved a subtle collective where people gave directions and engaged conversation in between. One conversation can alter a person’s perspective.
Since I live in a highly populated area, a metropolis, I’ll take a sector in the city and walk it for a certain time period but without an aim. On these adventures I’m not looking to go anywhere specific. Perhaps I’ll check out stores, a park. Examine items while letting my thoughts flow. Sometimes an inspiration might spark due to seeing a symbol or person or part of a sentence on a bus passing by. As I engage these experiences, I don’t attach to them. They slip off of my psyche (the conscious part) and melt into the subconscious; we don’t truly forget anything. I’ll walk through a park then abruptly take a seat on the bench, observing the activity. Maybe I’ll have a lunch in a cafe. This is all done while the subconscious sculpts ideas that eventually emerge to the surface. From there, I write them down. Or record using the audio app on the phone.
If you live in a rural area, the same can be done. Choose a time to go out and walk without a particular aim. Let your mind wander. It will wander, likely touching several thoughts. Notice when what “makes sense” comes to the surface; you’ll know because you can then articulate it. Keep a resource with you to record them while ripe.