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Mindful Road Trips: Smoky Mountains and Hilton Head Island

In my latest podcast episode, "How Can I Be More Mindful", Robbin Pringle-Canzius and I discuss mindfulness, nature, and deep-breathing. We also discussed the magic of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina. We both have visited this National Park. Have you been? Here are pictures of both our trips:

The Smoky Mountains are vast and beautiful. I remember when we visited a few years ago on our way to Hilton Head Island. During the hike, my kids dutifully remained on guard for potential bear sightings while rays of sunshine glimmered through the trees. We heard water flowing through the rocks and discovered a tranquil stream. With their imaginations running wild, my older kids jumped from rock to rock. Joyful play in a fleeting moment of childhood.

When I am mindful, life seems to have more color. You can notice it any time of the year: summer and its rich greens, the warm tones of autumn, the white of winter, and the pastels of spring. What are the primary colors outside for you? I started the practice of noticing colors during this road trip. As I stared out the car window, the trees mixed with the bright blue sky jumped out at me. According to scientists, our eyes see more green shades than other colors.

The clouds transformed into shapes as we drove next to the mountains. Periwinkle wildflowers dotted the roadside. As I continued to look out the window, almost in a trance, I experienced mindfulness and appreciated the beauty of this planet and being alive.

Our final destination took us to my favorite beach. When we arrived, a quote greeted us: "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

The excitement in the air was contagious as the kids quickly put on their bathing suits. When we arrived at the shore, the waves loudly crashed to their giggles. Wind whipped through our hair and the water temperature was summer time perfection. Our feet sank into the sand, and the tide came in closer. Going further into the water, the waves got stronger and crashed into our faces as I tasted the salt.

This is the way life should be: in the moment holding hands with my toddler, watching my older kids jump into waves. The vast blueness of the ocean puts me in a trance to relax. I want to slow down and savor life. Every last bit of it.

Thanks for taking the time to read! To Mom is To Love mission is to support, encourage, and empower each other as imperfect moms to love as a verb. Subscribe for the latest updates on To Mom is To Love podcasts and writing.

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