Month of Celebrating Life: Soil

23. soil

I’ve been thinking of soil lately. Since it has been snowy lately and there isn’t much soil around that is free of snow, I have been thinking today of what soil also means. To me it means a place of nourishing.

Definition 5: A place or condition favorable to growth; a breeding ground.

Thinking of many ways that my soul, my mind, my body, my selves get  nourishing/nurturing I thought of all the ways that I get what feeds and sustains me, what makes me happy and blissful, what fills the empty cracks and spaces inside myself, what makes my heart and soul soar and what makes me feel happy to be alive.

Giving myself nurturing is something that has always been difficult for me and quite a challenge for us. The more that I am doing it now, the easier it is getting, the more I believe that I deserve the little lovely things in life that make me happy and give me a deep sense of peace and contentment.

One way that does it for me is potato salad. That might seem odd to you, but to me it fits perfectly. My female parent used to make wonderful potato salad and all the siblings loved it. When I wasn’t associating with my sister or my mother I would hear stories later about how I missed a wonderful barbeque with potato salad. I would sometimes try potato salad that is deli made and never really liked them much by comparison, so I just would go without it for most of the year. I have found a few kinds that are better than others now and once in a while I go to Target and get some potato salad. I get a coffee at the Starbucks in the store and sit down for a nice read and nice inside picnic party, that nurtures me. What nurtures you? This week try to do one thing, you deserve it.

Nurturing Yourself #3

How have I nurtured myself recently?

I ride my bike.

I have dolls.

I have stuffed animals.

I read.

I read kid’s books.

I watch healing and silly shows and movies.

I listen to music.

I sing.

I do creative things.

I go out in nature.

I watch for stars and look out for planets.

I hold rocks.

I go to libraries and bookstores.

I go shopping for used books and bargains.

I blog and read other blogs.

I use The Woman’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden for ideas of things to do.

I use Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy and Romancing the Ordinary by Sarah Ban Breathnach for ideas of things to do.

Nurturing Yourself Part 2

Many of us received little or no nurturing when we were very young. You may even have a hard time conceiving of the idea. But learning to take care of youself is at the core of healing…

Even if you don’t do much to take care of yourself right now, you started out trying to comfort yourself when you were a child. Although you may have done things that had hurtful aspects, you did find ways to make yourself feel better. Some of those ways may still be helpful to you today.

From The Courage to Heal Workbook.

The three parts of this chapter that I will focus on  are: how did I nurture myself as a child, ask others how they nurture themselves, and using the above answers start compiling a list of things I want to do to nurture myself now.

How did I nurture myself as a child:

I used to take a leaf off a tree and hold it.

Pick dandelions and hold them.

I used to collect rocks.

I had a doll.

I would swing and spin.

I would go for walks, especially going barefoot and walking on grass.

I would read.

I would sing to myself.

I would make up little silly songs.

I would eat food outside.

I would watch catepillars and later in the season butterflies; and fireflies late at night.

I would look at big books about animals with lots of pictures.

I would jump rope.

I would stare at the stars at night.

I would ride a bike.

Go swimming.

I would play with my brothers.

I would daydream.

I would listen to music; especially 1960s rock and roll, rhythm and blues, blues, and classical music.

 

So what did you do as a young child to nurture yourself?

Nurturing Yourself Part 1

Many times when I talk to survivors about nurturing themselves, they roll their eyes and give me a tired look, as if to say, “We’ll bear with you. We know you’re from California.” Nurturing is seen as some New-Age practice. Or as something self-indulgent (and therefore wrong) that we only do under duress (like a major illness). In reality, learning to love and take care of yourself is at the core of the healing process.

When survivors want to know how far along they are in the healing process, I ask them what they are doing to take care of themselves before I ask anything else. I don’t ask if they have memories. I don’t ask if they’re angry. I don’t ask if they’ve confronted their abuser. I ask, “Are you gentle and forgiving with yourself when you make a mistake? Are you able to take breaks? Are you on your own side or are you still fighting yourself every step along the way. Do you give yourself credit for your accomplishments? Are you proud of yourself?

From The Courage to Heal Workbook by Laura Davis.