When life feels overwhelming I seek refuge and comfort in the dirt. Connecting with the earth is incredibly nurturing and soothing, it’s the best form of stress therapy there is. That precious time spent in the garden shifts you into a meditative state, stilling your busy mind and keeping you present. In this quiet mental state, the healing begins, both on a mental and physical level. The soil is full of healthy bacteria which has been shown to trigger the release of serotonin, the brain chemical that keeps us happy. You can boost your mood naturally just by digging in the dirt! Say no to pills and yes to mud pies.
Your kids also benefit tremendously from playing in the dirt. They need less time trapped inside the “spic and span” home, chemically ladened with household cleaners (windex, clorox, bleach, carpet cleaner, air fresheners), and more time outside rolling around in the dirt! Here is the dirty little secret; early exposure to healthy soil will actually boost your child’s immune system. We are dirt deficient. Our germaphobic, hyper hygienic society has actually placed us and our kids in a weaker state. Apart from the tremendous physical benefits of spending time outside and getting grimy, dirt also has a positive impact on kids emotional well being and cognitive skills. Playing in the dirt increases happiness, and enhances learning. Mother Dirt knows best.
Patience, love, compassion, respect, forgiveness, life, and death. All lessons learned by time spent in the garden. Dirt is more alive than we are. Dirt has all the kingdoms of life in it. Dirt is the living breathing skin of the planet we call home. When you dig your hands in the soil you connect with life on the most fundamental level.
Next time someone says “What’s wrong with you! Were you raised in a barn?”
Your reply should be... "No, but I wish I was."