Posts tagged nature
Tap Into Your Natural Energy

When do you feel most alive?

It seems crazy to me that we have to think so hard about what makes us vibrate with positive energy, and yet until I took the time to focus inward and become aware, I didn’t have an answer to this.

I know from experience it is possible not to know. In my case I was always looking ahead and had lost my ability to connect to the present moment, and with it, my ability to discern when my mind, body + spirit needed rejuvenating.

Along the way my answer to the question has changed as I have grown. I used to think that helping others energized me, and it still does get me fired up at times, but I also recognize it can drain me if the person I am helping isn't ready to make real changes. If someone isn't ready, no amount of “helping” in the world can create forward motion. And when a person relies on a outside situation like helping someone else move forward to energize them, they are giving away their power to that outward focus. That is what I was doing. And it meant I was on a roller coaster. The kind of alive I am asking about in my original question needs to come from inside you, not conditional to a person or a situation outside of you.

So, when do I feel optimum, whole, balanced, and buzzing with intention?

I feel most alive when I have spent time in nature. Walking or sitting in the forest is my favorite, with my beloved trees.

How did I forget how important time outside was for me? I knew this as a kid. I spent endless hours of alone time in the woods daydreaming in the shade, searching for rocks in the tree-lined river, netting turtles out of the tree rimmed pond, walking the tree filled paths around our family cabin, or cross country skiing through the snow covered woods. I let my grown up life and responsibilities push aside my need for connection with the earth.

Yet a few years back even as I began to recognize my need to spend more time outside, I began walking with someone else, or I wore headphones and listened to music. Not exactly the best way for me to be present to the experience of being outside. Headphones silenced the sounds of the "now", giving me way too much time in my little bubble to overthink and talking with someone while walking isn’t very mindful either. 

What I needed was to tune into the sounds of the world around me, not to continue to tune them out. Noticing things like the breeze rustling through the top of the trees, hearing the birds chattering to each other from nearby branches or the scurrying of little feet in the forest, are what bring me back to the present moment. The sun on my face, wind in my hair, and quiet time with the trees grounds me, balances me and rejuvenates me.

I encourage you to find your own personal fountain of youth by tuning into what makes you feel more alive. Maybe next time your energy is low or leaking,  you should try taking a walk in nature and see if my solution works for you? If not, figure out what your own personal recipe to rejuvenation is. Once you uncover what fuels you make it a priority to do more of it!

Simple Beauty

Terri Spaulding

It bothers me every time I realize how many years I let pass by without really being present.

I used to live each day focused on how much I needed to accomplish and how many items I crossed off my to do list. That is how I measured my worth. It meant that I was always looking ahead -- and missing all the little moments of my life.

Recently I was asked to give a piece of advice to a soon-to-be new mom (who reminds me a lot of the overachiever I used to be) and the first thing I wanted to tell her was to enjoy every. single. moment. with her child, her husband & her family. I wished in words to impress upon her how important it is to stop planning each moment of her life and just live it.

I once so needed that advice.

But I wonder if  I would have listened if someone had tried to slow me down. Probably not. I think it was a lesson that I needed to learn. The hard way.

Looking back on my mothering years I see that the moments I tried to make matter --didn't. Not at all. My attempts at special moments simply flowed into the rest of the moments of their lives and were quickly forgotten (or remembered in all the wrong ways.)

Terri Spaulding

The moments my kids remember are the unplanned, seemingly insignificant moments, some of them I'd just as soon wish they'd forget. Not my best moments. Not at all. Not the scrapbook memories I was shooting for, the "perfect" mother, "perfect" family moments.

They remember the actual unplanned off-my-script moments.

Like the time when I was sharing a story about a school field trip we had recently taken while attempting to say the word "sugarbush" with a mouthful of salad. I ended up spitting ranch dressing all down the front of my green fleece. Recently, within the span of a week or two,  both of my boys independently recounted that story to a friend. This happened years ago.

They recall the time I once let fly a huge swear word while driving the am school carpool after a chunk of metal flew off the car in front of us on the highway and I ran it over it. They still laugh and reminisce about the inappropriateness of the word I shouted.

Those are not really the moments I would hope they'd remember. 

Things like the tradition of cutting down our yearly Christmas tree, or our week of family vacation at the lake, or how clean our house was, the uniqueness of the homemade Christmas cards we did every year, or the countless other things I attempted to do to leave lasting memories just don't matter to them.

What they remember is being in the real moments of life. The moments that brought a laugh or a cry, a scream or a smile ---good and sometimes not-so-good, unplanned and inappropriate....but memorable. The little moments that make up a life.

I'm so ready to smell the roses. Every. Single. Minute. And to teach others the importance of doing so.

Yesterday I went for a walk to clear my head; even though it was one of those days where rain (hard rain) was imminent. I started off without my camera and am so glad I changed my mind.

Water droplets on fallen leaves has to be the coolest thing I have been obsessed with photographing in a long time.

When I look through the lens of my camera I am completely lost in the moment. In the simple beauty that is right in front of me. It is beyond fantastic to be able to finally truly see the beauty in all the simple moments.

Terri Spaulding

Terri Spaulding

Terri Spaulding

Are you still missing what is right in front of you?