Nourishment

As I write this, we’ve had about a week to take 2022 for a test drive. My verdict thus far is mixed, and it depends very much on where I fix my gaze. If I think about what I hoped week one would involve (i.e. nine of us in Barcelona and Valencia), it hasn’t been great as we weren’t there. If I let my Twitter feed shape my impressions, it’s starting as one of my worst years ever. And I’ve thrown my back out for the first time in almost a decade. But here’s the thing: I wrecked my back building an awesome snowman with my granddaughter on one of the most magical winter days I can remember. January marks the start of a fresh new season, and even though it’s a challenging one this year, I still have choices about my attitude toward it. For this first entry of 2022, my “wiser decision faster” is to prevent and resist the funk I could easily fall into next week, rather than needing to drag myself out of it later!

I usually select a guiding word for the year. Seems cheesy, but it’s a practice that works well for me. In 2021, I struggled to land on one. For 2022, it came easily. My word is “nourish.” 

Nourish has two aspects to its definition: sustain and nurture. It’s about providing what is necessary for “growth, health and good condition.”

“Nourishment” often leads us to think about food. The sustenance piece is “food as fuel:” we need it and can’t survive without it. The nurture piece is “food as fun:” it’s delicious, social, comforting and beautiful.

Read in this way, do you begrudgingly allow yourself nourishment only at that sustenance level, or are you open to nourishment that nurtures? Would your behaviours and mindsets suggest that you consider “growth, health and good condition” to be luxuries rather than necessities? This idea stopped me up short. How did I get to a place where to be nourished can feel like an extravagance?

If I were to pick one adjective to describe the state of many of the folks in my circle right now, it would be “depleted.” Our time off has been insufficient to rejuvenate us, and we’re entering a new year with not much in the tank.

My response is to nourish. Myself, my clients one-on-one, and the teams of which they are a part.

In real life, what might this look like? I look forward to finding out as the year unfolds, but so far, it means two things:

  1. I will focus my attention on the practices available to me that nourish my soul, every day. This morning, that meant getting outside, moving my body, remembering to take my vitamins, choosing a coffee mug I love, filling my office with the scent of lavender and hugging my kids. Small, important things that I can easily skip.
  2. In every interaction I have, I want the other people involved to leave feeling nourished. I suspect it will show up in various ways: I hope people feel heard, cared for, stretched, tuned up, energized, more focused, more alive.

That’s my commitment — to provide what is necessary for growth, health and good condition. A tall order that’s within reach. Thanks for joining me on the journey this year.

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