Mindfulness and Nature

Welcome to the July Mindful Mama Carnival: Mindfulness and Nature

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.

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Nature

Nature (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Sometimes, we just need to be quiet enough inside to be able to hear the outside.

 

Most of us spend our days with a constant chatter going on inside. We think about the things we need to do, things we didn’t finish, and the consequences of these actions. We worry over conversations or imagine how experiences could be different. There’s little time to be quiet and concentrate on what we are doing at that moment.

 

It doesn’t matter what age you are, getting your hands in the dirty, hearing the wind shake the leaves, and feeling the sun on your skin, can bring you back to the present moment, quieting the inner chatter, and bringing about an almost involuntary mindfulness. The natural world is meditation practice. If we allow ourselves the time to stop thinking, we can’t help but be in the present moment.

 

When I am feeling scattered or unfocused, I seek out the natural world. I often go for a walk in the park and find I can’t help myself from feeling more calm and centered. I find that my breathing slows and becomes deeper. At the same time, I feel a greater energy, even if I’m exhausted. Nature nurtures me. If I have my children with me, I notice I am more patient and my words are more kind. I notice they tend to relate to each other with more openness and willingness to cooperate.

 

This, to me, is mindfulness in action. It is our natural state when we don’t fill ourselves with “stuff.” As my friend, Katie shares similar experiences with her children:

 

One of the things about having a 4yo is that she has a LOT of energy, too much to stay pent up inside our very small house. So, now that good weather is finally here, we encourage her to go outside as much as possible.. and she loves it. She’ll spend hours in our back yard, all by herself, digging and I know not what.  She and our housemate (Uncle David) planted cucumber seeds a few weeks ago, and they have a little ritual of going to check on them, to see their growth.  Pretty soon they’re going to need to start weeding… as soon as the cucumber sprouts can be easily distinguished from the weeds.

 

My 18mo loves being outside in different ways.  A fairly new walker (she’s the sort who doesn’t start using a skill til she has it down pat), she’s a bit uncertain on the uneven grass yet.  But there are a few outdoors-only toys that she revels in.. and then there’s the pile of logs (supposedly waiting to be chopped for firewood) that are irresistible to her climber’s instincts.  She picks flowers and either smells them or tries to blow them (like dandelions) – or sometimes both!

 

What is your connection with mindfulness and nature? I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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Mindful Mama Carnival -- Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ Visit The Mindful Mama Homepage to find out how you can participate in the next Mindful Mama Carnival!

On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the handy #MindMaCar hashtag. You can also subscribe to the Mindful Mama Twitter List and Mindful Mama Participant Feed.
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.

16 thoughts on “Mindfulness and Nature

  1. Pingback: Mother Nature Makes me a Better Mother | Earth Schoolers

  2. Pingback: Mother Nature Makes me a Better Mother

  3. Pingback: Mother Nature Makes me a Better Mother | Child of the Nature Isle

  4. beautiful description of connecting with nature! I love the experience with kids and the simplicity they notice that is yet so profound!

  5. Nature nurtures me, too. <3 What a beautiful way to explain it! Thank you for hosting this wonderful carnival again, Zoie.

  6. Getting out and breathing fresh air is an instant mood booster for me. Everything you said about the breathing, and feeling more at peace…so true. This was a great carnival topic. It may take me a while to get through all of the submissions, but I will. Thanks for hosting!

  7. “Mindfulness in action… is our natural state when we don’t fill ourselves with “stuff.”

    Yes, yes – I am always having to pull myself back from stuffing myself full – of food, thoughts, ideas… nature is a great teacher of abundance – and enough, together.

    On another note, great to see a pic of your with your kiddies – you look TOTALLY diff to how I pictured you from your FB pic – you’re blonde and curly – not straight brunette!!

  8. Pingback: Nature’s lessons in mindfulness | Mum in search

  9. I love it how you write about the present moment Zoie. I totally agree that sometimes our thoughts are so much in the past or in the future that we are completely missing our lives which are NOW. Getting balanced through nature is one of the great ways to reconnect with our inner self and truly enjoy life (which is now).

  10. Pingback: Meditation For Mindful Mama | Baby Web

  11. Pingback: Nurtured by Nature | The Mahogany Way

  12. Zoie, you’re so bang on with this post. Whenever I’m having trouble entertaining my kids, I put on the sneakers and head for outdoors. The kids have somewhere inspirational in which to play – and I have my connection to Mother Earth. As you say, “nature nurtures us”.

  13. ‘Involuntary Mindfulness’ – I love that.

    There is nothing that brings me to that place more than the natural world – and I definitely see it in my daughter as well. Thank goodness for such opportunities…especially during the times it isn’t easy to get there any other way.

  14. Oh, man, thanks for the reminder that mindfulness can just be inherent in an activity and doesn’t always have to be conscious. My very best days with my kids are the ones where we all end up outside in the garden together.

I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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