In a recent blog I talked about creating the life you want, by getting all aspects in balance – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. And how the food on your plate IS nourishment, but it doesn’t feed your soul.
So what do you need for a nourished life? Here’s my take, based on the teachings of The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Relationships for a Nourished Life
Form and build relationships that are healthy and support your needs and wants. I mean relationships with partners, family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and others in your community.
People thrive in communities or groups and with friends. And community is declining in the modern world. We’re much more likely to live in homes with locked doors, behind high fences watching TV or on computers. Looking for friendship and community online, ironically?
And love makes the world go round. We all need to give and receive it. Not just romantic love.
It’s been proven that touch and cuddles are healing. Again, not just romance or even sexual touch – massage, holding hands, an actual pat on the back. All touch. Many adults are touched starved.
But heck romance and sex are pretty good too, eh?
And communication. Good communication feels pretty good. I sometimes think we are also starved of listening.
It’s about the active listening as well as the talking. Trying to clarify what the other person is really saying before wading in with our answer. And discussing more than just the “problems”. Ever heard “we need to talk” and that feeling of dread spreads in the pit of your stomach?
How about giving compliments, heaping on praise, telling jokes and stories, sharing dreams?
There is no one-size fits all for relationships of any kind. I’m suggesting find and nurture relationship that are appropriate and nourishing for YOU. We’re all individuals.
Career or Calling for a Nourished Life
Many people spend over 8 hours a day at work and little time with family and friends.
That’s an awful long time, if you’re not enjoying it.
I know it’s not alway feasible to tell someone to stick their job right away.
But if you can’t stand your job for whatever reason, either try to change that job from within the organisation OR make an exit plan and get out as soon as you can. Life is literally too short to do something you hate, with people you don’t like, for that length of time every working day.
And the stress, is really bad for health, hormones and happiness in so many ways.
Modern working life is so different these days. People are expected to “job hop” more often. It’s more acceptable to engineer career change. It’s also common for people to stay at home and be homemakers, parents, carers etc.
I used to do career coaching as part of my last corporate role. I found unhappy employees got “stuck” because they were in the mindset of finding a similar job in the same field at a different company. That might be right for some but not all.
If you’re unhappy in your work, brainstorm all the things (not just work) you like to do and in there somewhere are clues to your ideal job.
It may not be possible overnight but everything IS possible. It’s a matter of what you are prepared to do to achieve it.
Physical Activity for a Nourished Life
People. We’re designed to move our butts, not sit in chairs or on sofas or to lie down all day. We’re shaving years off our live with inactivity.
But you don’t have to go run a marathon or climb a mountain. It can be walking for 30 minutes a day. And blending more activity into your normal life by taking the stairs, playing with the kids in the park. It’s about finding things that you’ll enjoy, blending them into your days and weeks and they will become good habits.
Personally, I think variety is great. Not just for preventing boredom.
Varying activities reaps physical benefits like fat burning or boosting flexibility or building muscle or supporting joint and bone health. And mental and emotional benefits like calming, grounding and energising.
Pssst I’ll let you into some secrets. If I’m feeling sluggish and unmotivated and bleurgh, I stick on some tunes and bust some moves in my kitchen. It gets the blood pumping and energy flowing. It sets me up to get on with my work or chores.
If I’m feeling like I’m stuck in my head… busy brain, overthinking, confused and indecisive …I get out the dog leads and go for a walk to clear my head and feel more grounded.
When I’m tense, I like yoga for stretching body, calming breathing and stilling mind.
Your options are endless. There is no right or wrong, just what’s right for you.
Spirituality for a Nourished Life
Stay with me. This isn’t a load of old woo woo. It’s not necessarily about organised religion either, unless that feeds your soul.
It is about finding meaning in life. Finding a sense of peace. It could be about a religious practice, it could be about Eastern spiritual practices or even New Age spirituality. It doesn’t matter.
For me, I recognise I’m a tiny speck in the cosmos. And I know there are forces much more powerful than me, which turn the tides, which switch day to night and which make buds burst into life each Spring.
I like to meditate, practice yoga, walk on the beach and read books that expand my mind. I like to plunge my hands into warm earth, plant seeds, nurture them and tend them as they grow and fruit. I like chopping, blending, cooking and presenting food to share with people I love. I like to spend time with other women, swapping stories, sharing experiences, laughing.
That’s my spiritual practice. What’s yours?
So get out there. Reach out to people. Find your calling. Move your butt. Find peace.
Live a nourished life.