What Nature Has Taught Me


>>2998296730_c0952169be_zby Kassaundra Shanette Lockhart


Women do a lot. We rear children. We support and encourage our husbands. We provide shoulders to lean on. We cheer at games. We fill our homes with love. We cook. We clean. We fundraise. We plan. We prepare. We pray. We work. We teach. Is there anything we don’t do?

The answer is yes. We don’t do enough for ourselves. We are often so focused on making sure everyone else has everything they need that we often don’t leave enough time to focus and nurture our well-being. It’s time we make some changes.

I love being outside. This time of the year is one of my favorites as barren trees give way to fresh, crisp green leaves. Bright buds spring into full bloom to enlighten our yards with a beautiful rainbow of colors. And the laughter of children using their imagination to entertain themselves brings a smile to my face that I can’t contain.

Often when I am outdoors, I spend a vast amount of time in observation. If I’m on my front porch, I focus on watching and listening to nature surrounding me. If I’m at a park, I people watch as I observe all the critters in their natural habitats. One thing I almost always see if I‘m at a park is a woman rapidly tapping on her cellular device. It’s a painful thing to watch.

I find myself wishing that my fellow woman would put her device in her purse and allow herself to live in that moment, to take in all that’s going on around her. I used to be someone who was glued to my cell phone. No matter where I was, if there was a break in the action I would be pulling my phone out to see who’s checked in where or uploaded what.

Being continuously connected has become a way of life so it’s often hard for us to unplug for fear of missing out. But what would you really be missing out on? Does it change the course of our day knowing your friend has gone to Chipotle for lunch?

A few years ago, I was sitting on my porch thinking. I had left my cell phone inside because I was having one of those days. Initially, I went outside to voice my thoughts about what was going on. As I begin to pour out, I started taking notice of what was happening around me. The trees were standing firm as they had become deeply rooted in the Earth. The sun was doing its part to provide me with natural vitamin D as it shined its rays. The grass was bursting through the surface making me eager to take off my shoes and walk barefoot.

My attention then turned to the animals that were frolicking outside. I noticed how unbothered they seemed. Their faces held no expressions of worry or concern. They weren’t frantic and they often seemed to be enjoying the moment. I continued to watch as they allowed the breeze to blow through their wings and fur as they relaxed in the sun.

In that moment, I decided I wanted to be more like them. More at ease, freer to enjoy life and all of its precious moments. When you see us women, you often see us frantic, going from one thing to another, trying to check off the things on our to do list, driven by the devices in our hand.

Ladies, it’s time we relax. We can learn a lot from our furry friends. We deserve to have time to unplug and unwind, daily. We deserve to have time where we can get lost in our thoughts without having to be concerned about what we haven’t done. We deserve to have time where we can just sit and smile as we watch a squirrel happily run across a power line with dinner. They know how important it is to take a break and it’s time we learned the same thing. So get outside, breathe in some fresh air and let nature teach you a lesson. Or two.

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