You’ll be asked during the yayamamas Guided Journals to think about, evaluate, and write about your family’s values and goals a lot. These can be ever changing. This week looks specifically at how nature fits in with your family values and goals.
Think about your family’s values. What are they? Make a list of them. Do any of the items include an appreciation of nature or being outside? Do any of them include valuing time to de-stress?
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney
Being outside is as essential to the human spirit as water and food are to the human body. Make a commitment to yourself, your children, and your family to make experiencing nature a priority. Write about it. What do you need to commit? What do your kids need to commit? How do you feel about this commitment? What do you need to make it sustainable?
“Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.” – Paulo Coelho
We are constantly fed the lie that parenting is supposed to be convenient, that if we buy this baby product or do this thing our lives will be easier, better, and just convenient. I’ve asked many, many parents to name one thing that is “convenient” about parenting or motherhood. No one has ever given me an answer. That’s because there is nothing convenient about having children. It’s not supposed to be about convenience. Mothering is about connection. It’s a relationship, a journey with ups and downs…but it always comes back around to our connection with our child. Write down your thoughts on this. Have you aimed for convenience? Have you fallen for the illusion of convenience? (I know I have). What do you feel parents need to focus on instead of convenience? What real tools or ideas do you rely on as a parent in your relationship efforts? Does nature or being outside appear anywhere in those tools or ideas? If so, where? If not, do you think outside could have a place in those tools and ideas?
“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” – Herodotus
Doing an honest analysis of yourself, how much do you feel you live in a virtual world of devices? Are you able to look at and analyze the difference between your life online (social media, video games, tv shows, movies, etc.) and your life offline? How much time do you spend in each? Are you happy with the balance between the two? Can you see that nature does not exist in the virtual realm? Do you use nature in your offline life to balance out the lack of nature in your online life? Write about it.
“Man must live, not only exist; he must do, not merely be; he must grow, not just vegetate.” – Spencer W. Kimball (Miracle of Forgiveness)
There is a notion that the most resilient adults were also resilient as kids; specifically, they were children who went outside in all types of weather. What do you think of this notion? Does it ring true to you? How resilient are you? How much did you go outside as a kid? Did you go out in all types of weather? How resilient are your kids? How much do they go outside? Are they okay with or afraid to go outside in all kinds of weather?
“Turns out, the most beautiful things in my life were never on my to-do list.” – Rachel Hollis
Take a page from your kids. Watch how they play and interact with nature. Watch how they let go or interact with nature and give their version a try.
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.” – Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Recap this month. Recap the last 6 months. How much time did you spend outside? Did you meet your goals? Did you make an effort to be outside more? How did your efforts affect your kids? Do you see a shift in yourself? Your children? Your family as a whole? Write about it without judgment.
“The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.” – Elizabeth Gilbert