This morning as I headed outside to feed my wild friends who live in my yard, I noticed something. I noticed that I felt lighter as soon as I stepped out into nature.
A smile automatically and almost always just naturally spreads across my face.
I have noticed this numerous times before, so it is nothing new, but I’ll tell you, it never gets old and it always feels good!
If you haven’t done so before, this could be a fun thing to experiment with.
The next time your child is having a meltdown, because there just might be another meltdown in the life of your little one, intentionally step outside with them.
Invite their frustrated little self out into the natural world and observe what shifts in them.
If they are really frustrated, it could take a minute or two for them to decide to drop their ‘tude or their armor.
Turning it back to you, the adult, when you are feeling anxious or irritable, I invite you to consciously take note of the sensations in your own body.
Are your shoulders crunched up to your ears?
Is your jaw set and clinched?
Are you breathing easily?
Is your face all scrunched up or is it fairly relaxed?
How busy, frazzled or tangled does your mind feel?
Then, if at all possible, just step outside.
You could go anywhere that nature is present. If this happens when you are at work and you work in the city, a park will do.
A walk around a city block that has a few trees lining the street with some birds will be just fine.
You get the picture. Just give yourself a few minutes to step out somewhere you can hear, see, feel and physically be connected to the natural world.
Feel the wind, sun or shade on your skin.
Breathe it in.
Listen to the chatter of birds.
Watch the friskiness of the curious squirrels.
Smell any fragrance coming from the natural world around you.
Can you smell the flowers or blossoms on the trees and bushes?
Are you close to the ocean and able to smell the saltiness of the ocean's spray?
Maybe there is some freshly mown grass near you or you can breathe in the scent of the soil or damp earth after a rain.
All of these experiences will vary based on where you live.
At the same time, there will always be something to which you and your little can orient. Experiencing these things with curiosity and letting your guards down allow your body, mind and spirit to decompress.
As you watch your little one, as you bear witness to your own internal shifts, what do you notice?
What does you little one gravitate towards, explore, sit by, jump into or play with?
What about you?
Have fun with this as the possibilities are endless!