Enjoy the outdoors - Bend your knees please

Bend your knees please. Keep your back straight. Don’t lift anything too heavy. You have heard this before so here is something new for you to do as you head out into the garden this spring, or if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, do enjoy the same with the arrival of fall.

Listen – and let the birds lift your spirit. Picture yourself lifting up one rib at a time. Imagine a string at the back of your head and it is lifting you up higher and higher. You feel lighter. You feel taller. You feel stronger.

Look – for the little things. Pay attention to detail. Don’t just see the weeds. Notice the detail in the plants, in the bugs, in the leaves. Fine tune your eyes to see the beauty in the things around you. Let it sink in and satisfy your soul.

Hear – the sounds around you. Tune in again to the new and old sounds, such as wind chimes, the traffic or transport sounds, animals, school noises, people sounds. Tune out again and tune into your inward focus to the core of your being and how you enjoy your garden.

See and stretch. When you stop to look, stretch your arms up above your head if you are able to, and take a breath. Admire your work and as you do stretch your arms back by clasping your hands behind you or roll your shoulders backwards several times if this feels better for you to do. For people who don’t have back trouble it can feel good to place your hands in the small of your back and stretch gently backwards over your hands.

Feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun shining down when it is out. Let the breeze blow your indoor cares and worries away. Imagine that they are like weeds and that they are being removed, like cleaning the cobwebs out of your mind. As the sun emerges from the winter clouds, it is like you emerging back outside more in spring. Let this put a spring into your step. Walk tall and enjoy this new season.

Smell the air, the atmosphere, scents, aromas, combinations and mixtures, and then stop to smell the roses. Well if you don’t have roses, then take the time to smell one of your flowers, herbs or plant leaves. Enjoy the sense of smell and touch as you get close to that plant.

Breathe deeply (unless you get hay fever, in which case you should do this inside instead).

Enjoy. Build up your time in the garden slowly. Don’t rush in and try to do a lot in one day when you have had a break over winter, otherwise your body will tell you that you have done too much, usually the next day! Ease into it and let your muscles adjust into spring and exercise time again.

An older friend of mine has some great secrets to enjoying your garden.

Potter at your own pace. Don’t rush. Seeds and plants take time to grow, and they will become established. Nurture them and protect them from the bugs and the elements and you will reap enjoyment in the times to come.

Share snippets with a friend. This will save money, but also will gather memories into your garden of people as you remember them.

iStock_000005660172XSmall-(1).jpgBreak up a plant from the nursery to share with a family member, friend or neighbour. Again this is a money saving tip, it adds variety to your garden, and allows you to expand and grow your gardening expertise when ideas and experiences are shared.

This article was written by The Pregnancy Centre and published in In Touch Communications 2009. www.thepregnancycentre.com.au. 2016.