Home | how to practice being present + lessons learned over summer break

how to practice being present + lessons learned over summer break

by Heather

Tomorrow will officially be the first day of fall.  Hello changing leaves, flannel shirts and scarves!  It also means my summer break is over and I’m back!!

So… HI!  Welcome back!  I’m so glad we are both here!  I hope your summer was judt wonderful and filled with everything you love.

Summer was quite magical.  Magical in the way that it really felt like just a week of time flew by, but in reality it was 3 months of time.  Magical in the way that we crept out of the confines of our home walls and spent mornings playing out in the grass, picking flowers and sampling from our neglected but fruitful garden.  Magical in the way that laying under the magnolia tree, for both big and small people, had a trace like effect.  It was both calming and life giving.  Energy giving.  Watching the leaves move snuggled with a kiddo or two in my arms was one of my favorite places to be in our backyard.

how to practice presence

It helped me to slow down and be more present.  I connected more by being less connected with technology but also some of the business of life.  I did less, but got so much more out of what I did invest my time in.  I spent more time for myself reading and taking in some quiet moments.


Five ways I practiced presence over summer break

  1. I kept my phone away from me more often and made a conscious effort to not pick it up to fill space
  2. I conversed with people in person or on the phone more, which meant less texting too
  3. I prioritized my time by deciding what really needed to be done and what could wait (hint: there’s a lot that can wait, but messes stay around longer)
  4. I said yes to activities even if it didn’t fall into “the plan” of the day
  5. I decided to take in every moment, to not rush and to be okay with imperfect moments

It’s tough to be present so much of the time when my mind is always thinking about all the things that need to be done or things to work on, but practicing more presence has made such a difference on how I view what is most important (connecting and making memories).

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During our summer break we slowed down in some ways (less arts and crafts, less teaching on my part, I took a blogging break and my cooking simplified), but picked up in so many more ways (water play, yard work for all, lazing around the yard, more play dates, picnics outside). The theme was definitely all about being outside, connecting and making summer special.

how to practice presence

As summer went on, I had 5 different realizations that became clear.

Five lessons I learned over summer break

  1. I truly missed writing.  I’ve never thought of myself as a writer growing up, but then when I began my blog almost 8 years ago on a whim, I turned into one.  I’ve made great strides and fell in love with sharing my thoughts, life and things I’m learning.  I missed it so much (but forced myself to stay away from the computer over summer) that I started a journal about the kids – just a couple sentences a night about something that happened that day.
  2. I am not the greatest without a schedule.  I thrive on lists and routine and feel relaxed when I know what I need to, or want to accomplish. I can then prioritize and procrastinate less. I’m such a procrastinator by nature that when I have extra free time I tend to accomplish less. I see conflict between my desire to be present but my liking to be scheduled and routine – something to work on.
  3. Three kids 4 and under is a lot of work.  Once Nova passed the calm, sleeping a lot infant stage I felt like I was left with no time to myself.  That is OK, but I just had to take some time to adjust to that. I know the time when they are all so little and love filled is fleeting, and I will eventually get a full night sleep again (right?).  This season of life comes with its challenges, but man it’s pretty darn wonderful.
  4. Connecting face to face with more friends, family and people in my classes has brought me a whole lot of joy.  I’ve learned a lot more about health journeys outside my own little bubble and I’m excited to get back to something I feel so deeply passionate about – sharing knowledge to help people live happy and healthy lives.
  5. Making summer special was really important this year with the kids.  I wanted it to be memorable.  Something they look forward to.  Hunter spent 5 mornings one week at vacation bible school, and it was an absolute blessing for him.  It was also probably the best week he’s ever had.  A month later they are still singing the songs, so I know it made an impact on them.

I need to hear from you!  How was your summer?  Do you struggle with practicing presence?  How do you work on being more in the moment?


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Kelli September 21, 2016 - 4:11 pm

Hi! I think it was awesome that you disconnected a bit. It’s soo important! However, I am sooooo glad you are back. Missed you & your blog!!! 🙂

Heather September 21, 2016 - 7:46 pm

Thanks Kelli, I’m so glad to be back! But yes, it was soooo nice disconnecting for a while.

Ivan Jordon September 23, 2016 - 2:36 am

This is beautiful. I could easily follow these steps.


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