Sometimes the noise in my head gets to be too much. There's so much clutter from the endless to do lists, reminders, and the stress I needlessly carry over things that are not mine to worry about. I feel stuck in place and wedged in by demands, weighted down by the concerns of others in the stories they share. When I feel as if one more thing might break my fragile facade, I put on my walking shoes and step outside. There's a lovely garden right outside my office with pathways that meander over a couple of bridges and under a canopy of trees. Even when I'm looking down at where my feet are taking me, I can't help but notice the changing hues of light and leaves, and the sounds of the creek. Even the small bits of gravel that find their way into my shoes are a wake up call to my brain that has been working on auto-pilot. I breathe in air that has not been saturated with grief, but instead points to life all around. I walk in alternating circles, creating my own labyrinth of sorts, letting my body lead instead of my mind.
After a few laps, I feel my shoulders easing away from my ears, and feel the breath starting to fill my lungs again. My thoughts move from anxious lists to easy prayers. The fight or flight response abates, and I feel myself slowing down and returning back towards my office. In the break, I have been renewed for all that lies ahead. In this sanctuary, I have found my way back to me.