It is Solved by Walking

  Photo and artwork by Seth Nielson

Photo and artwork by Seth Nielson

As I sat down to write my first blog post of the New Year, the words weren’t coming. The page was blank and I was uninspired.

So I got up from my desk, threw on shoes and a jacket, and took my dog for a short walk to the mailbox. We strolled at an easy pace, and it felt good to get my blood pumping after being glued to the computer all morning. I breathed in fresh air and turned my face to the sunshine, catching a glimpse of a red-tailed hawk circling the nearby fields. And just like that, a blog topic popped into my head.

 Solvitur ambulando, I thought.

I was first introduced to this Latin saying by Seth Nielson out of Bozeman, Montana. Seth is the talented artist behind myoutdooralphabet.com, where you can find posters and apparel with his original kickass designs. Seth surprised me with the linocut (pictured above) in one of my orders.

Originally attributed to 4th-century-B.C. Greek philosopher Diogenes, solvitur ambulando means “it is solved by walking.” I’m convinced the Universe sent this message to me (by way of Montana) at a time in my life when I needed it most – when I craved divine intervention and inspiration to pull me out of the deep rut I was in. 

When I look at my solvitur ambulando print, it reminds me that I can recharge my creative tank at any time, and handle life’s challenges, with a good old-fashioned walk.

It turns out that the simple act of walking offers a host of health benefits, including bolstered mood, memory and brain function. In fact, research shows that a person’s creative output increases by 60 percent when walking.

Ariana Huffington makes a strong case for walking in her article “Hemmingway, Thoreau, Jefferson and the Virtues of a Good Long Walk.

In our culture of overwork, burnout, and exhaustion, in which we’re connected and distracted 24/7 from most things that are truly important in our lives, how do we tap into our creativity, our wisdom, our capacity for wonder, our well-being and our ability to connect with what we really value? Solvitur ambulando.

… it truly seems like there is no end to the problems that can be solved by walking. It makes us healthier, it makes us fitter, it enhances every kind of cognitive performance, from creativity to planning and scheduling. Best of all, it reconnects us to ourselves.”

The only thing I’m left wondering after reading Ariana's article is: Why don’t I walk more often?

The New Year offers us a reset button and an invitation to rethink how we do things in 2018. If you’re dragging your feet about making self-improvement resolutions, maybe step away from your goal-setting and take a simple walk.

I’m confident good things will come to you.