Thanks to a couple of team member’s ideas, we recently held a “yoga in the park” event and met for a volunteer activity at a local lake to haul and spread mulch on the paths. During our yoga session, we got a unique perspective, laying on our backs and seeing the branches and leaves against a beautiful blue summer sky. Small, harmless ants occasionally joined us on our mats, causing me to reflect on immensity, tiny-ness and kindness while I gently guided the ant into the grass using a leaf.

As we focused on our breath, the constant stream of thoughts and to-do lists dissipated and a calm enveloped me along with a deep sense of gratitude that can come with quiet contemplation.

At Radnor Lake, a gem in Nashville, our team joined a group of middle and high school summer interns who were bouncy and enthusiastic as they grabbed wheelbarrows and shovels, chatting and giggling – I hoped I could keep up! But thanks to great planning by the state park rangers, we formed a line with about fifty yards between each person and passed wheelbarrows full of mulch from the pile to the trail where others spread it. Time passed quickly as we were entertained by chickadees, cardinals, sparrows and the occasional call from a pair of bald eagles who were teaching their two chicks to fly!

As I walked back to my car for a work call, like the experience at yoga in the park, I felt a gentle calm and overall sense of well-being. Time in nature: what a simple way to find appreciation and a more positive mindset while being with people who share in the desire to learn, grow and give back.

– Becky Sharpe, CEO