So this weekend I did another walk in my favorite nature park. It seems that the older I get, the more I appreciate connecting to the earth, air, water, trees and the beauty all around us when we are outside. I used to take Michael on these nature walks with me, but now he is more into walking in heavier traffic areas as he loves cars and navigating. But once in a while I have managed to lure him to come with me on a walk in a small forest, near a lake or a park where we could then throw a ball back and forth and talk. One particular memory I had at the beginning of last fall was Michael having an intense anxiety attack. We got into the car and I brought him to a favorite park of mine and convinced him to try a walk in the forest as nothing else was working to calm him down. Within five minutes of walking and talking about his fears, I felt something release from his body. Tension seemed to evaporate. He then told me that he felt calmer, more relaxed and better about the problem. I know the combination of exercise, talking to a loved one AND being outside helped, but I still remember a magic in how quickly he calmed down.
It’s been a challenge getting the tween Michael to come with me on nature walks. On a positive note, it means I get to enjoy them alone, at my own pace, and go to both the forest AND by the lake to center my thoughts and mood. Both places help me depending on what I am trying to figure out and where I am in my life. I decided in 2019 that I would try and do regular nature walks, preferably once a week or bi monthly on the weekend weather permitting of course, in all seasons. What has happened? Well, it has transformed me physically like meditation has done psychologically and spiritually. When you release endorphins and learn to live in the moment, it can only help you feel better about your life and the lives of those around you. You begin to parent from a whole other perspective. Also on those days when your child is giving you a hard time, you will have more energy to handle the stress. When you lose it, you will know it is due to not centering yourself in the moment, finding the peace inside that you find when in nature, and seeing your child’s struggle from that same place. We all want to do well, kids and adults alike. It’s important we connect to ourselves first and foremost to help bring out peace in others.
Exceptional Parents, do you spend time outdoors in nature alone and with your children? If you do not, why not try a short walk to a park, a walk around the block, and even just taking a drive and then getting out of the car and sitting by a lake or a beautiful green view. It will do more for your spirit than anything else. It will help you see the wonder of what is around you, and that you, I, and our children are part of this wonder. Together, we can all become whole inside if we nurture experiencing the beauty around us when we live in the present moment and appreciate the beauty in front of us. Until next time.