Nurturing Ourselves

flowersbydoor
Photo by Alysia Thomas

I’m a nurturer by nature. I like to help others, take their load off, and give back. I may have a ton of work to do, including housework, food shopping, bills, my jobs, but if a friend or my family need something, I’ll drop everything and be at their door. That’s a good thing. It’s a wonderful quality that was instilled in me by my parents, who were always there for  us as children.

I remember when I was five years old, and I broke my leg going down the pole on the monkey bars. I cried, because I couldn’t get up. My mother, all 4’11” of her dropped everything, picked me up, and took me to the doctor. She had a few choice words to the nurse who thought my mother was being dramatic. She didn’t think my leg was broken. It was and of course this was an emergency, but the point is, she nurtured others more than she nurtured herself.

I think all my siblings do the same as I do. We are on overdrive, because there is always something more to be done, we want to see our kids in their events and activities, and someday we won’t have that anymore. So we have to soak it all in now.

But our reserves aren’t endless. I usually go until my body says, “Enough!” and I get sick or need hours of quiet. I am good when it comes to taking care of myself as far as exercising and what I eat. I’m sure that helps as I push my body and mind to fatigue.

What we are often missing in our lives is some nurturing for ourselves. When was the last time you went to the spa, got your nails done, took a hike, read a book uninterrupted, or did anything that fed your soul and reenergized you?

When was the last time you did something for you, because you wanted to do it, and not because it’s expected or routine?

If you did something within the last week, wonderful. Here’s another question–did you do it without guilt or did you have to find a hundred reasons to justify it? Did you schedule and then cancel?

In January, I went for a massage, which is wonderful, but it’s more for maintenance from exercising. I have a gift certificate to the spa from my birthday in October, and I haven’t even considered making an appointment. I can’t even feel guilty about that, because it’s paid for! But I haven’t done anything about it.

What actually nurtures me? What revitalizes my mind, my body, my spirit? Yoga yes, but when I think about what would be a wonderful time to myself, I think about cozying up in my library, surrounded by my books, my dogs on the floor, the gas fire toasting up the room, a cup of Earl Grey tea, maybe something to nibble on, and a book that I can’t even take a bathroom break for. That’s how good it is.

library

dkin-library
Dakota making sure the library is safe!

It’s really a very simple way to nurture and nourish myself. Most of us want simplicity, but bringing it into our lives feels complicated. It shouldn’t be, but we make it so.

I’m going to use my bullet journal to mark in Janine’s time for this weekend to do exactly what I wrote–even if it’s for an hour. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now it’s your turn. How do you want to be nurtured? What or who reenergizes you? Write what you would do in detail, using your senses, describe it so that it almost feels like you already did it. Are you looking forward to it? If yes, then schedule it into your calendar and commit to it. Share with me or let someone else know so that you don’t cancel.

And the most important part is enjoy it! Don’t second guess yourself or feel guilty. Be present in that moment and absorb all the goodness that nurturing provides. It’ll help you help others.

 

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