Monday, May 25, 2015

In The Dirt

by Carol

"Sit beside a mountain stream, see her waters rise.
 Listen to the pretty sound of music as she flies."
Paul McCartney
"Mother Nature's Son"

Have a listen while reading....
The Beatles - "Mother Nature's Son"
(right click and follow)

I have been hugely busy at work lately, and when I finally arrive home, my mind is still with my work. I don't work with numbers or products, these are real people I am working with - how can I just set aside their struggles? How can I not mourn their losses? And yet it's that old adage about using the oxygen mask before helping your child - if I don't feed myself, I won't be creative enough to find a solution for them. Yet, somehow this week, running out the door to take a walk after work became one more thing to cross off my list, rather than the relaxing interlude that's meant to bring me back to my true self at the end of the day. So, I'm wondering how to combat that? I've been reading about meditation, and relaxation and my goal this weekend is to put some of what I'm reading into practice.

We all know we should walk, and deep breathe, etc - but what to use on the days when you just can't? I thought about times when I've gone through crises and I considered that when a real, undeniable crisis hits, you find the time for everything you need to do. Suddenly, you have the time to get to the hospital, or to look for a new job, or to administer medication, or just to get that procrastinated stress-inducing project done. Why do we need a crisis to see that?

I think part of the route to success here is to believe in your own control. Don't underestimate yourself. Stop attending to the fear and anxiety that stop up your power like a bad drain, and pay attention to the other spheres of your life. I recently discovered this website, and I love their quote:  "peak performance is an inside job." Their analogy is that "you are the pilot of your own life." After your pre-flight check list (basically ruling out medical issues causing your distractions) go to your "emergency first aid kit."

   1. Deep breathing and aerobic movement bring clarifying oxygen to your brain
   2. Listen to music. It engages a whole different section of your brain to bring calm to the system.
   3. Look at or engage in art - your brain holds great  resourcefulness in the area that processes art.
   4. Being in or looking at nature shifts your brain to neutral  and allows open consideration of new     things.

We came from nature - our bodies are attuned to nature subconsciously, even when we are not consciously listening. We are all about our "fight or flight" reflex and it's relationship with our stresses. Consider the following quote from a wonderful resource on the effects of nature and technology on your brain and body: Your Brain on Nature by Selhub and Logan. They say that playing outside as children brought us;

 "The fragrance of pine and flowers; the sounds of rushing creeks,waterfalls,and ocean waves breaking; and the sites of fireflies and other interesting animals captured our minds. As time passed, our responsibilities and adulthood pursuits left less time for nature immersion.....Our individual stressors, personal anxieties, and the overwhelming demands of contemporary life would ultimately bring us back to the medicinal aspects of nature."

 I encourage you not to wait until you need nature's "medicinal aspects." Run to Mother Nature now before the crisis hits!

Now,if you will excuse me, it's Saturday morning at the beginning of a 3 day weekend, and I am going to get myself to the nursery and then come home and dig in the dirt - and my camera will be with me, and I plan to play my Eagles CD on my porch speakers. I hope to complete my day tired and dirty, and full of vitamin D from being in the sun. And I plan to flop into bed at the end of the day and fall effortlessly into a fulfilling sleep! What are your plans today?


Dotti said...

You've hit the proverbial nail on the head, Carol: believing that we are in control of our actions, choices, etc. This is particularly true when we're still in the workforce but even as a retiree, I often struggle to have complete control of my activities. And what you say about getting back to nature is so true. Even now that the warm weather is with us to stay for the next few months and garden season is in full swing, I find my mental health is, well, much healthier. And always, we must feed our creative spirits. It's good for us as well as those around us. Good post, Carol, and I hope your long weekend brought every thing you wished for.

leigh said...

I so identify with your post Carol! Wonderful advice to go to nature first. And listening to The Eagles always helps đŸ˜€

Anonymous said...

Great post, Carol! I can truly identify with my life and nature as one. One with the universe that is constantly changing yet staying true to ones self! I love the beetles and it was a special added touch to this post! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Memorial Day!

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