Emotional Spring Cleaning: Less Worry & More Joy
"mommy, you worry too much" ~my 8yr old daughter
In the last few weeks, both of my children have caught me worrying about; money, being late, forgetting something, what people will think if...
My daughters voice stopped me in my tracks when she labelled it as worry. "mommy, you worry too much"
At first I defended myself, "I'm not worrying, I just don't want to be late/forget something", and tried to disguise it as an attempt to be organized or plan ahead.
But she was right.
That wise little voice has helped me notice my thought patterns and habits. I find myself clinging to her truth, and working to clear out this ugly worry-habit.
The season change was calling me to clear and clean, and I knew it was time to acknowledge some unhelpful emotions that had settled into my thought patterns. Just like washing winter's dirt and dust off our windows, screens and patio furniture, and putting away winter coats, mitts, boots, hats, sleds, shovels.
As I replace skates with roller blades and sleds with sidewalk chalk, I am reminded that I need to make my own seasonal changes in the way I approach life. And my goal is simple.
Less Worry. More Joy.
There's a small, family-run garden centre in Milton, Crawford's Garden Centre , that has become my 'happy place.' If my Joy had a home, it would live here. When I feel like I need to breathe deeply and shift gears - I know it's time to escape into my gardening sanctuary.
Often, just by walking around and seeing the new growth, smelling the fresh clean air, and smiling at others, I can feel the overwhelming emotional cobwebs blowing away. One of my first 'real jobs' was working at a greenhouse, at a particularly difficult time and transition in my own life, and I know it made an impression on my heart and healing process.
If I'm not able to get to the greenhouse, sometimes just a few minutes in our backyard can soften me in a similar way. Getting my hands dirty weeding, pruning, raking or planting - I can feel my breath changing. I am aware of my surroundings and mindful of the calm - the quiet - the growth and the change all around me. There's hope in the change of Spring, the growth of plants that have been buried all winter, this process is so powerful for me.
So join me. It's time to dust off your 'worry-habit', and dig into the process of cultivating joy.
As you tune-up bikes, blow bubbles, trace your child in sidewalk chalk, kick a soccer ball, throw a ball, turn a skipping rope... honour your convictions, let the energy of Spring encourage you to notice your thought-patterns, and choose joy.
About the Author
Jenn is a Child & Family Therapist for the Counting Butterflies Wellness Tribe. With over twenty years of professional experience in Child & Family Mental Health, Jenn is skilled at joining and navigating families to grow and thrive. Her specializations include Play & Attachment-Based Therapy, and is passionate about supporting the social-emotional needs of children aged pre-school through early teenage-hood. Visit Jenn's virtual home here.