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Primary Nourishment is a topic I speak to my clients about every day. Roxanne from Evergreen, Colorado, tells me that she rarely experiences nature or a relaxed harmony between all her responsibilities. Instead, she feels like she is simply swamped with electronics and computerized messages. She sees her responsibilities as the opposite of relaxed or harmonious. Her worries have her isolating in her bedroom at the end of the day, avoiding the people and activities at home she used to find enjoyable.
We need to be mindful about the natural world and how we create a balance between pushing forward with willfulness and how to relax as receivers of abundant living.
Let’s talk about how to limit the impact of the mechanized American lifestyle and other imbalances that often develop when we are overburdened at home, work, and in our extended communities.
Do you spend down-time in the great outdoors? Fresh air, sunshine, and even the cool winter breeze during a lunchtime walk: these are nourishing experiences that help us feel grounded and part of the bigger world.
It’s important to experience the world and Mother Nature in the present moment. You know, the world that is further away than the phone or tablet at the end of our arms. That may be part of the problem for my client Roxanne. She tells me that downtime is a thing of the past. Her boss can reach her anytime, anywhere, and she’s expected to respond.
The ease with which we can ‘like’ a friend’s photo or anecdote, or fire off a quick emoticon, is eroding our collective ability to connect with one another on a meaningful level. This happens to many of us. In addition, we don’t always respond to a friend’s happy post with the pleasure that we should. Instead, we turn inwards and reflect on how our own lives seem inadequate in comparison.
And the result of this? Stress and anxiety, running in the background like low-level radiation, poisoning our enjoyment of life. Phew. And now the good news…
The practice of mindfulness has proved itself as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants in treating some symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain. It has soared in popularity, coinciding with a spike in the incidence of depression and stress. Financial insecurity, employment worries, and technology conspire to make us worry more and to sleep less.
But I don’t expect you to shave your head and join a Buddhist monastery. It might be nice to keep your hair on your head and enjoy a retreat from all that normally keeps you overwhelmed, though! Mindfulness is not meditation, although the focus on the breath is also part of meditation practice. Rather, mindfulness is a way of being present in the moment, a skill that anyone can learn to calm a troubled mind and promote focus, clarity, and peace.
There are ways of receiving primary nourishment by incorporating meditation and nature walks into a life that has been thrown out of balance. Many of my fellow health and life coaches are sponsoring events that help folks to gather together. During this type of gathering, they have a low-tech, high-touch, creativity-producing break from their routine. Have you ever been tempted to enjoy a retreat, workshop, or meetup that encourages such restorative adult activity? In this growing trend, people are jumping off of the treadmill and setting down their electronics. Life can be more nourishing when they fix their gaze up, above the treetops. It can be helpful to look down into the splashing water where they dangle their toes. They stop looking too much at their phone.
The world of my dreams is not the wishful thinking of the few. I see a flourishing community of people who choose to nourish themselves in new ways. They create a life that includes healthy eating, relaxation, a peaceful home, and sound financial habits. They also embrace nature and balance more often. Can you see this happening, too? If you would like to receive my support I welcome you to reach out to me. I’d be honored to learn more about you!