August 22, 2017 by magicalmothering
Lessons From Nature Part 1: Play
As Autumn has just begun the squirrels are seen running here and there, darting to and fro. They do not look stressed out, overwhelmed and exhausted. They look playful.
The birds are singing happily, gathering up the bugs in all their abundance (This will be in part 3) being completely in the moment.
Life is meant to be playful. Harvesting, picking, squishing, canning, baking, cooking: it’s all magic and it’s all play. Life is not supposed to be so serious. We’re just supposed to simply enjoy the moment we are in experiencing, the feelings, the smells, the touches, that we get to experience by being alive! That is where the magic happens. And it can all be done in a playful, exciting, magical way rather than feeling like we have to get it done and we’re on a time crunch.
How often do we go somewhere to have fun, but the whole time we are complaining about one thing or another. This actually teaches our children to complain and not be in the moment.
What is one way to stay present until we get to what we are planning to do?
I love to sing silly songs or make up stories. Often in the car if the kids start asking “when will we be there” for the 45th time, I know that it is time to mix it up. I will start singing the silliest song I can think of. Then they have to choose the words that come next, and soon we are all laughing and in the moment. Playing! Being! Living!
This can be done anywhere. You can also create stories to help catapult them into their own imaginations and play.
When I look at nature I see it as playful. I see the branches dancing in the wind. The birds singing and creating happy homes. The grass tries to reach up to touch the sunshine, just for fun! There is no end to the playful ness that happens in nature.
When I go into nature I try to be very mindful of not bringing too much stuff. I like to bring a bucket and shovel, but if not I allow nature to provide the play equipment.
Today at the lake we used pieces of wood as our bowls and plates to play restaurant. It was so easy and effortless to make some lake pies. My son was being very silly with making up the most disgusting names he could for the names of his dishes and loving it very much.
We don’t have only play the games our children want, we can sit and draw in the sand. Collect rocks. Learn the names of plants, bugs, creatures. There is endless play, or what some people call learning, that can happen in nature.
When we see life through the lens of play, it suddenly starts lightening up. We see even things such a paying the bills, washing the dishes and cleaning the house as play. I used to love to pretend to do all of these things as a child, as I am sure you did too, so why not bring your inner child along to have some fun during the times you don’t feel like playing 😉 This has helped me connect in a more realistic way to my inner child, is inviting her to play with me. Especially in the activities that feel more like “I have to” then “this is so fun!”
What is one activity that you loved to do as kid, but find yourself dreading as a mom?
Find more moments to play and be present. This will create a life that feels more magical and less overwhelming!
Share with me what you are going to play this week!