I realised a long time ago that having a long list of goals and resolutions for a particular year, with arbitrary timelines, was a good way to manufacture angst for no real reason, and make myself stressed.
Do I want to get things done in life? Yes of course. Do I have goals? For sure! What I don’t have are deadlines, because life has a way of having other ideas about what occurs in my day to day happenings. Why create artificial stress for myself? What I’d rather have is action, and for me to do that in a way that is adaptable, flexible, holistic and uplifting, I decided to choose a word or theme for each year. In years gone by I have had STRONG and CONFIDENCE as themes. I lost my way for a bit in the aftermath of my divorce and didn’t have a word or theme as such; I was too busy surviving and licking my wounds. Reacting. Consolidating.
This year I am ready to have an intentional year. My theme for 2017 is Nourish.
What does nourish mean? The dictionary says:
It has the feel of strengthening – both mentally and physically. It also speaks to me of caring, compassion and nurturing. It feels like healing.
I want to build healthy, sustainable, life-long habits to look after myself, and make space to allow others to look after me if I need it or if they want to. It appears to be an awfully long list, but comprises the little parts that make up my life. All of the parts that will be nourished in tiny little incremental ways each day. Nourishment needs to be balanced, and it must be a gentle, loose approach or I will dig my heels in and buck against even my own expectations. Will I get it right all the time? No, but that’s ok too. Being kind to myself is part of nourishment too. If I can build the habits and the correct thinking, these things will roll on over the course of years.
So…what areas can benefit from a little nourishment this year, what will it look like?
- Movement – I need to move more in a general sense. I have a sedentary job and then like to come home and create art, so I’m on my butt a lot. I also want to continue to develop a consistent training regime to get strong.
- Nutrition – choose food that does me good and supports health as I get older without getting all dogmatic and extreme about it, because that will suck my soul dry and ultimately not be sustainable.
- Brain food – get rid of ‘junk food’ such as mindless television and most social media, 99% of news sites and broadcasts, advertising, reality tv, toxic people, avoid click-bait. I want to practice more critical thinking. I have to ask myself…Is this fake news? Is this sensationalism? Is this ideological propaganda? Instead I want to feed my brain with proper nutrition; choose reliable sources of information from a wide variety of viewpoints so that I am not in an echo chamber. I want to keep learning. Replace the ugliness with beauty, practice gratitude to counteract the whingers and passive aggressive rants, and surround myself with the right people.
- Sleep – work at improving the quality of my sleep.
- Self-care – facials, rest, bubble baths and massages (mind you…all of the things on this list are self-care in one way or another, but these are the indulgences!).
- Play time – encourage my inner child to come out more often. Life is too short not to have fun and to explore and have a sense of wonder about everything.
- Down time versus social time balance – social interaction exhausts me (including work), so I need to make sure I balance that with appropriate periods of down time to recharge my batteries.
- Relationships – pour time into the ones that matter and release, with kindness, the ones that are toxic and emotionally draining. I want to spend time with the ones that want to gaze at the stars and dive deep into conversations about life and the universe – the ones that can build me up to be a better person.
- Art and Writing – eventually I would love to be writing and creating art full-time, in the short term I will continue to give them time and courses to let them grow and develop. I will explore options and perhaps arrive at my own recognisable style.
- Soul food – get out in nature more, travel, go to galleries, surround myself with beauty …and much of this will tie in with the brain food that I choose to indulge in.
If I am nourishing myself in these ways I believe it will flow through into my art and writing. Each of them are intertwined and interdependent and add up to a happy and content Michelle. And that’s who I want to be. Happy, relaxed, content, at peace. The old thing about artists needing to be in perpetual anguish, I think, is rubbish; an outdated stereotype. I can create from a happy place. The unending guilt and fear of a life lived under a controlling paradigm is gone. I am free to fly, and nourishing myself will help me grow in my feathers so that I can soar.
So as I wander barefoot into 2017, these are the things I will be asking myself
- Does this feed my soul?
- Does this feel good?
- Does this feel nourishing?
- What would “nourish” look/feel like in this situation?
What works for you? Do you plan tightly or loosely? Do you have a word?