This week I kept learning about nurturing. I had a lovely conversation with Jessica Hessels, whose podcast is called “Badass Moms Club”.
She nurtures the nurturers. One of her main stances is that we must put our oxygen mask on first. Look after ourselves well so that we can look after our kids and others.
That stance we take, of putting our oxygen mask on first, can help so much as we venture out into the world. Pushing that metaphor a bit, I happen to be struggling this week because so many people seem to need so much — and I am reaching my limits of what I feel is possible. These moments are so, so hard.
An old friend of mine who is Lebanese and lives in Beirut just shared pictures of his apartment. It’s a shambles. He’s lucky: his wife and kids were in the mountains and he was at work when the explosion happened. But every day, he goes out and helps his neighbours rebuild Beirut.
The only thing I can do is listen, which I do, nearly every morning. Listen and try to make him laugh. Laughing — gently, at something unrelated to the explosion, to the devastation, has been a very small thing I can do with him to remind him of who he is as a human, to remind him to keep growing, to remind him that this too shall pass.
— Yo Yo Ma
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.” — Virginia Satir
I’m really thinking about that intersection between nurturing, caring, empowering, and love. We can take small steps to provide sustenance for ourselves each day — so that we can better care for ourselves, and grow. Grow in the way we ought to grow. I notice so often as I look around grown ups :) you can tell, I think, which ones nurture themselves and which ones neglect themselves. The cracks start to show as we age. We either become more and more open and kind and gentle, or we become rigid and brittle.
It’s not difficult to nurture yourself, all things considered. I’m thinking of my friend in Beirut — most likely, of all my friends, through all my life, he is going through the most difficult time. What did he do, though? He reached out. To me, to friends in Switzerland, to others outside Beirut. He took nurturing steps to look after himself, so that he can better look after his neighbours and community.
If he can do it, so can we.
List at least 10 things you can do in your life to nurture yourself. Get the routine in place now, before you really need it. Get a nurturing practice going and start by writing down a list of things you can do at any time to nourish, nurture yourself.
Our physical spaces are where we grow…and they’re important to our growth. Consider spending time this week making at least one room in your home really nurturing for you. What sounds, smells, sights make you feel cared for, ready for growth? Can you add anything to your home that makes it more like a perfect next for you? Take anything away that isn’t working for you?
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
Think about how you treat your body, mind and spirit. How does your body, mind and spirit want to be treated. Are they the same?
Do you fill your mind with ideas and information to help you grow? Are there things you would like to read or watch or listen to? Would you rather read, listen and watch less?
Do you exercise too much? Too little? Would your body rather pick up the pace — or maybe slow down? Take time to listen and then do what is best for your body. Not what you are told by someone else to do or not do. What your body is telling you it needs.
6. POD Poem of the day Amy Uyematsu: A Practical Mother
7. Podcast (Everything Happens, episode “Community as a Verb”— Mia Birdsong)
9. Hero: Virginia Satir, Mother of Family Therapy
Why? One thing I would like to help promote is normalizing therapy. We owe so much to Virginia Satir, whose life work has given us ways to make positive changes in ourselves, our families, and our communities.
10. Take Care of Yourself This Week and Share if you know someone who might like this.
Wild and Precious Podcast, the audio partner to 10 Things, is available everywhere you download podcasts. Nurturing episode with Jessica Hessels, Badass Mom, Thursday.