“The road to the villa was clearly signposted, and I headed down a deliciously shaded road with not a car in sight. The further I walked, the more concerned I grew: the road sloped downhill, and slowly increased its grade until it was a fairly steep descent. I knew I would have to walk back up this hill on my return, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I had walked so far along the South Downs Way now that I was always wary when the trail took me downhill. While it provided a brief rest, it also meant that eventually the trail would head uphill again.”
Holly Worton, author of Alone on the South Downs Way, tells the Book Detective why walking defines her: it helps her to quiet her mind, stay on track, and connect to her true self. It is a very important part of her life and essential for her self-care; she now puts ‘walking’ in her calendar. Despite having walked since she was a teenager, the South Downs Way was her first long-distance walk, and many of the things she learnt during those eight days can also be applied to other areas of life.
As a business mindset coach she shares how important it is to know your motivation (why you want to walk), because if you don’t it is much easier to quit when the going gets tough. There are many ways to walk a trail: as a day, weekend or a long-distance walker – it is all about finding your own rhythm. Holly used to speed-walk but walking the SDW, which is 100 miles long, and carrying a heavy pack, she had to slow down, and she now goes at a slower pace on day walks too. She says that this allows her to stop and look at things, be present and enjoy the journey.
Holly explains that walking for her is a spiritual activity; an outdoor mobile meditation. She has a spiritual outlook on life in general and enjoys getting a weekly Akashic records reading by email with messages from her record keepers. The Akashic records are like a ‘virtual encyclopaedia with a “book” on each person in the world, including information on your past and present lives.’ Before writing this book she wondered if people would really want to read it and received a message outlining the importance of doing so because it would help others. Similarly just before she began the walk she received a message of encouragement and was told that she would be reconnecting with her ancestors. If you are intrigued by this, you can find out more at http://www.medicinedreamhealing.com/weekly-messages-2/ – Holly explains that walking in general does give her a sense of being connected to her ancestors, and certain places can deepen these connections considerably.
All national trails are well-signposted. Despite this Holly did manage to get lost at one point and on retracing her steps realised where she had gone wrong. She underlines the importance of paying attention to signs that are all around us by slowing down, being aware and connecting to your intuition. Despite walking 100 miles by herself she explained that she felt completely safe and always does whenever she walks in the UK. She describes the South Downs as a magical place, and says that it has a special energy, and delightful villages, such as the fairy-tale village of Alfriston (I agree!).
Walking the South Downs Way made her realise that she is a long-distance walker, and it helped her let go of a belief that she was not athletic (having been the smart kid rather than the sporty one at school!). Holly would like to encourage everyone to experience the joys of country walks, and to consider going solo – you never know it could be the beginning of a whole new adventure!
If you would like to find out more about walking or even walk your first long distance trail with Holly as your guide, then go to She Walks in Nature http://shewalksinnature.com
If you are a woman entrepreneur and would like to have a clear vision for your business, be in flow, feel confident and make intuitive, aligned decisions, then you can get in touch with Holly at http://www.hollyworton.com/