I took an early morning run around the neighbourhood, my first training run in this area in a long time. Because I was on my own, I decided to focus my run on Body Awareness (yesterdays Wednesday Word).
I figured that I would focus on each sense for a kilometre. I wasn't wearing contact lenses so I thought about seeing things differently to the way we normally think of seeing. I have run this route a number of times so i wanted to see what I can see that I haven't seen before. I saw three children outside of the high school before 6 am. The gates of the school weren't open and I don't know what time they do open, so these teenagers were walking or sitting, waiting, and listening to ipods. This got me thinking about a whole of other stuff and I didn't "see" anything else before my watched beeped and my first kilometer was over.
The hearing part of Body Awareness was really fun. The obvious things to hear were my foot steps and the birds. Initially I was looking for other sounds like the buzzing of the electic fences or the cars driving on the highway and then I realised that I was looking for the sound, giving it a label and then moving on. I wasn't really listening. So, I started by really listening to my footsteps, and noticing what I noticed about my footsteps and trying to do it without judgement. Not so easy! There is the initial thing about actually keeping my attention on my footsteps and then not trying to change the pace or weight or something else as a result of judgement that comes in so quickly. In fact, only working backwards did I realise that when I was changing to be lighter on my feet, that can only follow the thought that I was being too heavy - a judgement not an observation. No judgement of my judgement, just move back to noticing my footsteps. The sound of my footsteps was quite mesmerising and meditative. Really enjoyed that part.
Moving onto feeling. Started with feeling my skin, noticing what I was experiencing rather than my experience of it. I felt the air around my arms and legs, I felt the fabric on my legs and the elastic at my waist, I felt the fabric flapping around my upper arms. Then my experience of these as windy, fresh, crisp, clean, warm, tight. Then my level of enjoyment of each element, I asked myself, do I like this? Yes / No / It doesn't matter. Again, my kilometer was over very quickly and I moved onto smell. I loved this part because it's so different and because it's Spring. I smelled the air and labelled it as clean and crisp, cold and fresh. Words that I used for feeling too. I could also smell all the jasmine that is in flower as well as the sprinkler water wetting the dry earth. I smelled other plants (curry bush?)and a couple of cars. This was an interesting one because I "always" smell these things, I just don't pay attention.
The next sense was taste which I didn't think would keep my attention for a full kilometer but what truth is there in thinking? I could taste the air, again, crisp and clean were the words that came to mind. I could taste my mouth and what "running" feels like in my mouth - not so easy to put words to which was great, I just got to notice what I noticed.
For the last part of the run I focused on full body awareness - how my body feels as it runs and how the space around me feels as I run through it. Very mesmerising and i was home before I knew it. Just enough time to have a glass of Enervit before climbing into the car to take Alex to school.