When most people hear the word “nourish” their first thoughts go towards body health. But we are a divine combination of the mind, body, and spirit. We need to nourish all three to have optimum health and harmony.
The body thrives on healthy food and exercise; the mind craves stimulation; and the spirit needs a regular dose of love. The trinity of these feed one another, yet nurturing the spirit is an area we often neglect.
So below are seven simple practices to nourish your spirit and overall being.
1. Routinely open and close your day
Creating a morning and evening practice allows you to consciously greet the day as well as put it to rest. Opening and closing each day will bring clarity and inner stability. It presents the opportunity to set tone and intention for a new day, and allows you time to consciously leave the day’s events behind you so you can get a clean and nourishing sleep.
Opening your day…
Start your day by making a conscious effort to nourish your spirit. A simple 15-minute morning practice to nurture yourself will create happy shifts in your energy. Take some time to stretch the body, breathe, maybe write down daily affirmations, give yourself a pep talk in the mirror, sit mindfully and drink a big glass of water, meditate, etc.
Experiment with different morning practices and routines and discover something that resonates with you and feels natural. Stick to this routine. Really dedicate yourself to yourself.
Closing your day…
Closing your day with a routine is equally important and beneficial. By closing your day, you are letting go of all of the day’s events. You are consciously ending and thanking the day. Take time to reflect on the positives from the day, write down your thoughts, light some candles, say a prayer, meditate, etc.
Experiment and discover a routine that nourishes YOU and take time to implement it everyday.
My mom has a great and easy daily routine. She sits outside on the back porch with her coffee in the morning and just sips it slowly, watching the birds gather around the feeders and enjoying the quiet of the early morning. No phone or distractions – just her and her coffee. In the evening she does the same thing but with a glass of wine. She does this everyday. And she doesn’t even think about it. It was a routine that just came to her naturally.
You can do something similar or completely different.
SIDENOTE: For many, the first and final action of the day is checking their phone. RESIST THIS. Try to make your opening and closing gestures more nourishing and beneficial.
Dedicating yourself to a daily meditation practice and simply breathing will lighten your mind and bring on loads of physical and emotional benefits.
Try this: Stop randomly at various times throughout your busy day and take a couple big, conscious breaths. Observe your surroundings while doing so. This will bring an immediate sensation of inner peace.
Developing a meditation practice will reduce stress and anxiety while creating a higher self awareness.
For many, sitting still with oneself in silence is a challenge. We find excuses to move, fidget, or distract ourselves. Try starting with just five minutes a day, maybe in your morning or evening routine, and gradually work yourself up to longer meditations.
Some tips to get started…
To bring yourself into a meditation, you need to first find a quiet place. If your home isn’t quiet, then go someplace else. Make sure your space feels clear, clean, and uncluttered. Sit or lie down comfortably, bring yourself into the present moment, close your eyes and breathe.
At first the mind will wander. You will think of tasks or daydream. Try to keep the thoughts on the steady breath. Say to yourself, “Inhale 2…3…4…5. Exhale 2…3…4…5,” and breathe accordingly. If you find your thoughts wandering, bring yourself directly back to the breath. “Inhale 2…3…4…5. Exhale 2…3…4…5.”
It might help you to concentrate if you use a mantra to repeat to yourself or use hand mudras to help with focus and intention. Calm music might also help ease the working mind. Take time to experiment and discover what works best for you.
3. Eat well, feel well
The mind, body, and spirit are connected. All three need to be well taken care of for internal harmony. To nourish the mind and spirit you also need to nourish the body. Remember, you are feeding your sacred vessel. Food is meant to sustain and provide us with energies needed for life. How you treat the body and what you put into it will reflect in how you are feeling and your energy levels.
Don’t you notice how great you feel when you eat well or engage in body movement? Those feelings occur for well justified reasons.
Try these things:
- Cut out processed foods
- Substitute fruits and honey for processed sugar
- Eat more fresh vegetables
- Drink more water
- Consume less coffee and energy drinks
- Move daily (yoga, walking, dancing, or any free movement you enjoy)
Body love doesn’t just come from movement and food. How you speak to your body is probably the greatest influence on how you feel about your body. Speak kindly to yourself. Admire yourself as the beautiful being you are.
4. Move away from the screen
It’s too easy for people to turn into zombies in front of an electronic screen. We are creating habits of zoning out the present moment and getting sucked into virtual reality. The result is that we rob ourselves of precious time that could be spent nourishing our soul.
Screens do not stimulate the mind! They do quite the opposite. You enter a mindless state.
Start becoming aware of how often you check your phone and watch TV. Notice how much time you spend in front of the screen and consciously decide to go towards another outlet….ANY other outlet.
Start to color, draw, read, cook, clean, create, meditate, exercise, go see a friend, cook a healthy meal, write, speak to yourself, walk the dog, learn something new… anything!
Move away from the screen and enjoy the wonderful things happening every present moment.
And remember to resist the urge to check your phone as soon as you wake and right before sleep! This is an unconscious habit that will set unconscious tones for your day.
5. Speak consciously
Engage in happy conversations and resist unnecessary gossip. This is speaking consciously. Engaging in gossip and complaints will take a toll on the spirit. Sometimes we bring past events into a conversation that are completely irrelevant.
Before speaking ask yourself:
- Are my words benefiting or hindering? (positive or negative?)
- Are my words relevant to the present moment?
By engaging in healthy conversations and speaking consciously, we create space for the mind to recognize the beauty and lessons in situations and life.
6. Spend time in nature
Getting out in nature is a simple and natural way to nourish the spirit. Nature helps the mind naturally quiet itself. It’s impossible to ignore the earth’s beauty. Observing something much greater than your worries and problems is humbling and nurturing, causing your stresses to seemingly shrink in size.
So take time to go on a hike, walk barefoot outside, take a scenic drive, work in a garden, go to the mountains, explore the jungle, swim in the ocean, or just sit outside underneath a nice tree and observe the wonders Earth has to offer.
7. Nourish your environment
Your overall environment is a divine tool to use for spirit nourishment. Take time to observe and appreciate beauty in everyday things like a good song, a friendly coworker, or a pretty flower.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you and feed your spirit, indulge in healthy conversations, involve yourself in activities that make you feel good (like any of the above listed), and decorate your space with photos and items that make you happy (like the little alter pictured above).
Appreciate the gifts around you and honor your spirit with nourishing surroundings.
I hope you find nourishment and spirit joy in these simple daily practices that can become a natural way of life. Remember, you are a gift from the Divine and deserve the best for yourself from yourself. Take time everyday to nourish your trinity (body,mind and spirit).