There were no shortcuts growing up with my mother Eartha Kitt. In fact, when it came to exercise, the long route was often the one she chose. Walking, she felt was the “simplest thing in the world to do – and the best and cheapest form of aerobic exercise (no fees, no equipment),” and many times that meant it could take a little longer to reach our destination.
“The quality of life is not to be found in how much we pack into every hour, every minute, but in how wisely we use the time we have.” Walking, with intention, awareness of our posture, our breath, and our surroundings, is beneficial for both the mind and body. My mother stressed the importance of being ‘present’ when walking, because, “…every moment is an opportunity to learn… to share and to slow down.”
My mother’s advice: “Don’t speed when there is no need.” From her book Rejuvenate!: It’s Never Too Late, “The speed with which some live their lives, only strains and drains the body and the brain, leaving one frayed, jagged, fatigued and bewildered.”
I was taught to walk, not run, through life. To pay attention to my surroundings, whether in the city, suburbs or countryside. To stop. Take a beat. Breath. And notice. The colors; the foliage; cracks in the sidewalk; architecture; designs; people; their body language; sounds; and silence. My mother placed great value on what could be learned from taking your time; through meals, conversations and all facets of living. The observations you make when you slow down, are sometimes the moments that can have the greatest impact on our lives.
When walking together, my mother would take the opportunity to challenge my imagination and encourage my curiosity, asking me questions and sharing ideas, feelings and opinions, all the while creating memories.
Remember. Treasure. Love… Simply Eartha