Keeping It Quick While Circling the Seasons

Hi all. School is back in session, making this a shorter, much busier week. All our snow days threw off the report card schedule, so things have to be done a li’l bit faster. (Annoying when you have to use the district’s network to get some work done. I’m not a fan of bringing the day job home, but I could have paced some stuff out. Just sayin’.)

Anyway, I’m a huge fan of spring and have been wanting to rerun my second-ever blog post for a while now.  Back in that day  I was ridiculously green and afraid to hit PUBLISH. Now you lovely, loyal faithful, who are kind enough to show up post after post, are subject to anything that comes through the fingers. Bless you. Bless you.

Rather than subject you to the whole post from May 2009, I decided to include here only the part that connects to writing, as well as to many things in life in general. I think of this often:

Several years ago my husband and I purchased a cottage about three hours away from my home. Built on an old Christian campground situated in the woods, we have access to it year round, but really use it only six months because the pipes supplying water are too superficial to not freeze during the winter months. This translates into having running water from mid-April through mid-October, which means during our travels we get to watch nature as it moves through three seasons.

Summer is always gorgeous but pretty consistent in its green. Fall is positively glorious in its array of golds, oranges, browns, reds, maroons, yellows and even some shades of purple. Spring is traditionally known for its pinks, lilacs and paler greens. What caught my attention, however, on one of our spring trips out there, were the very, very early spring colors. I was surprised at how many paler versions of fall colors I saw.

That took my thoughts in a totally different direction, to a workshop given by Jane Porter. She opened her talk by stating that the beginning of a book should always point to the ending. Some books are absolutely blatant in that. Peruse the opening of Phillippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl as an excellent example of such. And everywhere in nature I happen to look, I see other ready illustrations, ranging from as relatively simple as the life cycle of a leaf to as complex as the stages of a human life.

Okay. ‘Nuf said on that. Thank you for indulging me.

Just for fun, here are links to two great photos I came across this week:

Love this one!  (Cat and/or animal lovers will too. Too cute!)

For the tennis fans. (It’s not Rafa. But it’s a great photo just the same, lol.)

A final aside: I’m excited to be presenting on point-of-view to a teacher-friend’s fifth graders this Friday. Wish me luck!

Have a great one, folks.

Joanna

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The Nature Effect

Hello friends, 

Here’s to the beginning of another work week. Hope it finds you well and ready to go! Wish we could start every day of the year in early June. I love when the birds wake me before the alarm clock goes off and it’s actually light out; makes getting up so much easier when the sun did so first!

For the tennis fans out there, I’m anxiously awaiting the completion of the French Open finals. Play got suspended due to rain and called due to impending darkness. Tradition or not, shouldn’t these facilities install lights for night-time play? And to continue play at 7 AM EST kind of stinks at my end. Can’t imagine the Djok and Rafa wrapping it up in time for me to get to work on time. (Then again, if they do, it means Rafa won King-of-the-Clay title #7…)

Okay, this just in from my good friend and positive living expert, Diane Lang. Love her stuff so I always share!

          

The Nature Effect

This is the time of year to take everything outside and reap the benefits of nature.

Nature brings out the best in us. I have discussed with some of my clients who have Seasonal disorder the benefits of sunlight (with sunscreen on).  When we spend time outdoors in the sun our serotonin levels are up which elevates our mood. Vitamin D, which we can get from the sun, will help keep our bones healthy, help prevent cancer, keep our immune system up and affects our moods in a positive way.

Exercise and the outdoors- we know that exercise improves our mental health. It increases our endorphins while reducing our stress hormones. Outdoor exercise is more beneficial than indoor exercise. Being outdoors improves our self-esteem, moods and inspires us. We become fascinated with the beauty of nature, which sparks our creativity. Nature inspires us to move. We become connected to our spirit when we are outdoors. (Water also brings a calming effect so if you can take, a long walk around a lake or at the beach. For all you parents, nature is very soothing to both kids and adults. So take the family outdoors for some fresh air, a long walk, a hiking trip, swimming at the lake, etc.)

* Bonus- nature helps us recover quicker from chronic illness.

Relaxation – when we are outdoors we tend to relax, refuel and recharge. Being outdoors boosts our energy levels and wakes up our senses. When we are outdoors we can hear the birds sing, hear the sound of the ocean waves, smell the salt from the ocean. We even taste our food better when we are outdoors; we tend to eat slower and enjoy each bite. Go outdoors barefoot and take a walk through the cool grass or on the hot sand at the beach. Being outdoors gives us a momentary boost of happiness, which can last 24-48 hours.

Nature and work: If we go outdoors during our lunch break—even for only 20-30 minutes—you will come back feeling refueled, inspired and more creative. It will help improve productivity. We know that even sitting by a large window that lets us look outside at the trees and grass helps us to feel more creative and be more productive.

Being in the moment – when we spend time with nature we connect to our spirit. We let go of the fast paced world and go inside of ourselves.

As an exercise: go outdoors and sit in silence. After a little while you will feel more at peace and hear your inner voice. Lately, I have been sitting outdoors near a corn field and the silence brings such a sense of peace and contentment. After a few minutes, you can feel your breath and hear your soul. It’s quite an incredible experience.

For me, being outdoors makes me feel alive. I feel like everything in nature that surrounds me is alive. Nature sparks something within me to feel love all around me. I can’t explain it in better words then that. Nature = love!

For more information please visit my website: www.dlcounseling.com or come join me at my workshops:

Tuesday, June 12 at3pm- Living your best life

Warren Community College, NJ

908-835-2333

Thursday, June 14th at 7pm- The art of self-care

Doylestown Hospital,  PA

215-345-2657

Friday, June 15 at 7pm- Letting go of anger

Mystical World, Lyndhurst, NJ

201-896-3999

Tuesday, June 19 at 6pm – Positive Parent

Burlington County College, NJ

609-877-4520

Thursday, June 21 at 7pm – Happiness – Living an optimistic lifestyle

Doylestown Hospital, PA

215-345-2657

For those of you who live in the NY/NJ/PA area, taking the time to listen to one of Diane’s workshops is worth it. She’s an excellent speaker and a lot of fun, too!

I will be sure to check in with all of you later this week–have a great day, everyone. Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you care to, please click a SHARE button below as you go. That extra second goes a long way! 

TTFN and have a great day,

Joanna