Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Transformative Transportation

I’ve just read the Setting Out chapter on walking, and, while I have to gag at Cameron’s pun-filled prose, I get the underlying ideas and they do indeed resonate.

I walk to work and I walk home, and, because I am trying to be a good Vein of Gold pilgrim, I shall try to incorporate an additional longer walk into my day as often as I can.

My walk to work in the morning is energizing—fresh morning air, quiet bird song, lovely light.

The walk home is less energizing than cathartic: an intense time of mental processing for me, something which I had not realized until now.

It is a short walk, but in that time I sometimes discover some inner rage that I had not let surface at work—and thus arrive home in a foul mood.

Sometimes, however, it is a time when optimism and humor come to the fore, when my exuberance is allowed to bubble up, when I notice beautiful things. (Today, I had a lovely encounter with a Eurasian Collared-Dove.)

The task of walking prayerfully, listing and vocalizing gratitude, also resonated. My new boss starts every meeting with a call for “appreciations”—something that is none too popular with the Old Guard present at the various meetings I attend. I too initially found it rather saccharine, but I like what Cameron says:

What you are actually doing is gaining altitude so that you can see life from a higher perspective, where you are able to recognize many more choices.



Ms. Theologian said...

Your comments about gratitude remind me of something Kevin McIlvoy did in a writing workshop at Desert Nights a couple of months ago. He really wants the group members to thoroughly discuss the positive aspects of a manuscript before delving into the faults. It resulted in a really balanced workshop in which we all felt nurtured yet stretched.

I think often people launch into an assault of all that is negative, thinking that this is where the work needs to be done, but it throws everything out of balance. Life really can't all be criticism.

Kel said...

My dog is just gonna love it when I put that chapter's instructions into practise!

I'd love to hear more about your boss's call for "appreciations".

Femminista said...

Appreciations are an agenda item--they start every meeting my boss convenes. They are also voluntary: she simply asks if anyone would like to volunteer any appreciations of anyone, present or not, about anything. And then she is silent. She is good with silence (no surprise--she's a Quaker) and doesn;t feel uncomfortable wioth it--but others are, and this prods them into saying somehting appreciative.

It is interesting, because people were initially very reluctant and saw it as "California flakiness."
But our work culture is a culture transitioning from some pretty deep resentment and negativity, and I am beginning to realize that this focus on gratitutde is pretty wise.

Kel said...

that sounds awesome
i think i would 'appreciate' having her as a boss