Back to Basics: 4 Ways to Nurture Yourself Today

Do you know when Spirit is calling you? I'm talking about those deep, calm nudges that push you toward a certain decision or a new realization. Those gentle tugs on your heart that help you soften, align, expand. 

In my most recent love letter to this tribe I mentioned the deep call I've been feeling from Spirit to get back to the basics. The message has been decisive and clear, and it's been pulling me way, way back to when I first started really learning what it means to spiritually care for myself. 

Practices like daily affirmations, simple meditations, whole foods, and deep stretches. Connecting with my truth not just daily but moment-by-moment. Inviting awareness to the thoughts just behind my emotions and then leaning bravely into the actions that support me first. 

I've seen in the past many months how easy it is to get wrapped up in the frenetic energy of the collective and to lose touch with the quiet hum of the self. Almost all of us have to be in the world in one way or another - whether through our jobs or our kids or simply venturing out to the grocery store or on the roads. But the disconnect comes when we forget that we are not the world. We are the steady, powerful light within. 

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I recently came out of a long cycle of feeling called to protection. For months on end I was fiercely aware of my root and the almost guttural feeling I was having to guard my own energy and those that I hold dear. It was intense and powerful, but it reminded me how important it is to tend to the well within my own heart. 

I believe that we intuitively know what we need when we need it. And if your heart is being called to love and self-nourishment, I offer these 4 ways to nurture yourself today and to tap into the God within you:

1. kind words

Did you know that when you think positive thoughts your brain sends out messages to the rest of your body telling it to create states of being equal to those thoughts?

So when you think something like - "I am so grateful for my life; I am a fun, genuine person with so much to offer and so much to look forward to" - your brain is sending neurotransmitters out to the endocrine system that says LET'S FEEL GOOD! Imagine a little hormone with a clipboard checking off words like gratitude, joy, optimism. And then your kidney does a little side herky and your liver starts doing a cheer. 

Yep, it's like that. 

Our thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings create our state of being. And our state of being changes everything

So offer yourself a kindness. Right now. Something true. Something you believe. And then promise yourself to keep monitoring your thoughts every time you become aware of them. Whenever anything negative sneaks in, make it a game to see if you can upgrade it as honestly as possible. 

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2. Sweet Stillness

What if you bookended your day with just five minutes of stillness? 

Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, strengthen immune function, reduce stress hormones in the body and more. It's the cheapest form of health care I know of, and it has been the number one game-changer in my life for managing my own health happiness. 

When we go into meditation we interrupt the high-beta brainwaves of stress and invite the healing and soothing brainwaves of alpha and theta. We allow parts of our brain to connect and talk that usually spend their time separated and over-taxed. And we create an environment in the body conducive to regeneration and growth instead of disease and decay.

It is truly amazing the power we have to change our brains and bodies while sitting still and essentially doing nothing. The attached meditation is an Easy 123 five-minute meditation for helping you to sit, breathe and focus. 

3. WHOLE FOODS

Do me a favor. Go the grocery store today and buy yourself one piece of fruit. Whatever fruit is calling your name. Maybe it's a mango, a grapefruit, a bunch of perfectly plump grapes.

Now, take that fruit home and prepare it with love. Give thanks each time your knife slides into the supple flesh of the mango's yellow body. Breathe in deeply when the spray of the grapefruit erupts under your fork. Tenderly caress the grapes as you run them under cool water to cleanse their skin. 

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And then quietly, reverently sit down without your phone or your TV or any other distraction, and slowly and mindfully eat that fruit. Taste how the flavors change on your tongue from beginning to end. See if you can feel each bite sliding down your esophagus and into your belly. Experience every single sensation with each of your five senses. 

Spirit isn't just in holy places or religious trinkets. Spirit isn't only in deep meditations or fervent prayers. Spirit is in the food we put in our bodies and the presence we bring to our lives.

Without focus on weight or diet or exercise regimens or bullshit messages from our body-obsessed culture, find a piece of food that came straight from your mother earth, and behold the God right there in your hands. 

4. MINDFUL MOVEMENT

I'm not talking about joining a gym or shaming yourself into getting on the treadmill in your basement that's been collecting laundry. I'm talking about moving this body you're in for the simple joy of using it.

Leaning into a muscle and then breathing into each individual fiber.

Feeling your joints stretch and welcoming the sensation without judgment or commentary. 

Asking your body which way it wants to move and then responding with curiosity. 

Stretching your body can be sensual. It can be deeply holy. It can be sacred, powerful. 

The truth is that we don't need to move our bodies to burn a certain number of calories or achieve the number of steps our fancy smart watches say will make us worthy. We need to move our bodies to remember that we're alive. That we're dwelling within a living, breathing, mobile work of art and that it's here for our pleasure. 

Play with it. Feel into it. Give thanks for it. 

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I always tell my clients and students that everything is a choice. And that if you want to and it feels good and the time is right you could make that choice. 

The choice is yours.  

Scribble new affirmations in your journal and then use them as happy little tools when your mind goes astray.

Meditate. See what it feels like to sit in simple stillness and to let it be easy.

Juice your greens; blend those beautiful fruits. 

Move your body in a way that feels reverent instead of punitive. 

Do it with love. Do it for fun. Do it because you choose you.