Talking the walk

The cliche emphasizes the need to walk the talk. That is, if you declare a path but don’t follow it, you’re just spouting hypocrisy and lies. The converse is talking the walk. This is a different principle, not leading to criticism and judgement, but rather it gives a path for growth and healing. It’s an opportunity for me to be myself, perhaps, to become a better me.

The gist is that while walking outside, I’m not so bound by the synthetic world of men. The static seat in the kitchen or an automobile’s mechanical cockpit get their light from anonymous strangers. By walking, I put my life in front of a different mirror and can see hidden strengths in the reflection.

A friend of mine does counseling with teens. He remarked that with teenage boys, instead of meeting in his office, going on a walk can be a lot more productive. The youths are able to be more direct and make more progress in that less clinical setting.

I’ve noticed a similar effect with myself. When I’m walking with someone, the distraction of my sink of dirty dishes is gone. I’m not avoiding a wreck as traffic merges onto the highway. Instead, I’m sharing an authentic experience with a friend.

Perhaps we’re walking in the park. If we come to a moment and need to contemplate alone, we can take a break and look at a remarkable oak tree and watch the birds fight on the playground. The transition is completely natural. All of that outer beauty won’t hide any inner beauty slowly forming within us together. We’re not trying to entertain each other nor put on the happy face.

When I’m talking the walk with a friend, we explore different parts of our lives. Sometimes I get answers and can solve problems. Of course, life isn’t deathly serious all the time. However, developing a pattern of shared meditation like this in good times can be golden when I don’t know what to ask.

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