I was honored when my friend / student Jen asked me to be a guest and share with her blog community my thoughts on nourishment. I am sharing them with you too. Thank you for the invitation Jen, and for all of your amazing words laced with encouragement each week. They have been inspiring and enlightening!
I found myself excited by all the ways nourishment presents itself. So off to the dictionary, I’m using the dictionary from my computer, in the attempt to reel in my enthusiasm. The dictionary helpfully systematizes my understanding of nourishment with these words “the substances necessary for growth, health and good condition” I must add love.For me, nourishment encompasses being purposeful in all facets of your life. It can be simply showing up for yourself and others fully present with the courage to lead with your heart and the intent to be kind, compassionate, and loving…(I could go on forever here). Nourishment has many faces and often changes with the seasons.In my life, nourishment begins with reverence, gratitude and grace whether it is in the form of prayer, meditation, journaling, blogging, speaking, practicing, (physical activity – yoga, running etc.) or simply being. It is followed by what I put in my mouth and what comes out of it. It knocks on the door in the form of breathing (not the in and out repetitive non-conscious breathing, the kind that fills you with sustenance…more on this) food(the kind that is produced from the earth) and dialogue (inner and outer stemming from loving kindness). It materializes in my lifestyle choices. Being mindful of what goes in and out of my mouth is not easy. Sometimes convenience presents itself and I want to give in by choosing foods that are not nourishing but fast. It’s easier to drive through, just throw any ole thing into the cart without understanding what is in it or where it came from or by letting the kids buy prepackaged food that is sold everywhere. It can be tiring contending with society and good marketing vying for the girl’s attention to make healthy choices. Then it hits me; isn’t it worth the fight to provide and seek knowledge so my family can continue to make healthy nourishing choices throughout life? Giving our bodies the best possible growth avenue? Will what we are about to consume provide my family with the nutrients needed to live a healthy active life? Is it made with love? The same goes for what comes out of my mouth. It is mostly in the way I talk to myself but can sometimes extend to what I say to others. Can I nourish others with my words? Can I nourish myself with my thoughts?Nourishment can surprise me by making a guest appearance in the form of letting go or the act of surrendering what no longer serves my mind or body. I sometimes find it while taking the first sip of coffee (not saying coffee is nourishing I’m aware of its faults) in a quiet house with only a glimmer of light and the auspiciousness of a new day. It kicks me out of bed on a cold morning with the promise of nourishing my family and to sip said coffee. It envelops me in the form of my husband’s loving arms around me. It lures me awake in the middle of the night in the form of my child snuggling so close her nose touches mine all the while knowing I will not get an ounce of sleep but will feel nourished with the notion that I provided love and security for her. It’s ever presence in my children’s words, laughter and actions. I am most comforted in knowing that when I feel depleted there is so much nourishment that surrounds me. Below is a practice in nourishment.Nourishment practice:You can do this anywhere (a car, a chair, in your bed, on a cushion, at the grocery store). Begin bringing awareness to your breath (just as an observer – leaving judgment at the back door). Inhale more deeply let it fill your entire mid section extending to your spine, side body all the way to your lower belly. Exhale (slowly) all of your air out through your nose. Continue to breathe deep adding nourishment every time you inhale. Let it be expansive. Exhale what no longer serves you (negative self talk, anything that resides in the form of toxicity). You can do it 3 times or 300. It’s always accessible no matter where you are. Nourishment is a breath away.