This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ.
This month our participants have shared their experiences of mindfulness and the natural world. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
After several attempts at redirecting this energy into other (less painful) outlets to no avail, I stand up and tell him, "I feel upset when I hear screaming and whining. Kicking hurts my body and it hurts my feelings. I need to take a break." There may be some protest, but after a couple repetitions of, "I'll be right back," I've succeeded in retreating—glass of water in hand—out the back door and into the fresh air.
I sit down on the back steps...and I can breathe again. (So I do!) I draw in full, deep breaths of cool air, savoring the extra oxygen, the smells of the outdoors, and feeling the change inside my body.
I don't have an agenda; there are no tasks to be completed. Somehow, though, I end up wandering out into the yard and into my vegetable garden.
I visit one group of plants: inspecting their leaves, admiring their delicate flowers, feeling a flash of excitement when I see a new ripening fruit. Wait—is that a tiny welling of pride? I notice that I feel gratified and satisfied in the part I've played in cultivating these simple miracles of plant life. From tiny seed to hearty, food-bearing vine, I was there to witness and hold the space for every intermediate step.
I move on to the next area, repeating my inspections and ritual of admiration. I may redirect a stray sprout or right a tipping stalk, but my aim is not to get things done. Like a mother absentmindedly grooming her baby as he nurses, I'm simply focusing my energy and attention on these growing things: showing them some love.
In turn, as I open my mind and my energy, Mother Nature pours in beauty, light, and life.
As I exhale, the difficult morning moment drifts away on the Summer breeze.
I inhale, and I'm filled with new energy, a focused sense of purpose and perspective. I've experienced a renewal of spirit that can only be found outside. My cup is full once again.
Only then can I go back in and reconnect with my child.
So I do.
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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Zen and the Art of Raising Chickens Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has found a connection to nature in her very own backyard, thanks to her chickens.
- Healing Gemstones and Crystals for Children Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses which genstones and crystals are best used by children to support physical, emotional, and/or spiritual healing.
- A Gardener’s Meditation Andrea at Tales of Goodness shares how she finds peace and renewal through gardening.
- Weeding My Thoughts Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro discusses how nature keeps her in the moment and stops her endless stream of thoughts.
- Grounded in Nature Rani at OmSheSaid shares her walk in nature, and through expressive words, shares this journey to coming home.
- Embracing the Magic of Moonlit Nights Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares ways to embrace the magic of moonlit nights with your children and as a woman.
- Meditation for a Mindful Mama Alinka at Baby Web guides you through her research on the science of meditation, its numerous benefits, and presents to you a life changing meditation exercise.
- The Wild Within Naturemummy at Motherhood: My Latest Adventure reflects on the soothing qualities of wild places.
- Nature’s Lessons in Mindfulness Tat at Mum in Search wants to bring the same mindfulness that comes so easily in nature to her relationships.
- On Manicured Nature: We Roam in Small Spaces Featherstory at The Aniweda Dream shares her gratitude for her limited natural settings and her plans to expand her children's experience with the natural world.
- Garden (Time Out) Meditation Do you ever need a time out for yourself? Amy at Anktangle finds that during a difficult parenting moment, taking pause to spend a few minutes outside is just the thing she needs to be able to experience renewed patience, focus, and energy.
- Nature Makes Me a Better Mother Terri at Child of the Nature Isle could not imagine parenting without Mother Nature.
- The Healing Power of Sunshine Karen at Playful Planet shares her experiences of reneweal in the natural world.
- Natural History Kenna at A Million Tiny Things gets out into nature, 200 years ago, and isn't sure she likes it there.
- Nurtured by Nature Darcel at The Mahogany Way shares with us how being in nature helps her feel centered and connected.
- Mindfulness and Nature Zoie at TouchstoneZ explores the connection between mindfulness and the natural world.
- A Sense of Awe and Wonder Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares the feeling she never fails to get from the natural world and how it guides her to the mindfulness she craves.