Without self-nurture, we can deplete our energy and resources, and then we can find it more difficult to cope with daily stresses.
The other weekend, my friend Gill and I attended a delightful workshop in West Norwood, led by Mimi Kuo-Deemer. The afternoon was focused on self-nurture, through a fusion of yoga and qi gong. For me it was quite an advanced class but even so, by setting a little time (and money) aside to do something for myself, I was in fact self-nurturing, and as clichéd as it is to say this, giving myself the strong message that I was worth it!!
I find that attending workshops, or even running them myself, I step, if briefly, from my normal schedule (which is usually focused on other people or things, stressed, busy etc) into a haven of possibilities. It’s a chance to recharge spirit. I love mingling with like-minded souls, and even when I know a topic inside out, I usually learn at least one new thing. Often too on hearing the same thing again, but this time with different (and more mature) ears, it resonates better with me second time round. Facts that are stored deep down are allowed to float up to conscious level.
The secret, however, is to keep those nourishing gems at conscious level in our daily lives. How easy it is to come back from a workshop all fired up and find our passion fizzle when we step over the threshold of our busy homes.
Self-nurture, however, isn’t just about going to workshops now and again. Nor is it something to be thought about only when recovering from an illness. It needs to be a more constant presence in our daily lives; a mindset; a daily maintenance programme.
It’s about feeding our body, mind and spirit, each and every day. Maintaining the vehicle (i.e. our body) in which we travel this earth in the best possible state, and enjoying life in the happiest state of mind too.
At the most fundamental and perhaps most obvious level, self-nurturing is about food. It’s about literally feeding ourselves with health-giving nutrients.
Cheap food is far from cheap. It’s probably one of the most expensive mistakes we can make. Nutrient-poor, toxin-rich, it feeds disease, the very antithesis of self-nurture. It’s a question of priorities. I value my health above all else and will buy organic plant-based food first before spending money on “things”.
Physically, too, we self-nurture by exercising each day, getting some fresh air and enjoying a decent night’s sleep.
It’s not a case though of setting ourselves such strict rules that we don’t listen to the voice within. Always be gentle. I like to go for a good walk each day, but if I’m feeling under par, I choose not to push myself and instead allow myself a little down time to recharge. Nor is it the case that we cannot treat ourselves to the odd coffee and favourite cake, but when it becomes a regular occurrence, it is less about self-nurturing, and more about feeding a hunger deep down, possibly to fill a gap in our lives somewhere.
Self-nurture is also about tuning into our emotions, being mindful of them, and not allowing “negative” emotions to take hold and become our daily script.
It’s about giving ourselves encouragement, speaking to ourselves in nurturing tones as we would a loved one; “well done”; congratulations for small achievements. What’s not allowed: beating ourselves up, negative vocabulary about ourselves such as “shoulds”, “can’ts”, “I’m stupid”, “I’m rubbish”. It’s about doing what’s right for our health and wellbeing (and sanity); allowing ourselves to say no when appropriate, without lashings of guilt whipped up for afters !!!
Self-nurture is about giving ourselves time and space just to be, to relax, to explore, to expand.
In essence, self-nurture is directing loving energy and gentleness towards self.
It’s about embracing all that is magical in life; listening to uplifting music, reading inspiring books, enjoying a hobby / passion which sets our spirit soaring, mixing with like-minded souls, all means to water the flowers of our spirits so that they blossom rather than wither under the pressure of modern-day living.
If we don’t self-nurture, we self-destroy slowly.
So where to start?
Adopt daily habits. If you are feeling squashed and quite the opposite of self-nurtured, start by picking just one thing which helps to nurture YOU. Perhaps buy a punnet of organic raspberries, or take a stroll in the park, or read a page of an inspiring book. Perhaps explore workshops in your area and dip into the wealth of knowledge on hand.
Take one small self-nurturing step today. What will yours be?
I run regular “Get Vibrant in The Kitchen” demo workshops to show you how easy and delicious it can be to eat healthily. My next workshop is “Juices, Smoothies, and Nut milks” on 10th September 7-9pm in Dorking. For more details and to book, see my calendar page