Inspiration, mental health, parenting

Family Road Trip Reflections (part 2)

We have been quite off the grid over the last week. As we come back toward civilization and regain cell-service, one word jumps out at me: gratitude.

I won’t lie, pit-toilets aren’t my favorite thing. Trying to stay upbeat and positive for my kids isn’t always easy when I am trying to convince them that pit toilets are “better for the earth”, “totally clean”, “a cool way to camp”, etc. We had two consecutive nights at a primitive site, then two consecutive nights at a less-than clean roadside campground, then two nights a site with great amenities but no electric…

…and I am now able to be so incredibly grateful for a charged phone, a flushing toilet, showers, and food options (pb&j for lunch everyday gets somewhat old ūüėÜ). I desperately hope that my girls are able to touch base with that same gratitude.

My eyes are also grateful for the rich vistas and amazing sights that I have been able to see (especially in contrast to the highway in front of me for the last 4 hours as we travel to our next stop).

My heart is grateful that the US has a National Parks system that protects land and educates the public on the needs for conservation.

I am grateful that my mom was able to come on this trip (yes, she is roughing it and tent-camping right alongside us)!

I am grateful that my husband and I share the same values…we prioritize experiences over items, hidden gems over tourist traps, and believe it is a crucial lesson to pass on to our daughters.

Please enjoy these amazing views from Theodore Roosevelt National Park (our favorite from this trip!) :

Wind Cave National Park:

The Badlands National Park:

Custer State Park/Black Hills, South Dakota

I realize that it may seem harder to be grateful when you aren’t on vacation…however, it is a skill that you can practice and get in touch with amid your daily life. You may find it easier to practice gratitude of big things, but I urge you to also practice gratitude of the little things!

Little things I am grateful for right now: it isn’t raining, I am listening to a great audiobook, I have downtime to write this blog, having fresh water, new stickers for my laptop (of the National Parks), and minivan DVD players to keep my kids entertained.

What are you grateful for?

DBT, Inspiration, mental health

Mindfulness of Color

color

My previous post got me thinking about color. ¬†Color is all around us in nature, life, the foods we eat, the habitats we live and work in; and yet color is something we often overlook. ¬†If I asked you to stop and tell me what color your neighbors house is, what color your boss’s car is, what color the tiles are at work or school…would you be able to? ¬†Mindfulness is all about WAKING UP from auto-pilot. ¬†Mindfulness of color can be a quick way to wake up and increase the amount of time you spend observing the present.

Try it…

Take the next few moment to spot something red…something orange…yellow…green…something blue…and purple. ¬†You can expand from their if you would like: black, brown, white, pink…

Allow the search for color, really noticing the colors in your world, to anchor you to the present moment.  Stop worrying about what might happen or fretting about what did.  Come back to the now and take a moment to find the beauty and variety of color where ever you are.