My Soul Fever

Alexis and a crew of my favorite bloggers (who also happen to be moms) focused on various chapters of Simplicity Parenting a few week back. It’s worth reading, bookmarking and rereading. I’m not huge on parenting books because I’m pretty sure that parenting is a lot like life. You learn as you go and grow into the role with experience, trial and error and intuition. However, this book has helped me put a lot of parenting “issues” in perspective and has strengthened my resolve in many areas where modern society was telling me one thing and my heart was telling me another.

My biggest takeaway has been this concept of a soul fever. The author describes it as this: “Something is not right; they’re upset, overwhelmed, at odds with the world. And most of all, at odds with their truest selves.” And my friend Torrie wrote a post about her own family’s experience here.

It so perfectly describes Emerson’s state of being on countless occasions over these past few years and I can also admit to feeling this way when I get too far away from healthy eating, restful sleep, regular exercise and nature. So when Emerson was crying out for help on Monday, pushing every emotional button with me, her father and her grandmother and generally just making life miserable for herself, I called a time out, sent Grandma home and packed Emerson in the car. She fell asleep within minutes and I drove us to the mountains. When she woke up, we walked amongst the redwood trees, made friends with forest rangers, spotted tadpoles and robins and finally threw out a blanket in the shade.

It took a good hour of listening to birds, a trickling stream and faraway campers, but we finally relaxed and eased into the quiet. We colored with her crayons and she chased a beautiful butterfly. I took my phone out twice to snap these photos, but I resisted the urge to check Twitter and email. In truth, I needed the break too.

As a society, I’m pretty sure we’re all suffering from chronic soul fever and I think nature and regular technology breaks just might be what the doctor ordered. This summer, I’m making every effort to get my girl into nature and away from the TV (and me away from my phone) on a weekly basis. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

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  • Danielle

    I love that you did this. Much needed and sounds wonderful for both of you. I’m quite jealous of that afternoon.

  • Emily @

    Thank you thank you for posting this. I feel this exact same way and seem to have that same intuition when it’s time to get out and re-set in the woods. What a great book – I’ve added it to my amazon cart!

  • Mel

    Sounds perfect. It’s so easy to get frustrated and then totally angry and wrapped up in the moment. A time out in nature was a genius solution. xoxo

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  • Torrie @ a place to share…

    i cannot express just how essential this book (and that chapter) was and is. we were truly crumbling in many ways… drowning… losing our grip, and feeling like we weren’t going to get it back (at least, i was feeling that way).  i felt (for oh, maybe 2 years??) like nothing i did was with Intention… just trying to get by. not a good spot to be in, and it was clear, that i (along w h) have been in a major feverish state.  …slowly climbing my way out. (slowly being the key word) xoxo

  • Melissa J

    love this so much, so glad you were able to get away, sounds like it was just what you both needed, makes me happy you live somewhere and have a life that makes this possible on a regular basis. :) we go on the boat almost nightly in the summer and there is something about the wind, the water, the mountains and fresh air that puts all of us in a better space no matter how many frustrating meetings, schedules, or time outs. We end up all relaxing, smiling and generally feeling more at peace. Its harder to come by in the winter months around here but we enjoy it while we can and it makes summer kind of a magical time. xo