We are an outdoors-at-all times kind of family: hikes at our local metro park, dinner on the patio every evening possible, walks around our neighborhood well into winter. We thrive with the wind in our faces and the fresh air in our lungs! Once I transitioned to being a stay-at-home mom, I not only got to spend my days with my two miracles, but I also had the luxury of getting to indulge our desire to be outside as often as we wanted. No more walking into work at dawn and sitting at a florescent-lit desk until just before dusk.
There is a very obvious change in my children’s behavior if they don’t get to play outside. They are grumpy, much harder at hearing, whiny and unhappy. And quite frankly, I am too! We all suffer. That’s why I’ve been known to throw on rain boots and extra jackets and let them stomp around in the rain (mud fights and all!) or bundle them up and head to a park even though the slides are still covered in snow. We all need the fresh air. We need the open space. We need the outdoors. I know this about my family and I.
Another thing I know about myself: I’m not very good at keeping my heart connected throughout the day. I often feel like I’m just keeping up with the necessary logistics of raising two toddlers, maintaining a home and running a small business. Soul work is often last on the list, or if I do try to pull it into my day, my brain just seems stuck in “do” mode. I can’t seem to slow the wheels or speed them up or whichever it is that’s keeping me from having clear, heart thoughts when I want to.
And I’m desperate for those quiet moments, those rare chances to connect with myself and refocus my day, the possibility of discovering something new.
What would it look like for my soul to get that fresh air, open space, outdoor experience that my body so thrives on?
And I clearly thought, “Gosh, I feel so much like this worm!” Constant motion with no lasting calm.
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I wonder what I’ve missed in all the motion.
I am learning to slow myself down enough to see, to stop and notice life before it passes me by, to count all the ways I am grateful. I am learning to embrace the reality of my own perfection and also the miracle of my own “enough-ness” despite the messes, despite the days I yell more than I want or the nights I get less sleep than I need. And I am letting the pace of nature teach me a new pace in life, a slower, steadier cycle of breathing in and breathing out.
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