One hears a lot about nurturing... nurturing one's self, nurturing loved ones, children, etc. I have been advised many times in my life to pay more attention to myself, and to nurture myself.
Not feeling too clear at one time about what that meant (since I had never learned how to nurture myself), I asked my inner self for clarification. Here is the message that came through.
To nurture yourself means to give yourself the things you perceive you 'need' as well as so-called 'luxuries'; to allow yourself to sit back and do nothing even though you know that there are a multitude of things waiting for you to do; taking the time to soak in a hot bath, even though a shower is much faster and more 'efficient'; cuddling up to a plush teddy bear and allowing yourself to feel like a child again.
Nurturing yourself is taking the time to have a massage, to go for a leisurely stroll on the beach, to lay on the grass enjoying the feelings and sounds of nature. It means eating balanced wholesome meals, making sure your body is getting exercise, and enough rest.
Nurturing yourself means making yourself a very important person in your life, one that you love and that you want to make happy. Nurturing yourself is being good to yourself, not holding a whip of efficiency or whatever over your head.
Nurturing yourself is respecting your needs for solitude, for love, for companionship, for rightful work, for creativity, for rest. Nurturing yourself is loving yourself for who you are now (a God seed), knowing that you are still developing into who you really are (a realized Being).
Slow Down, You're Going Too Fast
As I write this, I feel an ache in my back and I realize that once again today, I pushed my body to its limits. I had my engine revving since 7:30 this morning, and kept on working all day, stopping only long enough to eat a fruit and later to have some water. As I look at the time, I see that it is now 8:30 p.m. I ask myself, 'When could I have taken the time to nurture myself?'
The answer comes clearly. I could have stopped on the way home to admire the full moon that I saw rising on the horizon. I could have stopped at the florist shop that I passed on the way to work in the morning and bought myself some flowers. I could have taken the time to eat a revitalizing salad. I could have taken a few minutes off from working to go stretch out on the grass and feel the nurturing of Mother Earth. I could have taken the time to stand up and stretch those tight neck and shoulder muscles. I could have...
I realize that these things would take up so little of my 'precious' time yet would renew me with strength and vigor. But I find that I, once again, let myself be caught up in the "doing", and forgot about the "being". I forgot to stop and smell the roses, and instead pressed on towards tomorrow, not really seeing today.
We Are Entitled to Joy, Love, and Contentment
When I stop to think about it, it makes sense to me that as children of the Universe, we are entitled to enjoy our time here. Our loving father/mother/creator/universe want their children to be joyful, embodying the essence of life.
I know that each sunrise and sunset is unique and that each person I meet and each experience I have is unique. How many times have I only seen the commitments of yesterday, and the demands of tomorrow, thus missing out on the beauty of today?
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We humans sometimes neglect to give ourselves the opportunity to enjoy being alive — to look up into the sky and dwell on the stars; to walk along the beach and feel the sand between our toes; to take the time to relax and enjoy being.
Well, it is never too late to change and to forgive myself for my absence from life. My life has been taking place and I wasn't even present to enjoy it.
The Importance of Nurturing Ourselves
Many of us have placed great importance on nurturing our "possessions" — our cars, stereos, bicycles, children, mates, etc. We would do well to nurture our bodies, emotions, and mind as well. We need to remember that our physical and emotional bodies need to be given love and attention to promote health, vitality, and well-being.
Nurturing means to feed, or nourish. Nurturing applies to giving love and caring attention. So, I'm off to nurture myself...
What about you? I'm sure that each and every one of you can come up with things you could do to nurture yourself, and then put at least one into practice each day. Make a list and then do one of the things on the list.
Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body's Wisdom
by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana.
The practices of Full Body Presence help you find a deeper awareness in the moment, even in the midst of chaos, family and work demands, or the pressure to perform. This deeper awareness also brings a fuller sense of trust and confidence in yourself and in the world. Full Body Presence is filled with concrete, life-friendly explorations and instruction clearly presented in both the book and the free accompanying downloadable audio files.
For more info or to order this book, click here. Also available in a Kindle edition.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com