Tag Archives: Self Care

Nurture

Nurture:
To care for and protect someone or something while they are growing

Young seedlings are tender and can easily be lost. They are vulnerable in multiple ways:

  • Treading on them
  • Ignoring them and leaving them to wither
  • Providing no protection from slugs, snails & other nibblers
  • Providing no protection from strong winds that can break them
  • Being too keen & leaving young plants out on frosty night
  • Over-watering: drowned, anemic plants
  • Over feeding: Spindly weak plants that shoot up but then can’t hold their own weight

All the above are a right pain in the arse, those beautiful dreams of flourishing plants set back. Particularly a bit of a shocker that you can destroy by too much of something which, in lesser quantities, is beneficial.

Seedlings

New ideas, new habits, new skills, new friendships, new ways of thinking, new projects … they’re all tender and vulnerable too, whilst they develop roots and become stronger: They need protection from too much criticism too soon, from doubts, from over enthusiasm, from overwhelm, from over-reaching, from stalling, from starving.

Discovering how to nurture healthy seedlings that grow into healthy plants is likely to take some learning (i.e. mistakes). You may have to re-sow a few times!! Keep nurturing:

  1. You’re responsible for daily care, ongoing. It’s not a one off thing. Check how things are going often, and provide whatever is needed.
  2. There is a rate of growth that can be handled, and you’re best off working within that. A little oomph helps. Too much oomph destroys.
  3. The healthy growth of that seedling (or idea, project, habit…) is inherent, ready and waiting. You don’t have to create that bit. You just have to nourish that inherent potential, and protect it from external hazards, your own neglect – or your own over-enthusiasm.

That’s why nurture matters. Nurture enables the new. Success depends not on being brilliant immediately, but on having the patience and persistence to nurture.

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Creating Daily Nurture

This blog was born on August 1st, after a particularly sunny and beautiful early morning jog.

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I set out to share an exploration of what actually feels nurturing, inviting everyone who reads this to consider what nurtures them best.

We have explored quotes, food, books, sunsets and bubble wrap…. compliments, , jigsaws, walks by rivers, gifts from mountains, walks in nature and walks with cats …. accepting uncertainty, enjoying sunflowers, enjoying hugs

Of all the discoveries this month, two things stand out loudest to me:

Firstly, that a focus on nurturing yourself is in itself nurturing

Simply remembering to check in each day and consciously create a nurturing moment created a sense of gentle well being, a little smile. But not just in that moment! That cheeky little inner smile warmed up, moments of nurture started to happen more often, in more and more ways … this stuff is catchy!! 😉

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

Nurture from the hills that hug

Secondly, that there are in fact a zillion little things every day that are nurturing. They are there all around us, all the time. The difference is whether we slow down enough to notice, smile, and gratefully receive 🙂

Raindrops on pink rose

It seems to me that there is a healthy balance to be felt out, one that enables us to give and enables us to receive, to refuel. Finding the balance, and adjusting that balance as daily circumstances change, is both a skill and a habit.

A big thank you to everyone who’s shared this first month of Daily Nurture, and in particular thank you for sharing all the different ways you’ve been creating nurture for yourselves!

More nurturing stuff in the coming month… Here’s to nurturing the nurturing habit… !

Allowing compliments

I feel warmed and fulfilled when I can let in the fact, or permit myself to feel that someone cares for, accepts, admires or prizes me – Carl Rogers

This is a biggy for many people!!!

Have you ever watched someone playing “compliment cricket?” It goes something like this:

“Wow, you’ve got a real talent there!”
….”Oh no, it’s pretty easy really” …. BAT

“You made a real difference to that meeting”
….”It went well, didn’t it? I guess everyone was in a good mood today!” …. BAT

“This is delicious!! I love your cooking!”
…”Anyone can do it, I have a great recipe book” …. HIT FOR SIX

Bread Pudding

Nana’s Bread Pudding

Any one of those comments could be gracefully received, appreciated and used to nurture our confidence, awareness or ideas as to how we use our talents. But what do we instead? Bat the dratted positive feedback safely out of earshot, claim it was, “nothing really” and protect our littleness.

Well, go join the fielding side for a bit will you?

Catch those kind comments, and hold them long enough to absorb their best intent for you. If you truly find them inaccurate, you can put them down again – but you’ve still done something to provoke that positive comment, haven’t you? What was it? What part of you would it provide nourishment for, if you actually allowed yourself to hear it?

Daily Nurture – more ideas

We’re now at the end of the third week of this blog, and the third week of August’s “One moment of nurture every day” exploration.

If you missed it first time round, you’ll find the initial ideas for daily nurture on here: Ideas so far.

Two toddlers share a hug

Share a hug

And here’s more nurturing ideas that have emerged during the last week or so – thank you to everyone who has contributed via comments, tweets and Facebook posts!

  • Pop some bubble wrap!
  • Watch a film that inspires you
  • Remind yourself of a favourite quote
  • Search online for quotes relating to something you need or love (e.g. hope, patience, courage, mountains, sea, cake…)
  • Find an on-line jigsaw creator app and load up a picture you love, then tootle through the jigsaw
  • Spend time with friends that listen
  • Share a hug!
  • Watch a sunset
  • Send a surprise gift to someone
  • Cook something special
Sunset, North Downs

Watch a sunset…

So… one more week on this August creating daily nurture game…. What other ideas will you come up with?

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

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: 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!

One moment of nurture every day

It’s August 1st, and I’ve just been out for an early morning run in beautiful sunshine.

That’s the second time I’ve been out for a run this year, and I’m rather impressed with every aspect of it!

Whilst my legs were a little confused by the rate of pace – I’m more usually out walking –  the rest of me seemed delighted to be out and about getting some endorphins bopping away, and my eyes gorged on the warm golden chalk Downs, truly fields of gold at this time of year.

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And the end result? A lovely way to start the day, full of beauty, full of good mornings and smiles exchanged with people out walking dogs or running, flavoured with a healthy permission I gave myself to jog not run – and invigorating mischief as I scampered at full pelt on a gentle downhill section, just for the fun of it.

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Ideas that have been bubbling for a while came together as I pootled along the beautiful paths. 15 minutes after getting home, this blog is up and running and I’ve popped back up to the Downs to grab a few photos to share.

Nature and nurture, it’s a passion, an obsession a lifelong journey for me.

So my challenge to myself – and to anyone reading – is this:

Every day for the next month, CREATE a moment of nurture for yourself

It can literally be seconds if need be – if you’re a parent with little ones, that might be a realistic aim. But create it yourself. Choose.

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If you’re up for a second challenge, please would you share your moments here on this blog and inspire others to do the same?

I believe in giving lots to other people. I have found that in order to do that, topping up one’s own tank is not optional, it is essential.

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So relax, this isn’t about being selfish. It is a Responsible, Grown Up means of living life in full.

To lead an effective life of service, you really do need to take care of yourself – Thomas Kinkade

 
P.S. You are of course, not limited to just one moment of nurture every day …