What is it to be Nourished?

By Sarah Petty L. Ac., Dipl. Ac. on August 1st, 2012

Hello All!

I hope the summer has been enjoyable for all of you. This idea of nourishment has been curiously popping up recently. What is it to truly feel nourished? To be satiated? Content? How many of us feel confident that the foods we are eating are providing nourishment and that our bodies are taking it all in and assimilating it? Today’s topic will cover the current season we’re in with some insight in deepening our sense of nourishment and abundance.

The humidity has been pretty strong lately. Working with a Five Element model there are five seasons. Yes, five seasons. We are currently in the fifth season the chinese call Late Summer. Late Summer starts when the humidity level goes through the roof and it becomes hot AND sticky outside. The fruits drop from being heavy and there is a lingering sweetness in the air.

So, we are indeed in Late Summer and this season belongs to the Earth Element. The Earth has two officials/organs: Stomach and Spleen, two organs hugely involved in integrating what we take in to provide the body what it needs. When we are in the womb, we are totally dependent on our mother’s nourishment to sustain us. Then we emerge and join a whole new experience of nourishment, wether from a bottle or the breast. As we grow, we still look to our parents to provide us with what we need. There comes a time for all of us when we leave the nest and provide for ourselves. How do we learn to nourish ourselves? And how do we know if we are providing well for ourselves? This journey is a personal one and as many humans have lived, there are that many ways in which we nourish ourselves.

Nourishment is a far bigger conversation than just the food we put in our mouths. The definition of nourishment is: the substances necessary for growth, health and good condition. Language is wonderful in a way that it is open to interpretation. When I consider growth, health and good condition, I apply it to the mind, body and spirit levels of being. What nourishes my body? What nourishes my mind? What nourishes my soul? What has me be content? What has me stop and smell the roses? What do I enjoy with all of my being? Any of these questions hard to answer?

One key component to nourishment is the act of savoring. This fast-paced, plugged-in world provides new challenges. Humans had trouble before in staying present and soaking up the present moment with all of their being. Now in this world where people are constantly checking their phones, texting, searching, emailing, etc., the pace has quickened. Everything is immediate, instant gratification. People are now frustrated if the internet takes two seconds instead of one to load! What used to be enjoyed is now taken for granted.

In order to savor anything, one must slow down and take their focus inward to their sensory being. From time to time I still savor this bite of tiramisu I had at my cousin’s graduation party. The experience was sheer perfection from the time I smelled that spongy, coffee-soaked lady finger/mascarpone mixture to the time it’s creamy-richness landed on my tongue and filled my mouth with unabashed delight! I took that moment in. The intoxicating smell, all the textures and the flavor that was out of this world! I took that moment in and it is with me to revisit whenever I choose. It nourished my soul more than it did anything else. In that moment I knew life as a luscious, flavorful surprise!

Now, I could have just globbed a huge chunk on my spoon and shoved it in my mouth as I argued with someone over their politics. If I had, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t remember the tiramisu or the conversation.

Nourishment must be a conscious choice. I see it as an act of self love and valuing my own self worth. I eat well because I care about myself and my own health. I play well because I love myself and know playing is good for my soul. I sleep well knowing my mind will be more alert and anchored. Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg in the conversation about ways we nourish ourselves. Start by actually stopping to smell the roses. Notice your pace has slowed. Notice your eyes soften and your senses become heightened as the fragrance of the flower meets your nose. Take in the color. Touch the feathery-soft petals. And as always, notice how your body shifts in this moment. Did your face muscles relax into a smile? Did you take a deep breath? Let go of your shoulders? Let go of your thoughts?

Be present with yourself. If you do, it will be easy to know what you need. Make taking care of yourself a priority.

Till next time, Be Well.

Comments are closed.