Such interesting times we are living in, so many changes, so many first times, so much uncertainty bringing up the entire range of emotions, from fear, loss and worry to hope, trust and a sense of renewal. It has been interesting and still is, navigating through these changes and watching the different emotional reactions they have caused in me and in the people around me.
I have, and continue to depend on the many tools of support that I have learned to use and apply for myself. This includes anything that nurtures my body, my spirit, my heart and my soul.
The trickiest part of applying the knowledge I have and the practices I know onto myself for me, is discipline. I could only find the discipline for my practices when already suffering from anxiety and worry. In this state of lack, fear and confusion, I would turn to discipline for structure and support.
Like watering a plant only once I see the leaves hanging from neglect and need for water.
It is moving from one extreme to the next, from drought to flood to drought to flood.
During the time of drought, the soil becomes dusty and hard, losing it´s vitality and richness.
The plant resources itself from its own reserves in this inhospitable environment. Pouring water on this solid earth has a short time effect, the water cannot be absorbed, it simply runs through the dusty, hard soil, washing out it’s minerals and fertility, the roots of the plant can only retrieve some much needed water. This plant will survive, it will live, but it most likely will not strive.
The plant and soil would need to be nourished, with time, attention and care. Steeped in water for a day or two, fertilizing the soil with organic matter, maybe even repotting for a fresh new start and in order to keep providing a place for growth and unfolding.
I have spent many years of my life living in this dynamic, working tirelessly to the point of complete exhaustion, then collapsing and quick fixing my need for rest by taking short breaks to charge my battery from depletion back to a state in which I could function.
Working and living a life that is constantly asking a little more of us than we have is living a life on the limit and in a state of constant depletion. A state that sets in after the reserve is used up. Survival mode. Then a quick fix here and there, a week of vacation, a night out with friends, Yoga once a week and maybe a meditation when there is time.
It has literally taken me years to nurture myself to a place of feeling charged and able. Many days and weeks of rest and immersion and quite a few new pots with fresh soil for a new beginning. I am still learning to pace myself and to find and adapt to a rhythm in which I can lead my life outside of depletion, in a state in which I feel nourished, healthy and alive.
It is in this state of fullness, of satisfaction that an inner calmness, a tenderness and softness can emerge. This softening nourishes my loved ones, my community which in return, nourishes me.
Just like rich soil provides the ground for plant life to flourish and grow, we nurture ourselves and our surroundings so that they can then nurture us. A cycle in which whatever we give, keeps giving back and charges and re-charges us constantly.
So whenever you feel in doubt about doing something for yourself that will nurture your mind, body and/or spirit, give it to yourself!
We all benefit from the nourishment this fully satisfied you will provide for yourself, your community and the world.
Charu Eliza Hermsdorf
Co-founder of DIMA Mallorca, A Centre for Conscious Living
Mediator and Conflict counselor at MediateBerlin