“I have exquisite wanderlust”
Libby DeLana is an executive creative director, founder of This Morning Walk and co-host of the podcast This Morning Walk with Alex Elle. She spoke at the 2022 Do Lectures with Cheryl Strayed about the transformative power of a walk.
Libby spent her career in advertising. She was the Director of Design at MullenLowe for 15 years, then went on to co-found the boutique agency Mechanica. Libby’s work has won many industry awards and been featured in publications including PRINT Design Annual, Fast Company, Graphis and Communication Arts. She has been profiled by the BBC Radio 4 series The Chain in which ‘leading figures name the woman who has inspired their success’.
She is an advocate for female leadership, an aspiring pilot, rookie fly fisher, fan of a strong cup of tea and mum to two tall, smart, kind men. Do Walk is her first published book.
00.00 – 00.46
The Wanderful Theme
00.47 – 05.55
Introducing Libby DeLana
05.57 – 11.18
Libby talks about ‘wandering’: The back story – How ‘This Morning Walk’ began:
- What did Libby need to nourish her?
- Missing the outdoors – the space between
- Walking every day for the last 11 years
- The ‘Practice’ is not about mileage
- Treating the walk as a ‘practice’ in the same way as a seated meditation or a yoga sequence.
- Even a 3 minute walk can have a profound effect
- Libby’s mission to share this knowledge with all
11.19 – 14.30
- Learning new lessons through every walk
- Loving the fidelity of the practice: Keeping a commitment to herself
- The ‘practice’ as a ‘radical act of love’: Attentiveness and mindfulness – taking a walk for ‘me’
- Libby learns the most on the days she doesn’t want to go
14.31 – 21.08
- What Libby learn’s from the practice and what’s the magic state?
- Learning to tap into the inherent wisdom of what goes on in the chest (heart) and the gut (intuition), rather than ‘thinking’
- Walking allowed Libby to put ideas down into heart and gut – what was embodied in that?
- Libby holds a thought – takes it for a walk and it softens and she begins to understand it.
21.10 – 27.48
- Walking the same loop: Focusing on each step and each breath
- Submitting to the routine
- Flipping the ‘inquiry’ from external to internal
- Seeing the world feet first rather than head first
- Not just walking through the streets – you were walking through yourself: what you find beautiful out there – resides in you.
- Finding the internal beauty – is the ultimate self-care: By doing that – we are caring for our community
- Walking with others – the walk-pod
27.50 – 31.10
- Libby’s navigation system: trusting gut / age
- Inquiry & Curiosity – what’s going to show up each day?
- Things change all the time – embrace and lean into change?
- The ‘Beginners Mind’
31.11 – 35.49
- Waking up with the grumps – curiosity about the deep dark depths.
- One of the most challenging walks Libby did.
- Do I crawl into bed and pour a bourbon or do I need / want to get outside and walk?
- Did the loop? And repeated the loop? After each loop – ask self – how are you doing?
- Loops – Stomping / Screaming / Beyonce Lemonade / Crying – the best therapist and loving friend was the walk. Needing to know ‘what would come up’?
- Not all walks are beautiful but there are lessons in it.
- Libby loves her partnership with the walk and cannot imagine her life without it.
35.50 – 38.30
- Moving through grief and sadness
- Being curious about whats in the heart and in the gut.
- Taking your ‘discomfort’ for a walk.
38.32 – 45.03
The ‘Wanderful’ Exercise: Holding your discomfort and taking it for a walk
45.04 – 46.04
“Walking is an equivalent practice to one of meditation or yoga. It has become a place of quiet, of nourishment, sanctuary, healing of inspiration. I find it’s my most creative part of the day.” (Libby)
“Even a three minute walk can have a profound effect.” (Libby)
“I just love the fidelity of the (walking) practice – it feels like fidelity for myself. It’s not about steps and miles. It’s about keeping that commitment to myself. It’s a radical act of love.” (Libby)
“It’s about an attentiveness and a consciousness, about taking a walk for ‘me’.” (Libby)
“As I walked with a thought in my head… slowly it would come down into my heart and then down to my belly… it’s a way of me understanding my ancient knowing.” (Libby)
“As I walk, that ‘ball of string’ softens and loosens and I can become to see the individual thread.”
“(Walking) enables me to know more, feel more… and trust my heart and gut, versus everything I’m telling myself up in my head.” (Libby)
“I’m seeing the feet first and changing my gaze from external to internal.” (Libby)
“You’re not just walking through the street, you were walking through yourself. The thing you find beautiful out there is a reflection of the thing you find beautiful within.” (David)
“For me it’s constant curiosity and inquiry – what is going to show up each day. Who is going to show up? What kind of conversations are we going to have? Those are my navigation tools.” (Libby)
This Morning Walk: https://www.thismorningwalk.com/
David Pearl (host)
Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)
The Green Room at COP26 – What (On Earth’s) The Story?
Full film: https://youtu.be/UWoO9UmWscM
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