I have to ask myself this question daily, due to living with a body that does not always cooperate (not being able to absorb nutrients, reacting in arrest at certain ingredients, etc). Nourishment is a top priority at all times. But prior to working with a Naturopath, I had not fully realized the broad definition of nourishment. I was neglecting the very things that would allow me to truly be nourished outside of the food sources I was putting in my body.
Something that I love about working with providers who look for the root cause vs just treating symptoms is the fact that they focus on all aspects of your health. Considering how you might be feeling when you put something in your mouth can impact how your body processes that food item. Enter – Mindful Eating. It all comes together in such a beautiful fashion once you recognize that being mindful as a regular practice can carry over to your eating habits, which in turn can impact how you digest, process, and metabolize your food.
But back to nourishment. Ask yourself what feeds your soul? What makes you happy? What makes you laugh? When was the last time you felt full belly laughter and liberating freedom and relaxation? And as you consider that moment, pinpoint what was it about that experience that allowed you to feel so full and alive? Whatever it was, that is another component of your own personal recipe for your path to nourishment.
For me, one big one is undoubtedly music. Going to live shows, listening to, analyzing, and sharing a musical experience with others takes the cake though. But I also get value from playing music, listening to my favorite songs at home, and discussing all things music with other music lovers.
I also derive a huge amount of enjoyment and life from animals and nature. I just returned from a healing and mood changing walk with a dear friend. I left the house cranky, stressed, and a bit out of sorts. But once we embarked on our path I was already feeling more calm and centered. The path I chose just happened to be a very green, lush trail full of flowers, trees, mystery bird calls, baby birds learning to forage with their flock, and a majestic, calming and ever so regal Great Blue Heron. Between being outdoors in nature, and seeing the animals around me I was already in heaven. Add in the fresh air, getting a little exercise, and spending time with a treasured friend, and it was magic. I seriously returned home a completely different person than the one who left the house earlier.
Another area that I personally obtain my nourishment from is my support system, which I include my beloved pets in that mix. Getting a regular dose of those who are near and dear is priceless. I also tend to get a little boost from meeting other peoples’ pets, too. Not gonna lie. I love animals. I can’t help it. And let’s not forget yoga. Yoga is likely second to food in regards to how my body not just appreciates but requires a certain type of nourishment. I find that with a regular yoga practice, I maintain a more mindful lifestyle naturally, and am more in tune with my body.
I also very much adore and need to travel. And that one has taken a huge back seat during the past few years due to being on healing protocols. I still sense that I am missing something every day, and this happens when I don’t have a trip planned to look forward to. I may need to work on that one a bit – find a way to be at peace with not always being able to pick up and leave the way I used to. Making my own adventures locally is becoming a specialty of mine. So maybe that can evolve into something I can feel more nourished by within time.
So what about you? What boosts your mood, energy levels, and sense of value? Maybe it is something simple like reading, or sitting on the back porch sipping your tea. Whatever it is, make sure to find a way to incorporate all aspects of nourishment into your life every day. Because your wellness is not fueled by the food intake form of nourishment alone. It is supported by the many different ways you choose to nurture and nourish yourself.