A topic that that has been on my mind quite a bit lately is the idea of nourishment. Nourishment is essentially the ability to give ourselves or allow ourselves that which helps us to grow. We can find nourishment on any plane that bisects our lives. I think most of the time we don’t actively think about nourishment. We go from one breath to the next, doing what feels right or natural to us. The issue is, most of what feels “right” is patterned from our childhood, habits built so deeply into us that we don’t ever second-guess them.
There is a commercial on TV right now for the Cooking Channel. In it, the woman speaks about our food sources and says one of the smartest lines I have heard from a commercial in a long time. She essentially says that by eating food shipped in from places we don’t know about or haven’t heard of, we are outsourcing a huge part of our lives. This started a train of thought in my brain. We are outsourcing our lives. Every time I passively read Facebook, watch a TV show or follow links to the next huge thing, I am allowing someone else to make the decision about who I am, what I believe and what I see. You see, the reality around us is constantly in the act of being created. I don’t truly think “my thoughts made my cat do that bad behavior”, that’s not the process of creation I speak of. But our reality is a product of our thought process’. Every time we make a decision, every time we go right instead of left, every time we chose to buy product X off the shelf that’s full of a hundred products, we create our reality. And if we are not actively pursuing that which nourishes us and allows us to grow, we are outsourcing our reality to someone in who-knows-where.
Nourishment is a big part of my life. I actively struggle with a destructive eating disorder and the choice to allow myself to be nourished is truly a daily choice. Sometimes I can say yes to my own growth and development, sometimes it seems an impossible mountain that I am just too tired to climb.
Allowing ourselves to find nourishment in our spiritual lives is also an active, ongoing process. When we make a choice to reach for our faith instead of the TV remote, we are creating a reality that allows us to grow. Too often, lounging on the couch or in front of the computer is the easy option. Too often, we find ourselves in a position to say “Well I would love to do that but this other thing is filling up my time and energy”. We forget that we are not passive little statues, that we make a choice to allow that job, that TV show, that other thing to fill up our time. Yes, its hard to find the time to cook or exercise or meditate. But the question you should ask yourself is this: what else is taking up my time so that I don’t have the time to nourish myself with this thing I am making excuses for? Who am I outsourcing my life to? Who would I become if I made a conscious effort to choice my life?
Even now I am aware that my presenting these questions to you is a form of outsourcing. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad or like they have to make a choice they think I would approve of. The important part of this equation is having the awareness to be active participants in our lives.
I read an article yesterday where the author had this to say about her religion: “One thing I like about Christianity is that it tells me what to care about…”
All I can say is this: one thing I like about being pagan is it doesn’t tell me what to think, feel, believe or how to live my life. It leaves the question of nourishment entirely up to me.