Photo courtesy of Author and Advanced Certified CranioSacral Therapist Martha Tassinari of marthatassinari.com
“The feeling of being valuable-I am a valuable person is essentialto mental health and is a cornerstone of self-discipline…because when one considers oneself valuable one will take care ofoneself in all ways that are necessary. Self-discipline is self-caring.”
M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled.
How do we nurture our souls, when so much around us pushes us to “go!-go!-go!”?
There is a past paced lifestyle that comes with our modern lives. Parties, events, networking. Bills, studying, laundry. Kids, work, boyfriends, girlfriends. Husbands. Wives. Family. Pets. Going to the grocery. Rushing home. Rushing to get everyone fed, rushing to make sure everyone is clean. Rushing to make sure you are clean. Rushing to make sure the house is (sometimes) tidy.
Rushing around in a huzz-buzz can only make your head spin. If you don’t believe me, look at the next time you find your self running around trying to get things done quickly. How does it make you feel? Are you more prone to anger? Road rage? Outbursts at home or at work? Or do you thrive in the running around, gaining delight from scratching off that to-do list? But then what? How do you feel following a rush-filled day?
Only you can answer these questions, but I am pretty sure you can’t be all too pleased all the time.
The simple wisdom in all of this self-questioning?
We could all do with some slowing down, living in the present moment, and being mindful of simple soul-nurture.
When we rush around with our heads flying, we neglect our own needs and the needs of others. How many times have you been in such a rush to finish something, that you only finish it mediocrely? How many times have you been too busy to notice that your son really just needed a hug, or that your pet was actually pawing or whimpering at you because she simply missed you? How many times have you lost out on quality nurture time for yourself and loved ones?
Burning yourself out serves no one because frankly, if your attitude sucks, so does whatever it is you are doing.
So, how do we stop neglecting our souls? Where do we begin?
First we start with asking some questions. Author Angela Schaefer at thenlifehappens.com shares with us some ideas.
- what am I getting out of each day that feeds my soul (people, work, play, spiritually, emotionally)
- am I giving and doing so much that I am emotionally/mentally/physically exhausted
- is my physical well-being affected by my soul not being fed (at all or enough)
Sometimes the answers are not so obvious, yet there is a nagging feeling within you that is a signal that something is missing. It’s important to be aware of your emotions, your physical self and your spiritual self. You are the best person to truly understand what you are feeling.
If you have not taken the time to consider your needs and check your current state, now is the time. Don’t wait until you crash physically or mentally. Once you figure out that you need nurturing, be okay with admitting that to yourself and then to those closest to you.
I think our society teaches us we have to be strong and keep pushing ourselves and shouldn’t ask for a break or help. Perhaps that leads to the ails of many, resulting in negative outcomes.
Once you realize you need nurturing, ask yourself;
- what would help me to feel less stress and pressure
- is nurturing needed in the form of exercise, more sleep and proper nutrition or is it emotional & spiritual needs (or both)
- how can I nurture myself best and find those around me to help (make a list of what feels nurturing to you)
If you are avoiding self-care or feeling unworthy of nurturing, is it related to lack of self-love? Do you feel you need permission to feel good/better? Have you noticed that you function better and are happier when your body and soul are nurtured? Do you believe that you deserve nurturing?
Five ways to nurture your soul;
- learn to love and appreciate your body and treat it accordingly (eat well, get adequate sleep, exercise)
- find outlets for you to express your emotions, deal with life challenges and connect with others (journal, talk with others, seek counseling or coaching if needed)
- learn the power of self-love (stop sabotaging, embrace who you are, learn acceptance & forgiveness, treat yourself kindly)
- practice; doing things that feel good, be around people who affect you positively, find outlets for your frustrations, count your blessings (gratitude journal)
- seek ways to be at peace and find your spiritual grounding (prayer, mediation, being in nature, quiet time)
So, my friend. Are you neglecting sources of soul-nurture? Do you want to continue to neglect and abuse yourself?
Yes, neglect in any form, even as self-neglect, is abuse.
Are you willing to ask yourself those nitty-gritty questions?
(It only takes 5-minutes my loves. The same amount of time it takes for you to make a pot of tea or coffee.)
Will you reclaim those sources of nurturing for yourself? For others?
Remember, “healing ourselves is connected to heaing others.”
And remember, healing does not always mean you are broken. Healing does not always mean you are sick. Healing sometimes just means you care enough to help. And sometimes that means caring enough to help your Self.
Question from Caitlin Matthews’ Celtic Devotional. Practices for Samhain.
Practices for the Winter quarter of Samhain (1 Nov- 31 Jan) by Caitlin Matthews:
- Practice introspection, meditation, contemplation, drawing upon the peaceful sanctuary of this season.
- Shift burdens by doing something about them (e.g. make your will) or by giving up unnecessary patterns.
- Remember your Ancestors and celebrate their wisdom.
- In this deep season of darkness and introspection, seek the sun at midnight, the rich treasures that lie in the lap of Winter.
- Be aware of the Ancestral Teachers, the grandparents and elders of the spiritual traditions, whose footsteps have kept the pathways open.
- Cut back old growth in the garden and burn or compost it. Dig over the soil in preparation for the Spring.
- Walk and meditate outdoors for at least ten minutes daily.
- Identify the nature of the soil and rock-forms in your locality and how this affects the life-forms who live upon the land.
- Be active, with like-minded others, in recording, preserving, living and learning about the ancient wisdom of indigenous peoples, especially those in your own land.
- As you travel through the land of Winter, relate your spiritual journey to the wisdom of this season.