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  • Rebecca P. Cohen

Messages from Wildlife

The last two weeks, I’ve been seeing red cardinals everywhere. I looked them up in the wonderful reference by Ted Andrew’s, Animal Speak, to understand their spiritual meaning: use your intuition.

Sitting outside yesterday evening with my fifteen year old, he heard a loud and beautiful bird song, over and over and over. “Look mom, there it is, high in that tree.” It was a smaller, bright red cardinal. His whole being moved with each call. “Such a loud call for such a small bird,” he said.

“Cardinals mean use your intuition,” I said.

He replied, “Isn’t using your intuition something we should all be doing all the time?”

I love how kids have so much love and wisdom when we listen.

On my run/walk this morning, I heard the same bird call, and the cardinals were speaking to me again.

How are you caring for yourself right now? The message wasn’t just for me, it was for all of us.

My exercise attempt was quite disastrous, but I just accepted the way it was and gave myself a mental high five for trying, and decided to enjoy nature unfolding around me.

That’s where we all are, just doing our best, which changes from moment to moment.

We are busy giving to others, whether our families, paychecks, existing and new volunteer efforts, or all of the above. Each day, I’m talking to people through my new social impact venture who echo this sentiment.

Self care can’t be at the bottom of the list. A wonderful member reminds me, “Put on your oxygen mask first.” In order to sustain the level of care you offer to others, you have to carve out time for yourself.

That is why starting in May, I am beginning six, one-hour online groups offered each month for when you can carve out time for you. The only prerequisite is you have to be a caring person. These groups are here for your self care and when they serve you. Email me at to learn more.

Whatever we were going through before - we are still going through now, plus adjustments to our lives with a pandemic.

It’s time to carve out a little time for yourself. It’s ok if kids are bouncing in the background. It’s a real slice of life. What’s most important is making time for you. And if you can’t, know that nature is free and it is always there for you and your family. The other day, my family enjoyed a short bike ride to a small field and kicked around a soccer ball. If you need some ideas right now to nurture yourself with a little nature, download my free guide, 50 Outdoor Activities for Busy Families. Post it by the door for reminders of easy ways to get outside. Most can still be done right now.

Rebecca P. Cohen is a social entrepreneur and founder of, the curated peer hub that connects you with experience from caring members during challenging life circumstances. Rebecca is also the founder of and author of the parenting book Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids and children's book, PJ's Backyard Adventures. Rebecca has worked with over 6,000 children around the world in making outdoor connections for a healthier life. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Better Home and Gardens, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, Family Circle, and Backyard Solutions.

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