Definition of Nourish:
- Provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition
- Keep (a feeling or belief) in one’s mind, typically for a long time.
Synonyms: cherish, nurture, foster, sustain
A new word for a new year. A word to guide, a pilot light to remind me of my way this year.
A word that represents my hopes and dreams for the year ahead.
A mantra to whisper to myself to help me make choices and set appropriate goals.
Over the last couple of years, slow has been my word to live by. One of my friends described it as my own philosophy last year and it’s certainly helped me feel more grounded and settled. While I’m still channelling my inner tortoise and living my life in the slow lane, I thought a new word was also needed for this year. A word that I can incorporate into my day to day and permeate my life as much as possible. And I have kept coming back to nourish. Time and time again.
I love to plan. I love to brainstorm, write lists, plan for the future yet this year I want to get stuff done and put off less. Nourish for me is about committing to life now and making sure I have the best possible days along the way.
Having slow as my word for the last few years has reminded me that I find it hard to do less and that I’ve had to practice slowing life down. I’m a person of extremes I find it easier to be a hermit or a social butterfly. I like action and instant gratification. There is always so much to find out about and do and see. It turns out I am not very patient. I find it hard to embrace the slowness. While I’m quite tolerant and patient with others, I am not with myself and with life in general.
Going to Bali was a good tonic for me last year, the Balinese with their infamous time keeping and their philosophy of everything being in sync or balanced was very inspiring. I want to soak up life instead of rushing through to the next thing.
It is also time for me to focus on aligning my actions with my values. To be very honest, I’m tired of saying “one day” and “I wish” and “next week when work becomes easier…”. I need to take the actions necessary to make those wishes come true. I’m tired of reading, pinning, daydream and not doing. I’m tired of saying I value x, y and z but living in a way that doesn’t reflect that.
I’m exhausted by talking about creativity but constantly feeling I’m not practising my own often enough. I’m tired of knowing the value of eating seasonal whole foods but still buying my lunch at Pret far too often. I’m fed up of constantly thinking about ways to let friends know I’m thinking of them and not writing the email or letter to tell them. I’m bored of saying I’d like a dog one day, without going for regular walks with the dogs I know or joining a site like Borrow My Dog to find a dog to walk once in a while.
So Nourish is also a kick to remind me that I need to breathe, refocus my attention, to stretch a bit and make small long-term changes. I’m good at bootcamp but my work would always remind me that the greatest behaviourial change comes from small, regular, incremental changes.
Nourish is a beautiful word, full of care, love and compassion. I like the idea of a word that could be relevant to my mind and body. I keep remembering Dan Pearson’s inspiring talk about what gardening can teach you about commitment. Like a plant, I will make sure I have enough water, light, nutrients to grow, flourish and bloom. I wanted a word that I can incorporate into my day to day – permeate my life as much as possible.
So what does Nourish mean for me?
The themes underpinning nourish are self-care, creativity, taking time out. Nourish also reminds me to do things that inspire me whether that is reading, art exhibitions, listening to music which lifts my spirits, spending time outside, scribbling. While there will be studying I will also look for ways to nuture my creativity – to spend time making and playing. There will be also be my continued drive to spend more wisely, consume mindfully, feather my nest, eat well, move more, sleep better, be kind to the earth, give to my community. And those things are a full time job in itself.
So I’m trying to work out a way of every month doing things that help me get closer to all those things. Regular evenings to cook something delicious, jobs done at home, essays written, notes to friends actually posted.
Last year, by being involved with the New Year Resolutions Club, I learnt the importance of setting clear intentions each month about what I would do and then holding myself accountable. Showing up each month to the group was a good discipline but I struggled without a clear vision for where I was headed. This year I feel a lot clearer. I also for the first time for a couple of years completed Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead which I found really helpful to do this. I’ve also made a resolution board on Pinterest as well.
So how has January gone?
::Self-care: I’ve cooked tasty healthy dinners, stayed in my house more, walked around London more, slept better and more. I haven’t been drinking (yes, I am currently a dry vegetarian!) I’ve completed two levels on Headspace my mindfulness app and I’ve given my permission to curl up under blanket when I’m knackered. I’ve started writing in a gratitude journal. I’ve also reclaimed Friday nights to do something social to help the weekend seem longer.
::Inspiration/ Creativity: I’ve read two great books (Andy Millar’s 50 Books Which Saved My Life and Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie). I’ve fallen back in love with the cinema (Theory of Everything, Into the Woods, Wild). Gazed at the gorgeous colours in Kurt Jackson paintings at the Horniman.
:: Making/Playing: I played by ukulele and made a cake for Choir with No Name.
:: Brain enriching: I went to Germany Exhibition at British Museum, discovered podcasts so have been listening to The Reith Lectures and Radio 4 podcasts. I’ve attended an academic writing workshop and started work on my essays.
::Feathering my nest: My spare room has a desk in it and finally unpacked all the boxes. This is VERY exciting… I’ve taken a lot of stuff to charity.
Things I found hard:
My dishwasher and washing machine are broken. This needs action.
There was still an awful lot of work this month and a lot of stress. By the end of the first week back in the office, I was in quite a state and had a range of people being quite worried about how I seemed in myself. This has led me to taking it easy at weekends and I’m quite behind with my study. I have negotiated a 9-day fortnight to give me more study so that will give me some dedicated time away from the office.
I also need to get back to some regular exercise.
Things for February:
1) Studying: I need one essay finished by end of this month
2) Budget plan: I need a budget plan back in place
3) Get myself back on to my yoga mat!
Welcome 2015, the year of Nourish. I think you will be a good year.