It’s a crisp, autumn morning in Colorado.   My toddler and I are at the playground and I make a conscious decision to linger here longer than normal, recognizing that I’ve had a stressful week and that I need to allow my anxiety level to come back down.  I know how lovely it will be to unwind into the magical three-year-old games she’s sure to create for us.  She’s discovered a large pile of fallen leaves gathered by previous visitors.  Climbing into the middle of the pile, it becomes a bird’s nest with her in middle as the baby bird. “Come in here with me, Mommy…..Mommy, come in the middle…..No, come in here and be a burdie,” she repeats a third time.  I’m one foot away from her and I’m a million miles away. My mind has drifted to the inevitable conversation I’ll have with my accountant today.  He left a message yesterday to discuss the tax liabilities for my business.  As my thoughts of my tax situation continue, my breath becomes shallow and my chest tightens.  Worry of numerous possibilities of what could happen set in, locking me inside my head. This is how stress lowers the quality of the time I have with my kids.  My mind drifts away, as though on a gentle breeze, floating further and further up ahead as I ruminate on all the possible negative outcomes.  The worries of the future pull me away from my physical location, here in this perfect morning with my little one. My body is present for my daughter.  Then I have to recognize that my mind is not.  I push thoughts of finances away, reminding myself that there will be plenty of time to worry myself sick about them later, if I so choose.  But right now I need to be a mamma bird.  There are worms to be eaten for breakfast. Climbing into the nest, I take in the physical contact with my little one and the smell of the fallen leaves and I allow them to root me in the present.  It is then, when I am fully present, that the mama-and-baby magic occurs. Flourish clients can find many more tools, strategies and homework assignments that will help them lower their anxiety on our new Client Portal.  Contact your therapist/coach for access.  Or contact us to schedule an initial consultation.