This weekend my daughter and I will walk 60km in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. It brought to mind the whole concept of walking our walk - not just talking the talk. How often in life do you find yourself dispensing your 'sage' advise or voicing your opinion, saying you believe in ...(insert belief here) only to see - if you are looking with a clear vision- that you do not follow your own advice?

For me this happens more often than I would like (certainly more often than I would like to admit).
How do we Walk the Walk more consciously? Here are five ideas that might help:

When confronted with obstacles remember where you are wanting to go. What is a few blisters if it will help prevent someone from having to endure surgery, radiation and chemotherapy? We meet many areas in life that are frustrating, discouraging and sometimes even painful but if we can keep our sights on what we are hoping to accomplish we are better able to decide if the temporary discomfort is worth it. Recent challenges are offering me insight into how I can so easily get caught up in the emotional tides and loose sight of what is really important to me. Keeping an eye on the finish line will not only help us to reach our goals but will also help us (and those who are our cheerleaders in life) celebrate our accomplishment once we reach that goal.

Most things are easier to accomplish if we can break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. We can walk 5km at a time rather than starting out to go 60km. If we need to we can break each km down to 1 block at at time. A great coach recently helped me break down a life long challenge into reasonable (accomplishable) steps. We discussed a few things that I am excited about, (what is going right) and a couple of challenges that have been getting in the way, (what's not quite right yet). And in a mere 30 minute session I came away with new ideas, great suggestions, a plan for making sweeping changes complete with a built in accountability and reward systems. That is really what coaching is all about.

It seems a bit cliche to say that a positive attitude can make a huge difference, but when we volunteered at the Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk last year the stories we heard, and witnessed, were nothing short of amazing. Women who were in the middle of treatment for their breast cancer walking the whole 60km! A positive attitude can go a long way to make up for physical deficits! Families who had recently lost Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Wives to this illness finding the strength to walk together.

It is possible to make most things fun. With the right attitude we can scale mountains... the physical ones as well as the emotional ones. If the sun is hot we will imagine scraping windshields and shoveling walks at -30, if it is rainy we will be thankful it is not +30... look for the silver lining, it is there somewhere, sometimes just a little harder to see. Regardless we will be grateful to have each other, knowing many of the mothers and daughters walking with us are not so lucky.

It is important to know where you want to end up (so you are not wandering aimlessly without purpose). It is at least equally important to be present, in the moment. To appreciate each moment as it is, whatever it is. Let go of the past regrets, stop anticipating what barriers may, or may not, be ahead. What has happened in the past has no control over this moment unless you allow it to, and what lies in the future is most often determined by our actions in the present. I can choose to focus on the fact that we have 60 km left to walk or I can choose to see that in this moment I am prepared, I am healthy, I am pain free and I have oodles of love and support.

Sometimes all that is left to do is start! One foot in front of the other is really the only way to walk 60km. We often put off our dreams waiting for the time to be right when really the only way that will ever be is if we get started and make it happen. You can talk the talk but when will you start to walk the walk? It can be important and motivating and even inspirational to do the talking but we all know that to really make a lasting statement we need to walk the walk. Whatever that may be for you today. Whether it means having patience with one of your children who may have an uncanny ability to tromp on your frayed nerve, or to stand up for yourself in a challenging relationship, or perhaps it is to take the first step in fulfilling your dream...

Author's Bio: 

Barb Shanahan is a Women's Spiritual Enrichment Coach, Facilitator and Registered Nurse
From her extensive background working with families dealing with chronic and terminal illness, growing children, aging parents... the many issues women face, comes a passion for working with women to develop a kind, loving, nurturing relationship with themselves.
She is a guide for women, who wish to explore their spiritual life purpose, women who are looking for authenticity and fulfillment in their lives.