Friday, January 27, 2012

Beyond the Junk Food of Life


A second word has surfaced as important in my mind this year: Nourish. Looking up nourish in the dictionary, I find it means to nurture, to promote growth, to cherish, strengthen and build up. I can’t think of a better, more positive word to live by, and to serve as companion to passion.

Just as passion can be applied to all areas of my life, so can nourish. Nourish involves more than the food and drink I put into my mouth every day. It’s about making the choice to strengthen, build up, nurture and cherish myself and those around me. To nourish myself, yes, I will focus on nutrition, exercise, sleep—but also, I’ll allow—no, encourage—leisure time, reading, sketching, plain old noodling. These things nourish my soul. And I find when my soul feels nourished, my body is much more likely to also.

I will choose nourishing thoughts—not getting caught up in a cycle of guilt or self-criticism, but focusing on the uplifting and positive—pretty much what I try to do with this blog.

This will involve looking beyond the easiest, most convenient choice. To go back to eating, sure, a bag of Cheetos or some cookies might soothe me momentarily, but they will not nourish me. They’ll leave me feeling guilty, wanting more, even sick if I really overindulge. In the same way, mindlessly watching TV or surfing the ’net can temporarily soothe—but they won’t really nourish me down deep inside. Reading, drawing or painting, playing with Tank, having meaningful conversations, meditating, taking a walk outside, even a nap—these are some things that really nourish, and they won’t leave me feeling bad about myself later.

As a mother, wife, daughter and friend I help nourish others—and I love that. I’m realizing to do so I must nourish myself, and not take shortcuts with the junk food of life. I want to take as much care with myself as I do with others. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever allow myself a piece of chocolate (would life be worth living? I think not.) or an episode of Castle. It just means most of my choices will be nourishing ones.

What nourishes you? What do you sometimes do instead of what you know you’d find deeply satisfying?

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8 comments:

Laure Ferlita said...

The junk food of life! LOVE that!

I find the computer to be my biggest nourisher and stealer of nourishment....I work on the computer, share, create friendships, learn new ideas, discover cool places and all sorts of wonderful stuff.......at the expense of my own creativity, friendships closest to me, and I think a bit (more?) of my own original thinking. It's just too easy to go see what someone else has done about a problem rather than work my way through it first, and then search for help.

Love your word nourish and I think it will serve you very well this year.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

I think the computer can be fantastic and awful, all in the same day--or even the same five minutes, depending on how you use or misuse it. I guess that's the challenge of modern life: taking the good and leaving the bad in all of our new conveniences.

So far, I'm finding "nourish" to be...nourishing!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Kathy, what a great word to use for the year. I have been thinking about what you are doing with these signature words. They sink in and become incorporated with your daily walk. I know that when I created the slogan "Creating the Positive Portions of Everyday Life" for my blog, for instance, it helped me filter what I put on it.

I will really think about "nourish". I am pretty good at "encouragement" and I'll think about your word now.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I am doing well, but think that I'll hit the couch again for awhile.

Hugs,

Kathy M.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

It's true--single words are easy to remember and incorporate into daily life.

Glad you're recovering--I hope you take advantage of the situation and nourish yourself, whatever that may mean for you!

Did you hear--Johnny Damon is no longer a Ray. I'm not sure if he's been picked up elsewhere or not.

Cheryl Gebhart said...

That's an excellent word choice Kathy. And like Laure mentioned, the computer is my biggest time stealer as well as nourisher. I need to find a balance there.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Let me know if you manage to find a balance! I could use some tips. :)

Elizabeth Smith said...

Ha, where the computer is concerned, we all need to find that balance! I've been trying to put more time into art and writing, which are nourishing to me, but find that I also miss browsing Flickr, reading blogs, and exploring online. I miss the connections I made with my online friends, although I sorely need to have the space to do the other. What to do?! And like Laure says, it's easier to get diverted solving other's problems when I need to be working on my own! I have a painting that I need to do that with right now...

Thank you for reminding us to consider where our nourishment comes from, and to choose that more often than the junk!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

You're welcome--it's a lesson I have to continually relearn. The computer has certainly been a blessing to so many of us, but a decidedly mixed one!