Are you longing for outdoor-life after this long period of isolation? Do you want to experience nature with all your presence?
Nanna Nicoline Jensen is the founder of ‘ind til hjertet’ (into the heart). Where she is hosting silent walks and meditations.A silent walk is a fantastic meditative walking experience you’re having with other beautiful people. This is something you don't want to miss out on! See the dates and themes further down in the article.
Silent walks!? What is that?
Basically, a silent walk is where a group of people meets, and goes for a walk in absolute silence.
You might have heard of it from people who have walked the Camino in southern Europe, or other religious pilgrimages, where people after a couple of days stop talking and get in a meditative mood while walking.On ordinary walks in nature, which normally lasts around three hours or less, people just don’t get to the state where they find themselves in a meditative mood.
People have different reasons for wanting to be silent in nature – some like to meditate, others want to contemplate nature or notice more of the landscape they are walking through, others like the time to think, and some just want to zone out. Whilst some people have an interest in meditation and mindfulness practices or have been on meditation walking holidays, there is no overall spiritual agenda on my silent walks. Each experience is very individual for the beautiful people participating.
Why not just go by yourself?
Going for a walk on your own is a different experience to silent group walking. From a practical safety point of view, some people don't want to walk alone, or they don't want to spend a day entirely in their own company. Walking in silence in a group provides solitude but there is a connection between the group members even when in silence. Also, the group set up allows for social interaction afterward. So for many, it is the best of both worlds and it is certainly a different experience!
Silent walks and meditation
Normally I have planned two-to-three stops doing the 5km silent walk, where I guide participants through carefully chosen meditations. These meditations have a different focus for each silent walk. Some have a focus on boosting your energy while others have a focus on self-love and self-care.
In short, meditation is an increased awareness of your own attention, and for me, you must experience a greater presence with yourself, through meditation. Therefore, you don't have to sit in the lotus position or do anything that doesn’t feel comfortable for you.
Later on, we can fine-tune how you sit, and make sure the palm of your hands is upwards, so that your chest opens up, and thereby your heart opens up, ready to receive the energy. My guided meditations are at a level where everyone can join; regardless of whether it is your first time trying to meditate or you are already experienced in the field.
Just as important is that after each meditation the participants will sit with their eyes closed for about ten minutes to dig deeper into the focus of the meditation and their own breathing. Whilst listening to nature and sensing the surroundings.
Planned trips in June
Sunday, June 14’th, 9-12 - theme: Time
A silent walk with a focus on ‘time’. How you can get ‘more time’ in your life? See the example of exercise further down in this article.
Saturday, June 20’th, 8-13 - theme: Yoga and boost your energy
I have arranged with a yoga instructor, Julie, to come and do a class of Hatha Yoga before we go for the silent walk. She has promised that everyone can join, regardless of his or her yoga experience. The reason to combine yoga and silent walks is for me obvious, there are many similarities especially the focus on breathing; focus on your body and your mind.
Dates for July will come soon. Follow my Facebook or Instagram for more information (only in Danish).
How do I get more ‘time’ in my life?
What I often hear is that people, especially parents, lack time in their life, which is why I have chosen this specific focus for one of my June-walks. We can't get more 'time' a day, so it should perhaps stop here.However, with a relatively easy tool, you can begin to feel like you have more time.
You need to sit down in a quiet moment with a good cup of tea.
Then make two lists.
1. What do you feel, energize you, and contribute positively to your everyday life?
2. What do you feel is draining your energy and really just something you would rather be besides?
Then check to see if there is anything from your list of energy drainers you can do less of. For example;
- Make someone else clean your house if you feel it is draining you.
- Say no to go to a party, even though it’s a family birthday if you rather would do something else that day.
- Lastly, if you have some specific tasks at work, that simply drains your energy, but you have to do each week or each day, then ask your boss if it can be done differently so that it instead gives you energy. Perhaps a coworker loves doing this task, and have just asked your co-boss if he or she could do more of these tasks.
Then afterward check to see if it is possible to do more of the things from your ‘energy list’.
While that sounds almost too simple, after a while it will actually seem like you have more time available when you do more of what gives you positive energy in your everyday life, because you're saying ‘yes’ to yourself.
So what is one thing in your life, that drains your energy?
And what is one thing in your life that gives you positive energy?
What brings us energy?
What gives us people energy is different. This spring and early summer, when everyday life is different than we have ever been used too, and there are many health measures we need to take into account, many people miss the social contact with other people. I, on the other hand, feel a much greater need to be alone. It is perfectly okay. ‘Normally’ I’m really social and outgoing, but for now, I take time to look a bit inwards.
Try to notice what gives you energy right now and see if you can do more of it. Although it might be something other than what you usually get energy from, try to go with the inclination and explore if there comes something exciting out of it.
My story // Why I started these silent walks
I live a little south of Aarhus with my boyfriend and our two boys age 3 and 5.
I’m not an educated nature guide nor biologist as one might think with my fascination for nature. Actually, I’m cand.merc. from Copenhagen Business School and have a typical career job. A couple of years ago I took yet another education and got certified life- and business coach at Manning Inspire.
I started arranging silent walks into nature, because it was what I needed myself, and therefore believed that someone else might also be looking for that experience. Doing my younger years I had a horse, and even though I did a lot of competition riding, I really enjoyed the silent trips on horseback into the forest. One day I realized that it was what I needed back in my life.
Walks into the forest.
Without anything in my ears.
Just me, being me, in the forest.
Being in the forest is a contrast to my everyday life. It brings me calmness and at the same time energy. Being in nature gives me peace and the possibility of not having to perform or experience that others have expectations of me. I can be ‘just me’.