'And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.' ~Roald Dahl

The ancients knew July to be "the dog days of summer" for food was plentiful and too much free time and the hot, sultry weather led to boredom and bickering. Many of our households suffer the same today. Yet outside nature bursts with abundance as the days grow warm and long.

Take advantage of the weather. Play outdoors. Now is the time for swimming at the neighborhood pool, picking berries, backyard barbecues and family vacations. July is when many of our most cherished childhood memories are made, of days spent at grandma's, of afternoons eating watermelon in the backyard with cousins while aunts gathered on the porch and uncles around the barbecue. One can only smile when recollections of gazing up at an explosion of color as fireworks fill the night sky drift across our thoughts.

What will your children remember? Are you spending this month locked inside? Don't let life pass you by. Take time this month to create some wonderful new memories. Whether you visit a seaside, lakeside or park you'll find nature waiting in all of her glory. Just take time out of your routine and reconnect to the natural world. Allow yourself to move within its slower, more harmonious rhythms as you open your eyes to the world around you. Take in the trees, the flowers, the birds calling over head, the antics of the squirrels as they frolicking in the trees. Breathe deep the scent of rain and smile. There is magic all around us just waiting to be discovered. Allow yourself to glory in the sight of the sun setting on a myriad of waves as you stand on a beach. Rejoice as you splash in the cool water or gather around a bonfire to swap stories. This is the stuff of summer, the fluff that memories are made of.

It is in nature that we can reconnect to the Divine. We need only listen to the subtle whispers and nudges as Sprit speaks to us. Make a conscious effort to slow down and become aware of your surroundings. Signs of
the Divine are everywhere. We just need to be receptive to them. As Eden Phillpotts once said, "The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." We are surrounded by wonders. Just venture outdoors and open your eyes. Take a moment to read the sacred in your daily walk understanding that
spirituality is not to be found in a sacred space only on Sundays but in the moments of our everyday lives. Reconnecting with the natural world is an easy way to encounter the divine as you come to understand that life is a sacred journey and spirit is at work around us in all things: In the power of the wind at the approach of the thunderstorm, at the brilliance of the setting sun in the wonder of the tiny bird as she weaves her nest.

A good diet, daily exercise, the practice of yoga and daily meditation are wonderful vehicles to a balanced, fuller, healthier life. Our bodies are so much more than meets the eye. Of course we are flesh, blood and bone but we are also Spirit and we need to make it a priority to nourish our spirit. It’s in the small moments we come to Spirit. When we welcome the day, share a laugh, appreciate our blessings that we find the divine. When we are thankful for what we have and all the potential we have to be, when we celebrate our friends and loved ones, or take a conscious breath, we wake to the divine. Allow the blessing of the natural world to enrich your life this month.

By utilizing the elements of the natural world in a conscious way to further our spiritual connections, we enable ourselves to better observe the emerging life that is unfolding all around us on this awesome planet we call
home. Your life is waiting. Take your children by the hand, open the door and venture outside.

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