So, it’s 10pm and you are lying down to rest for the night. But wait, have you eaten today? Keep in mind there are several layers to you. So, when I say “have you eaten today,” I mean have you fed all the layers of you?
Your spiritual self. Your mental self. Your physical self. Have you fed them today? It is important to nourish ALL of you on a consistent basis. What are some ways we can ensure that we are spending time each day feeding our spirit, our mind and our physical body? There are many. In this article we will talk about a few.
Nourishing Your Spiritual Self
Nourishing your spirit is a very individual practice. The same thing does not work for everyone. A saying I heard a lot growing up as a kid was, “there’s more ways to catch a fish than one.” I remembered that statement because it resonated with me then and still does today. Since we are not all on the same path, we may nourish our spirit differently. What’s more important than how we nourish the spirit, is that we actually do it. Do something. Some of the things I have found effective at connecting me more to my spirit are:
Silence: Take time out daily to be in complete silence. Even if you have to go sit in your car or take a walk to find that silence, it feeds the spirit and will be well worth it to you. Make it a morning ritual to just sit and tune into yourself. Acknowledge your own presence before you go out into the day.
Meditation: So many different definitions of this word that I won’t begin to talk about it in detail in this article. There is also a lot of information out there to help you learn more about meditation. For me, meditation means being able to disconnect from the external world and bow to the infinite point inside me. Again, the way we get to that infinite point may be different for each of us. And that’s perfectly okay. Whatever works for you to detach from the outside world and go inward to attach to your inner self. When you feel your mind wander as it definitely will, bring your attention back to your breath. Focus on your breath. So many of us go through life on autopilot and disconnected from our inner self. It seems we are always looking for someone or something to complete us. Detach from the “some ones” and the “some things” and go inward.
Prayer: This, like the others, looks different for each of us. People pray in different types of spaces and for different lengths of time. They also pray to different individuals or the Universe. Some even view a chant as a prayer. I have found prayer to be effective when approached from a gratitude mindset but prayer is also used to make a request to God, Universe or however you refer to your higher self.
Set an intention for the day
Use positive affirmations: No, you are not crazy. I have found it very helpful to talk to myself. To proclaim that I am enough, I am blessed, and I am a unique expression of the divine. Our brain hears us when we make these positive affirmations.
Nourishing the Mental Self
There many similarities between nourishing your spiritual self and nourishing your mental self. In other words, silence, mediation and prayer all nourish the mental self in addition to the spiritual self. Now that’s bang for your buck. Personally, I find that when I do not spend time in silence, my mood changes. It changes to more of a down mood as opposed to more of an up vibe. In addition to silence, meditation and prayer, I will mention a few other things that have helped me.
Spending time with friends: Social interaction is vital for mental stimulation and growth. I will add also that I believe social interaction without your partner or spouse, is important. Have your own circle that you grow in, learn in, and have fun in. Once you find that circle, start spending a little time there.
Taking a walk: I hear a lot of talk about the benefits of walking in nature. I too have experienced those. I do not however feel that you have to be in nature for it to be effective. Sometimes a stroll through the neighborhood alone can be just as effective for feeding your mental self.
Journal: Writing helps us clear the head and make important connections between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It helps to prioritize problems, fears and concerns. I find inspiration in writing/journaling. It can also be effective at reducing stress and anxiety. Writing has helped me compose a coherent narrative about my experiences allowing me to process them in a more effective way.
Be aware of your thoughts: The things we focus on are the things that become our reality. Notice when fear or self-criticism arise in you. It is important not to place any judgement on these thoughts but instead to consciously choose to let them go or reframe them into a new perspective.
Nourishing Your Physical Self
Okay, let me get this out there in the open. I need improvement in this area. And not just a little improvement. I need a lot. In other words, I need to start spending time daily feeding my physical self. How am I taking care of my physical temple every day? Being a Registered Nurse for the past 33 years, I have a little knowledge about what one should do for optimal physical health but knowledge is pretty useless unless you’re using it. I’m preaching to myself right now. Here are the things that can help us both to do a better job at feeding our physical self-daily.
Set a time each day to be physically active: Set a time each day to feed your physical self by being active. I keep saying this, but there are no rules here. Something different will work for each of us. Some do yoga. Some take a 30-minute power walk each day. Some go to the gym. Some play sports consistently. By setting the time, it holds one accountable and sets the routine (habit) in place. See exercise as a form of self-love instead of a chore.
Eat a well-balanced diet: Diet and exercise work synergistically with each other. Being physically active and eating a well-balanced diet has been proven to cut down heart disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke, cancer and the myriad of other ailments out here. Personally, some research has shown that a plant- based diet is the way to go. Again, I say there are more ways to catch a fish than one. Do what works for you and do your research. Of course, you can use your doctor as a resource, but keeping in mind that they are western medicine practitioners and there are other ways to go. So, do a little research. You may choose a different path. You may choose a little from both paths but be aware of what you put in your mouth. You are what you eat.
Drink water: It is essential to drink water each day. Much of our body composition is made up of water. Water allows the cells to flow freely to all parts of the body giving it nourishment.
In summary, take time out each day to feed your spiritual, mental, and physical self. It is also essential to make sure your environment is conducive to supporting this. I always say that if you are not feeling lifted, encouraged, and supported in your current environment, move on. The relationship we have with ourselves requires time and commitment to build. Take the necessary time to build a solid spiritual, mental, and physical foundation. Set the intention now to deepen your connection to yourself daily. Deepen the spiritual connection, mental connection, and physical connection.
I hope you will take the time to check out my book on Amazon to learn more about effective ways to cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself and others. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735975702. Here is the link to purchase from amazon or you can go to my Author Page on this website and order directly from there. I look forward to your feedback and am deeply grateful for your love and support.
Into the darkness. Seems I travel there far too often. What are the benefits of being in the dark? It is a given that we all go there more than once in our life. Some go more often and some stay longer when they do go. What does one do in the dark? Some common synonyms for darkness include gloom, evil, corruption, sin and absence of light. I see darkness as absence of truth (light) in consciousness. In this article, I will talk about the dark times in our life as well as in my personal life. I will talk about the challenges and the benefits of spending time in the dark.
I have found that I allow different things to send me into the dark space. It is important to be aware of the triggers that send you there. Everything begins in the mind including the journey into darkness. As odd as it may sound, there have been many times when the darkness has actually allowed me to see the light. Darkness not only implies no light but it also implies stillness. As a result, that stillness is sometimes the catalyst that allows us to be enlightened. When thinking about it this way, darkness can mean light.
Many spiritual gurus today talk about living in the light, being awake, being enlightened, and living your best life. All fine and good. In my experience however, something far more raw and real is needed from us. I hear a lot of talk about awakening to the light but not much talk about awakening to the darkness. You cannot reach the light without going down into the darkness. Down into the anger, the shame and the hurt. It is important to be honest and courageous enough to deal with the ugly stuff. Be honest about it. Yes, it is sometimes dark but we must go down there and deal with it before we ever fully see the light.
My dark times have certainly been painful. It has felt as if I couldn’t see my way forward. I was scared to take a step because it was dark and I was afraid I would fall. It was the fear of the unknown that the darkness gave me. I could not see what was ahead. All I could do was sit still. In the stillness, I would often cry. In the stillness of the dark, I have often felt depressed and alone. Being aware of those emotions in the dark is important as it relates to one’s ability to deal with them. If we get scared and run from them or run to the light, we miss out on the lesson. We miss out on the true awakening of the darkness.
Different situations such as loss of a loved one, break up of a relationship, and our past can lead us into the dark. I believe there is always a lesson to learn in the dark. I have learned to bow to an infinite point inside myself and just rest there. Rest and listen. I am also learning not to question the darkness but instead embrace it and have faith that light is on the way.
As a kid, I used to be afraid of the dark. Now I am familiar with it and appreciate the lessons I’ve learned there. The darkness has changed me. It has evolved me into a better version of myself. It wasn’t the light that taught me the lessons and allowed me to evolve. It was the darkness.
When you find yourself in the darkness, don’t be afraid. Awaken to it and allow yourself to be there. Then when the light pops back on you’ll be more enlightened and in a better space spiritually, mentally, and physically.
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