4 mins read

It takes seven to eight seconds of leaning into wonder and awe to have a similar effect as 15 minutes of mindfulness.

Don’t believe me? Step outside on a summer night, as it nears dusk, and find a spot to get comfortable.

And watch.

Slowly, bit-by-bit, your yard will come alive with fireflies. Their bodies, lighting up, seemingly irregularly, bring a glow to your yard. While one individual may be so small, the group will come together to create an illuminating pulse.

Perhaps walk through your yard, all the better if done barefoot, and cup your hands to grab one. Hold it in the bowl of your hands and watch as they light up in the darkness of your grasp. Open your hands up, and watch as it flies away. More often than not, I find the firefly stays close by me a minute, continuing its pulsing glow, as if saying hello to me before it flies off to join the others.

All it takes is 7-8 seconds. But, if you allow yourself, much more time may pass as you sit in awe of these tiny, magical creatures.

Enjoy them, watch them. And when you find time, tune into yourself. You’ll likely find calm, peace, quiet, tranquility. And all it took was some sitting outside and opening your eyes to the wonder of nature.

Sweet summertime is here and with it comes another set of coping skills I love to lean into. Here are some more summertime coping skill ideas to try that lean into embracing awe and wonder: 

  • Sit outside during the evening golden hour and watch as the sunbeams bring a glow to nature. 
  • Get your hands in the ground doing yard work. Notice how the soil comes alive as you interact with it. 
  • Lay on the grass and watch clouds, birds and planes fly by. 
  • Drink your morning coffee outside in the morning sun and listen to the symphony of birds singing and chirping. 
  • Open your windows to hear a summer rainfall. 
  • Stop and smell the flowers … and really look at them. More often than not, I find the very center of a flower is a different color than the rest of the petals. Easy to miss with a quick glance, but all the more beautiful if you pause to really see. 
  • Light a fire pit and watch as the evening sky transitions to nighttime. 
  • Go on a hike and take moments to pause and look around to embrace the multitude of life going on around you through nature. 
  • Go to an outdoor concert and lean into noticing how the music has effects on you. 

Each season brings its own ways of coping. May you find time this summer to cope in ways that allow you to embrace awe and wonder. 


Kylie Larson, MA, LPC

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Outside of the therapy room, Kylie enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the world through the eyes of her son, adventuring with her husband, running around with her dogs, cheering on our Kansas City teams, gardening, being active, reading and exploring new recipes.

Professional Background
Bachelors in Elementary Education from Kansas State University, 2015
Master of Arts in Counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2020

Kansas Counseling Association
American Counseling Association

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