In some recent research I was involved in, I was surprised to find that in terms of therapy techniques, walking and talking therapy came up with quite low search numbers, whereas couples or relationship counselling, when couples sit with a counsellor, was much higher. This went against my experience of the beauty that can occur when walking and talking together to discuss matters between two people.
A while back I was at a presentation by Serge Benhayon from Universal Medicine and we were invited to participate in an activity where we were to walk with another, first hand in hand and then with our arms wrapped around each other’s back. Although walking with someone I scarcely knew and had never really spoken to, I felt very connected to the young lady beside me, as if I’d known her forever. But I can walk alongside many people during my day so what made this different? I can say that it was the intention to connect and be open with this person that made the difference during our walk. When the intention is to simply connect, none of the conditions that usually play out, such as ‘I need to get to know you before being open to what may happen,’ are necessary. We simply connected and walked together.
In my own life, I have experienced how much joy is possible in a relationship when we walk and talk together openly. This is how my partner and I initially started dating, by going for long walks while talking with each other. During these walks, it was not just ‘small talk’ or the getting to know each other’s likes and dislikes or our views on certain topics. We spoke in depth about our feelings and how we’re not just boy and girl in our own little bubble.
We are members of a society whose actions impact on us, just as our actions affect everything and everyone around us.
It has become a foundational keystone of our relationship that we regularly walk and talk together, usually hand in hand and as such, rarely (max. two times) do disagreements ever escalate into aggression or shouting. And if the situation is not resolved, we don’t brush it aside. Instead we go around the block again, continuing to walk and talk. It’s the quality in which we relate to each other during our walk and the honesty and depth of the conversation that makes these moments what they are. After the walk, what may have been a heated or sensitive subject doesn’t feel the same as it did when we set off. We both feel lighter, clearer and closer to one another without all that ‘stuff’ between us.
I’ve found the difference between sitting or standing and talking, and walking and talking, is that it has you engage with your body. When stationary, we can sometimes be in our minds planning what we are going to say next, or focussing on something the other person may have said. When there has been disagreement between you, it’s very hard to stay mad at someone while feeling the warmth of their palm in yours, holding their hand, walking alongside them. If someone is caught in a rant, I will often move away from that person but invite them to join me for a walk; even if it’s only a couple of meters, the movement appears to curtail the discussion that would otherwise go around in circles.
Taking time to walk with another with no intention or need to get somewhere has been supported by my willingness to be present with myself, – while learning to express my feelings is making it easier be open and transparent with another. Although walking alone may provide an opportunity to focus on our personal issues, being in company with another to discuss them offers solutions to problems we may not have considered. At the same time, it is deepening our trust in each other, making our relationship much more open while there’s a feeling of settlement in the body. This is because I don’t have to be on my guard or stay protected, I can be at my ease and share myself with the other. There’s an intimacy between us that allows us to see and feel the slight changes in one another. It basically takes relationships to a whole other depth that is far richer than social niceties or politeness. All from walking and talking together.
Published with permission from my partner.
By Leigh Matson, London, UK