I’ve come to think about “taking care of myself” with different language lately. Sometimes “taking care of myself” feels like an onerous task. Exercising. Eating right. Getting enough sleep. Knowing what stresses me and figuring out what to do about it.
It’s all “good” and necessary, because I do prefer to collaborate with the universe with as much impact as I can make to stay healthy while I have the gift of being on the planet. At the same it can also be tedious. Lacks spontaneity. Boring. Ho-hum.
Where’s the joy and wonder?
Suddenly, in the blink of both eyes and a whisper in my ear, my language changed. With that my perspective and beliefs about “taking care” changed. Instead I see that everything I do either nourishes my soul, is neutral or drains my soul. Of course then I pondered what I believe about my “soul”. Today, my soul is that part of me that does not live in words or deeds, rather absorbs and is affected by what I take in with my senses — the ones I can name and the ones I cannot.
Today, nourishing my soul looks like seeing the first water lily open on our small pond. The sounds of a wood thrush during my walk. The silence I allowed for just a few minutes this afternoon. Yesterday, nourishing my soul felt like dancing and sweating down to my socks. And the smell and taste of fresh sweet cherries. Sunday, nourishing my soul looked like seeing Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George exhibition at The Hyde http://hydecollection.org/
My soul is filled up with wonder, joy and awe. I feel like I am truly “taking care” of all my parts, my body and my soul, all because I shifted my perspective.
The wonder of nourishing my soul is that I have no expectation that one thing or another will necessarily make this happen. The feeling that I have “nourished my soul” can come without warning. It is not like accomplishing that bit of exercise or having an entire day of healthy eating. I don’t expect it. I may not have planned it. I am open to it. I do allow it and receive it. It isn’t quite joy, but it can lead to joy. It arrives with a sense of wonder. I am filled up and overflowing with love.