The exquisite art of doing nothing

 

grace on rock 4

Listening for the sounds of nature

Life can be rich without riches.  And it can be full without a cupboard overflowing with toys or a drawer stuffed with computer games.

In 2017, it will be 16 years since I became a mother.  Whilst I was overjoyed at having a healthy baby boy, followed closely by a beautiful little girl just 18 months later, I still recall feeling a crushing sense of responsibility and vulnerability during the early months of their lives.

In an instant my life had shifted from looking after just me, to being responsible for the physical, spiritual and emotional health of two young babies. The prospect of this seemed positively overwhelming.  How on earth could I guide them through the complexities of life? I then realized simplicity was key.  My childhood had been simple.  Why shouldn’t theirs?  As they grew and developed, I quickly learned that there was no need to provide them with every whiz-bang bit of technology or fill their days to bursting with structured play, formal learning or a plethora of toys & games.

europe junejuly 2006 008

Hunting for magical creatures amongst the daisies

Instead, I decided to steep their formative years in experiences that were simple but coated with a layer of fun and wonder.  Who better to help me with this than Mother Nature?  She’s a brilliant, patient teacher and children are such willing students.  She has an inexhaustible “props” box from which kids can draw to devise their own imaginative play.  And so I began regularly turfing my children outside to find their own fun, to learn at their own pace and they rewarded me by doing this in spades.

Importantly I also wanted them to discover the value of doing nothing; understanding that with that comes the ability to learn how to unplug and just be.  This, because it’s an instant antidote to stress and offers them the tools to manage anxiety when it (and it will) pops up unexpectedly.

If children have just one adult in their life who is willing to invest them with a sense of wonder whenever they step outside their front door, they will live an enriched life and enjoy a lifelong connection to nature.

Rough 'n tumble in the back garden

Rough ‘n tumble in the back garden

With the rush and busyness of life, are we forgetting to teach our children how to do nothing and enjoy it?  Are we breeding (within them) an expectation that their lives have to be a series of WOW moments?  I tend to think so.

Kids WANT to spend time outside.  So let them at it and they’ll find their own fun.  That’s a promise.

Until next time…

Caro and Co

Caro and Co

For more tips, advice and ideas on how to find wonder in all you do, pick up a copy of my new my book Caro & Co ~ Helping Kids find Wonder in the Everyday, published by Sally Milner Publishing. You can buy it via the link in my sidebar above or at all good bookstores and online. For interview opportunities please contact Jackie Evans on 0407 776 222 or jep.pub@bigpond.net.au

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