Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sunset

Sunset! Gawping at a sunset is definitely nurturing!!!!

I was already in an advanced state of well-nurtured bliss yesterday simply from driving back to this beautiful valley, and having a lovely leisurely amble on the sunny hillside… Then there was a gorgeous sunset too.

So here it is, a beautiful peaceful evening in a beautiful, nurturing valley 😀

August 11th 20:55

August 11th 20:56

20:58

21:02

21:03

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky – Rabindranath Tagore

Advertisements

Hug

The lovely nurture of a hug…

If you google “hug”, you’ll find hug therapy; the recommended number of hugs for survival (?!!), maintenance and growth; and you may have found this film too…

Receiving the link to this video was a gorgeously nurturing moment for me some years back.  I love this film, I love its sentiment, I love the song, and I love the acceptance and connection of a hug.

May you always find a kind hug when you need one!

A hug is the shortest distance between friends
– Author unknown, but very wise 😉

Daily Nurture … ideas so far

Thank you to everyone who’s shared ways that they’ve created a bit of nurture for themselves!

Here’s some of the nurturing that’s been happening so far…

  • Taking time to enjoy flowers in the garden
  • A bit of a declutter
  • Cleaning that smudgey mirror you look in every day
  • A walk in a place you love
  • Remembering experiences and skills you haven’t consciously used in a while
  • Looking at beautiful pictures
  • Listening to something uplifting
  • Just sitting and remembering those that help you out
  • Relaxing with a jigsaw

Plus remember that bonus ball? Simply thinking about what you might do today to nurture yourself a little is itself nurturing… bargain 😀

If you’ve just joined this blog, you might be wondering why we are blethering on about nurture. It’s simply because I believe we can give more and live more when we are well nurtured – it’s a more compassionate and capable state than when we’re running on half empty … or on fumes!

Horse Chestnut blossom

Favourite quotes …

P.S My moment of nurture today? Browsing through my favourite quotes… inspiration, acceptance, down to earth wisdom. More on those in the next few days.

Simply Sunflowers

This blog is one week old today, it’s been a really rich week! Thank you so much to everyone who is reading, following, liking, commenting and sharing, you have given me loads of encouragement!

This morning, I once more found myself out in the garden enjoying a bright start to the day…. After a week, I’m pretty sure that’s my favourite “routine” daily nurture, it’s happened often enough 😀

I’m also discovering more and more ways of topping up during the day: Some are planned – *gasp* “More than one moment of nurturing your self, is that allowed?” Yes!

Some are spontaneous – and they now seem to feel more nurturing than before, perhaps because I’m more conscious of their nurturing qualities? That seems possible, like the nurture radar has been recalibrated to notice more of what has actually always been there.

Overall, week one has felt very … nurturing (well, good!) and I’ve loved sharing it. How’s your daily nurture going? Any patterns emerging? Ready for week 2 of Creating Daily Nurture?

Sunflower seeds emerging

My biggest sunflower

Cat and sunflower

Gardening assistant lifted up to see sunflower…

Cat paws sunflower

… She was rather fascinated by it!

Young sunflower head

A younger sunflower, seeds still forming

Today’s Nurture: The Story of A Very Special Cat

I love mountains. In particular, the Black Mountains on the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park grabbed my heart strings in about 2001.

I often stayed at the Capel-y-ffin Youth Hostel, in the beautiful Ewyas valley, looking out at the Offa’s Dyke footpath and the border between England and Wales.

Offa's Dyke Path seen from Capel-y-ffin

Looking out onto Offa’s Dyke from the farm

I visited for a walking weekend, and from that visit ended up running guided walks and navigation training courses at the youth hostel. As a bonus (and as a cat-lover) the hostel had two cats, black and white Gypsy and distinguished grey and white Bertie.

Years later, after the hostel was sold into private ownership, I returned there to host the mountain retreats that encompass every aspect of what I love doing most. This work reflects the deepest nurture for me and, I think, the deepest, most gentle and respectful nurture for those that visit.

And when I returned in 2009, there was Bertie, happily voting with his paws, staying with the place he’d chosen to live.

Bertie Cat at his farm

Bertie Cat in his element, July 2009

With smiles from his previous owner, I now care for him and pay his few vet and food bills. As I don’t live at the farm, I also found myself hating leaving him… I’d have a fabulous week with my guests and then blub extensively as I left the mountains, cat and farm that I love so much.

So after a few years, thinking about the bit that I could do, I went looking for a Bertie look-a-like. (A first step…!)

Through a great friend, I heard of a grey and white kitten on a farm in Exmoor. I drove down without hesitation, and met what became Bertie Junior. She’s a girl… but she’s called Bertie anyway.

Grey White Farm Cat, Bertie Junior, first meeting

Love at first sight… Bertie Junior

Even more amazingly, I took a punt and brought her with me to the farm in Wales for the first retreat after I’d got her. As a kitten, she took to the spacious farm rooms and scampered around happily. And as soon as she had had all her inoculations, she met Bertie Cat. It was instant friendship.

Two grey and white farm cats meet

September 2011 – First meeting of the two Berties

Little Bertie loved Bertie Cat to bits, followed him everywhere. Dear Bertie Cat had the patience of a Saint and put up with her pouncing and bouncing about. They are – and continue to be – the best of friends.

Bertie Cats share and armchair

May I share your armchair please?

They are not related, they see each other for only one week a month, and Bertie Junior happily naps her way through a 3 hour commute to get to the farm… in short, they are utterly not cat like. If you are a cat person, you will understand that they nurture in a way that I could never have conceived!

I made this film in August 2012, whilst enjoying a quiet and restful few days at the farm for myself. Watching it nurtures me on many levels. Maybe it will for some of you too.

Either way, these two cats prove that whatever you assume… you may get waaaay more than you’d ever imagined!!

Raindrops on roses…

This morning I once more found myself outside enjoying a beautiful morning: A “raindrops on roses,” moment of nurture that filled me up and started my day delightfully.

No roses were actually involved on this occasion, but after overnight rain, raindrops were on pretty much every other flower!

Enough said, I hope you are enjoying your own moments of nurture, whatever they may be 🙂

Sunflower in early morning sun

Sunflower awakening to early morning sun

 

Bumble Bee on sunflower

Busy Bee gets busy

Sunflowers on allotment

Bright morning, bright blooms

Bertie Junior, gardening assistant

… whiskers on kittens – my gardening assistant, Bertie

Marigold with raindrops

One of the day’s new marigolds

Rain laden yellow marigold

And one that was open overnight 😉

Raindrops on Salmon Pink Hollyhock flower

Hollyhocks drenched in sparkling rain

Raindrops on apricot hollyhock flower

Also available in peachy cream…

Raindrops on red wine hollyhock

… and burgundy red

 

Daily Nurture – Remember What You Can Do!

Mountains are a key source of nurture to me, the mountains of Wales in particular. I have turned to them for support during stressful times, done my adult growing up with them, loved them, been inspired by them.

Beautiful Capel-y-ffin

Beautiful Capel-y-ffin

Today I sat out out in the garden reflecting on various ways the mountains have nurtured me over the years. My trademark grin appeared in seconds.

The ever nurturing Ewyas Valley, from Gospel Pass

The ever nurturing Ewyas Valley, from Gospel Pass

Remembering the ways in which I have been nurtured reconnected me with skills and positive thoughts from those times. It’s not that those experiences had swanned off anywhere, they just weren’t front of mind today – until I sat still and revisited them.

Hay Bluff

Bright summer walking on Hay Bluff

It feels a bit like visiting my personal mountain nurture library… selecting a few books I love off the shelf… remembering and refreshing the wise tips that were vivid at the time and then got a bit tucked away…

Nice 😀

Beautiful summer evening stroll in the Black Mountains

Beautiful summer evening stroll in the Black Mountains

Whatever place feels special for you, or whatever hobby makes you grin most – I think there’s probably some nurture tucked away in there.

We already have a rich source of nurture within us from our most vivid, positive experiences

What have you forgotten that you can do?!

Navigating mountain ponies in cloud ..

Mountain Ponies in the cloud

Maesglase, Snowdonia  :)

Maesglase, Snowdonia 🙂

Daily Nurture: Stop to smell the flowers.. and look at them too

After a weekend away, today’s moment of nurture was simple: A happy few minutes wandering around the allotment catching up with new flowers and baby veg.

Nurturing this plot, creating its style, choosing what to plant, the simple activities of weeding, watering and harvesting… many calming and nurturing moments out here!

Sweetpeas rambling up the runner beans

Sweetpeas rambling up the runner beans

Runner Beans and Sunflowers

Some of the sunflowers tonight…

The start of the sunflowers, 3 months earlier ;)

… and the start of the sunflowers, 3 months earlier 😉

Loving the seed development in the sunflowers

Lovely seeds developing

Coriander, Marigolds, Mint, Sage and Parsnips

Coriander, Marigolds, Mint, Sage and Parsnips

Endless sunny marigolds

Endless sunny marigolds

For me:

Creating and tending a little bit of planting feels nurturing

Daily Nurture: Creating a smile

Have you heard the phrase, “The graveyard slot” – that hour or so in the early afternoon when business meetings, conferences and everyone else discover the fact that tired people have a natural tendency to nod off after lunch?

How do people respond? Have you, for example, ever been in a meeting where someone says, “Ooooh, lots of you looking tired…. Let’s take half an hour for a nap folks.”

No, me neither. I’ve come across copious coffee drinking, chocolate consumption, glassy stares, standing up, pacing around, desperate propping-up of eyelids … anything to resist the body’s signal to snooze.

My moment of nurture today was going to be a nap. A bit pooped after a night with a few interruptions, I decided not to do more stuff after lunch and took a nap instead. It helped – after half an hour I felt refreshed and started writing this.

But as I wrote, I hesitated…. my cheeky little nap did not quite feel nurturing. Yet it did actively top up my energy, and I definitely remembered writing about that yesterday. Energy topped up.. but not feeling nurtured.  Um. So what gives?

What gives was I was sitting there thinking, “Is that it? A nap???!” …. (“Disappointed!!!”)

So my developing theory is:

Nurture feels special for you, it’s a bit of a treat

For me, on this day, the nap felt wise rather than creating something uplifting. It was a sensible bit of self care, like yesterday’s taxi ride, but did not quite register very high on my emerging and personal, “This Is What Nurtures Me” scale.

So, AS WELL, later this afternoon I sat out in the sunshine, writing some happy thank yous in my journal and remembering many friends and colleagues who have shared with me so much laughter, support and unshakable belief in what I’m about during the last few years.

Now THAT made me smile when I came up with the idea, and THAT made me smile out in the sunshine!

They’re all going to get a surprise personal note too… admittedly a bit less of a surprise if they’re actually reading this 😉

Anyway, my conclusion today is:

Nurture makes you smile: Makes you smile on the inside and probably gets you smiling on the outside too.

Smiling ... :)

Smiling … 🙂

Thank you to you all! xx

Creating Daily Nurture: First bonus ball

Today’s daily nurture came with a bonus ball.

I had more “stuff” in today’s diary, including a long train journey… so thinking about when to make space for my bit of nurture actually started happening yesterday evening.

I considered whether getting a taxi to the station would be my created nurture, instead of a brisk walk after my early morning Skype call.

Well,  I decided to treat myself to the taxi, but also decided that it didn’t exactly feel like nurture. It was a sensible and gentle choice for sure, certainly removed some rushing about. But it didn’t actively REFUEL me, the taxi ride itself did not add any WOOOO! factor.

So my first conclusion today was about what I feel nurture is, and is not:

Nurture actively refuels you. Nurture is more than removing or reducing a drain on your energy, it actively tops UP your energy.

Nurture... actively tops you up even if you're not moving

Nurture… actively tops you up even if you’re not moving

So I pondered what else felt nice to do. As I was going to be sat on a train for a while, I decided to listen to a podcast that I downloaded a while ago,  from an Inspired Entrepreneurs talk that I found uplifting, down to earth and full of laughs. That had a nice feeling of taking good care of oneself!

What’s more there was a bonus ball…  thinking about how I wanted to create my nurturing moment was feeling really good too: Bonus!!!

Wooooah… this stuff spreads 😉

So my second conclusion today was:

A focus on nurturing yourself is in itself nurturing.

Struth. This is just Day 2!!! That’s why I’ve taken a punt and titled today’s blog, the FIRST bonus ball ….

Enjoying just sitting

Enjoying just sitting

P.S Sorry, didn’t take photo of taxi, train or anything today so I’ve used photos from earlier this year… Sitting still with beautiful views all around is definitely something that tops me up!