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A Sense of Awe and Wonder

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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English: Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest, near Ot...

Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mindful.

It’s not exactly a term I would use to describe myself. Serene…meditative…peaceful…

Yeah – not so much.

But mindfulness is something I will always strive toward, no matter how long it takes me to get ‘there’ (wherever there ends up being) or how hopeless it often seems. Because those words…mindful, serene, meditative, peaceful…they roll around my tongue like refreshing sips of the coolest, cleanest water.

I’m thirsty for them – I crave them. And while they don’t seem to come naturally to me, it is the natural world that so often gets me to that place of being mindfully fulfilled when nothing else can.

I am in total awe of nature.

I have been blessed to see incredible things in my life…mountains, forests, oceans, rivers, caves, deserts…the list goes on. And so many wonders have been just a taste of what this incredible earth holds. I am in awe of what I’ve seen and in awe of what I have only read about or seen pictures of. For all its faults, this planet we happen to occupy is insanely, breathtakingly awesome.

My memories are filled with the wonder of nature and the peace it has given me. I can close my eyes and see lightning storms over a lonely Mexican mountain road, jungles in Haiti and Central America, California redwoods and sequoias in all their height and majesty.

Just thinking of those times and places makes me want to throw up my arms and laugh, or to bow my head in grateful prayer.

And there is no limit to the experiences we can have in the natural world, almost anywhere we happen to be. I can exclaim in joy when a seed I’ve planted bursts into bloom, or wonder at the soulful eyes of my dog, or gaze in mildly horrified fascination at an insect burrowing in the dirt – and at all of these things and more I simply marvel at how it’s all connected.

I can imagine, too, the glaciers of Antarctica, the jungles of South America, the mountains of Nepal. I dream of seeing all those places and more and they are like a breath of fresh air to my soul.

I don’t take advantage of the natural world as often as I should. I stay indoors when I could be experiencing all I’ve described here. I haven’t always been a good steward of this planet. I can make myself feel envious and bitter when I think I may never get to all the places I want to see.

But above all that, I still believe nature is my ultimate key to mindfulness. In writing this I’ve realized it more than ever, and plan to renew my commitment to take advantage of all that surrounds me in this incredible place. I’m feeling more serene already…

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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.



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9 Responses to “A Sense of Awe and Wonder”

  • Kenna Lee says:

    Yeah–not so much. God I love that. You rock.

  • Yes yes yes. It is often easy to set ou own peace aside, isn’t it? But in nature, it almost can’t be ignored. Great piece. Thanks for sharing.
    Andrea at Tales of Goodness recently posted..A Gardener’s Meditation

  • Terri says:

    Yay I agree the natural world is amazing…even on my tiny island there are hundreds of natural experiences that are awe inspiring and magical and as for the world – wow! The Earth is incredible and I love your appreciation of the wonders that are there from the tiny seed to the most majestic redwood. Wishing you plenty of outdoor nature connection and hope to get mindful together when you come to visit the nature isle!
    Terri recently posted..Mother Nature Makes me a Better Mother

  • I love it how you describe all those wonders of the world, Kelly! Sometimes just realizing what we are part of is enough to feel connected to this majestic Universe. Your post definitely transports the reader to a place of tranquility even if read indoors.
    Alinka @ Baby Web recently posted..Meditation For Mindful Mama

  • Tat says:

    I am committed to taking my children outside every day and some times it’s not what I feel like doing and it’s incredibly hard to get out of the door. But once we are at the park, or the beach, it all changes. I can remember a few times when I stayed indoors when I could have been outside. I can’t remember a single time when I regretted being in nature…
    Tat recently posted..Grateful for snow and rainbows

  • Loving your honesty, loving that you keep it real. Loving this carnival – thanks Kelly x
    Lucy @ dreamingaloudnet recently posted..Lessons from the wise women of the web

  • Thank you for hosting this carnival. Like you, writing my post helped me get back in touch with how much nature really helps me to relax and center myself. The scenes you described sound so beautiful.

  • I am so in agreement with your thoughts… particularly this: “this planet we happen to occupy is insanely, breathtakingly awesome” — Yes it is!!! I recently had some visitors for the weekend and we went for a walk along the cliffs at the ocean one afternoon, a hike the next morning, and a bike ride later that afternoon. It was all through glorious terrain, and all I can think, is “I need to do this more often!”
    Playful Karen recently posted..The Healing Power of Sunshine

  • rani says:

    lovley post! I too am in total awe of nature and it’s ability to heal!

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