I went on a family journey over the March Break, with a family of 5, my parents, my boys and husband. We all tucked in tight in a medium sized cottage, with planned meals, snow gear, games, puzzles, cards, poker lol and a couple of movie nights with popcorn.
At our cottage in the winter, we must gather water from the lake. This year we retrieved it from the basement where it was plenty. The snow this year was similar to ones we had years ago, offering many flooding possibilities. lol
We lined up all our little people to gather wood for the fire and filled up home depot buckets for flushing; filling pots on the wood stove for washing dishes and hands.
There were only a couple complaints but each of them found purpose in their tasks and worked together to get the jobs done. Once they were finished, they were off tobogganing, getting boots stuck in what we called “land mines” from how deep the snow was. We played hockey and soccer on the ice and some snowmobile runs around the cottage.
When everyone was drenched with sweat or soaked right through from the snow, they returned in to hang their items around the fire, with help or reminders, until it was time to go out again.
We all took turns making meals, while the kids played board games, wrestled on the bed or learned poker from Grandpa and the Dad’s. What I was really present to was the flow that came in living communally. Both of us mothers there, took this opportunity to be electronic free, besides a couple family movie nights. Without the wifi around us, the routine of turning to screen vs outdoors or playing with one another, it was interesting how very little they asked for it & how we all found a peaceful flow.
I am in no way, putting down screen time or saying I want our family to become pioneers, I am just present to how good our bodies felt after being away from screen time, wifi and continuous time checking. We were outdoors most of the time and sharing present moments with the people around us.
We all slept really good because we got lots of outdoor time, playing or doing chores/jobs around the cottage. We had time to share feelings, thoughts and ideas with others, shared gratitude at each meal time and took a nap when the opportunity arose.
I returned to the city feeling grounded, at peace and aware that I want to sustain this feeling.
Through my 24 hour transition I became aware of something.
I am not linear, nor will I ever be. Are we humans really designed to be that way?
Did you know there is no straight line in nature?
Yet if we are living changing beings, like nature, how can we function in such linear ways?
Time, routines, expectations call for it, creating stress, in-tense and unhappiness.
So why do I share this?
I wish to illuminate the possibility of choosing what to invest our time in.
Surrender into the illusion that we need to have it all figured out, in place and perfect all the time.
That outside is a gateway to health, sharing household tasks, responsibilities and being honest with each other grows awareness, team work and wellness.
Can we create boundaries, time limits and investments that nurture our bodies, mind and soul?
I know it can happen quickly, the routines, demands and competition to keep up, it can run the show.
I recognize with these stressors, my shoulders become high, my neck is tight, my jaws feel clenched and my mind begins to chatter and fill up. Then I try to run the track to keep up and numb the tensions.
What happens in your body?
What does your mind keep looping?
How can we create balance?
These are some ways that we bring team work, balance and fun into our home.
See what resonates with you.
Chore list- kids/adults can pick from each week ensuring healthy change
Dance parties- move energy out even when I’m cooking
Timers- electronics happen at consistent times of day for 1/2 hr each kid options are regulated.
We also use timers when space is needed to realign with ourself in a quiet place, unless the children choose to on their own.
Outdoors- letting go of all the to dos and just getting outside to play, breathe, stretch, walk or listen
Routine- taking care of our own beds, clothes, bags, lunches and dinner plates.
Naps- even if it’s 15-20 mins while kids have quiet time or screen time, naps rejuvenate and my body looks forward to them.
Journal- brain dumps, they don’t need to make sense, just get it out! Better out than in.
Cooking- kids help in the kitchen, it's a good distraction while we catch up on the day or what’s happening on the inside, with partner, child, family member or a friend over the phone.
Exercise- I sleep well when my body is tired & I feel strong when I’ve released tension and create serotonin
Learn- pick something to learn, change is always happening, learning new things gives us something to strive for, talk about or focus positive energy into.
Gratitude- dinner table is a time to share what we appreciate, a beautiful person shared with me the ROSE BUD exercise. You share the THORN in your day (painful or unpleasant) BUD for tomorrow (something you look forward to tomorrow) ROSE in your day (beautiful or happy part of your day)
Creative outlet- singing, painting, drawing, building anything that gets you into the creative flow. At the dinner table we play WOULD YOU RATHER which can bring in some laughs and great turn taking.
We all have basic needs, in our core.
As Rafi sings in his song: “All we really need is a song in our heart, food in our bellies and love in our family”. Perhaps this isn’t the case for everyone and each of us has a different life story, situation, experience, yet at our core, these simple basic needs are what we truly need.
Remember I don’t have it all figured out, it’s ok to build awareness, try new tools and find a way back to the basics. This Earth is counting on us to honour ourselves, find balance within the rat race and simplify our lives so that we can enjoy more of our natural state.
Happiness. Curiosity. Love.
Woman, Wife, Mother and Intuitive. Consciously evolving with all of nature and humanity.