For a long time, I felt like I was floating through life, I was letting important moments come and go and not realizing how important they were until they were gone. I blinked and my beautiful little babies turned into toddlers, and then into young women. Once I realized that my obsession to control everything didn’t apply to time, I decided I didn’t want to miss out! I wanted to remember the important moments and I wanted to be in them fully. I needed to be more GROUNDED! Not grounded like when I was young and wrecked my Mom’s car without a driver’s license grounded, but grounded as in connected to the present moment.
It made me wonder what grounds me? What brings me back to myself? What allows me space to have both of my feet on the ground and know exactly what is happening right in that moment? I realized that when I would start to feel afloat again, I was naturally drawn to go outside and be in nature. I know that when I am in nature I am calm, I am at peace, and I am aware. Having grown up in Montana, my family and I were always camping, fishing, exploring, wandering, and finding beauty in everything around us. We didn’t travel into the city because there wasn’t one, we headed straight for the mountains, rivers, or Yellowstone Park. My Dad rebuilt old FJ40 Land Cruisers and many weekends were spent driving these old treasures up the sides of mountains on roads less traveled, possibly only traveled by the crazy people! Sometimes the doors would be missing off of these old cruisers and my Dad would remind me, “you cannot be brave unless you are afraid”. This reminder would usually come as I looked straight down the mountain with only a 1960’s something style seat belt holding me into a doorless vintage vehicle on the top of a Montana mountain. Nonetheless, I LOVED it! Smelling the fresh air, listening to the river, hearing the birds, seeing the butterflies, finding the wild horses, feeling the wild wind, laying under a night sky full of a gazillion stars more amazing than you could ever imagine while the campfire crackled and marshmallows dripped down my chin from probably my fifth s’more of the evening.
Maybe it is because of how I grew up but, it is finding moments in nature again and again that bring me back to the realization of how amazing this earth and this life is. Nature reminds me to slow down. It reminds me that I am a part of something way bigger than myself, and that it feels way better to be happy rather than mad or sad all the time. So what if the puppy pooped on the floor again, so what if my girls didn’t put their laundry away, so what if I am not as skinny as I want to be, SO WHAT! Taking moments to be in nature, to breathe deeply, to look around, and practice gratitude for all that I have to be thankful for literally brings me back to earth!