I was recently reminded of my most vivid and emotionally charged memories of my mom and dad. All involved sensory experiences allowing my developing brain to be fully present, mindful, deeply connected, and hàppy. My parents instinctively knew to first regulate my bottom brain through my senses, allowing for mid-brain emotional connection, as well as top brain cognitive learning. I stand in awe..
I remember going on hikes (5-day “staptoere”) in the most breathtaking parts of our beautiful country; trying to walk in step with my dad’s long strides, holding his tanned farmer’s hand, and vividly recalling how suitably impressed I felt with his denim cowboy hat(!) He loved challenging me by reversing words, and I tried my best to mentally rearrange the letters back to front to make sense of the mysterious gibberish he presented me with. I LOVED every moment and can remember it as if it was yesterday..
My memories with mom involve uncle Ziphny displaying new plants for Spring next to the doctor’s practice in the small town we lived. We would take our time and very slowly zigzag through the rows and rows of saplings, choose the strongest plants for this or that shade- or sun spot in our garden on the farm. And all the while mom would share not only the care instructions and characteristics of the plants, but also their common as well as Latin names. And I listened and learned and LOVED every moment.
We are bottom up creatures – to build legacy and joy and connection, is as easy as purposefully engaging the gift of the senses.