Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Life is the Best Teacher

Inn at Schoolhouse Creek, Mendocino, CA

Summer always reminds me that life is the best teacher.  During the school year our minds lean towards learning through books and curriculum.  We focus on all of the things we are "supposed" to know; on achieving the prescribed academic and developmental milestones.  In summer, as poet William Carlos Williams wrote, "the songs sings itself."

I love this time for letting go and organic learning.  When we listen to our life, we see that it is the best teacher.  Summer is the perfect time for slowing down and cultivating this mindfulness.  With our kids out of school, we have an opportunity to learn from them, to cultivate more closeness with them, and to focus on matters of the heart more than report cards and test scores. At the same time, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by this change in the rhythm of our lives and sometimes September, when they go back to school, can feel like a relief. 

How do you cultivate closeness with your kids during summer?  Have you taken a camping trip lately?  Have you been to the beach or the lake?  Are you noticing the little things (like bugs and butterflies and how the leaves have all grown dark green and full since spring?)  Have you found the transition into summer difficult?  How do you manage this change in your schedule?

How can we use summer to help life be the best teacher?  I'd love to hear from you, mamas.  All replies are welcome!

[Originally posted in my new group for moms, Everyday Mindfulness: Raising Conscious and Compassionate Kids.]
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