Today's invitation is to expand 'nourishment' to also include that which sustains your mental body's lifelong learning, your emotional body's lifelong feeling, and your purpose body's lifelong dedication to something greater than yourself. Consistent nourishment is what will contribute to your sustainability as a leader. It's also an energy source as you embark in your own self-leadership, team-leadership, and business leadership processes. To give you an idea of what I mean, in his newest novel called "the way forward", Yung Pueblo shares that:
"you need to do more
than eat nourishing food,
exercise, and rest to feel your best
you also need to be around good people,
spend time healing your emotional history,
live in alignment with your values,
say no to people-pleasing,
stay open to growth,
and deeply embrace change"
To me, that's the poetic way of saying two things:
1. Develop nervous system flexibility
2. Expand the definition of 'nourishment'
1. Because developing your nervous system's flexibility to adapt to change is the key tool in deeply embracing change.
2. Because 'nourishment' goes beyond that which sustains your physical body.
Why think about nourishment at all, though? Because, as we talked about in the article from a few weeks back, it's important to preemptively prepare your bodies and to set up the conditions through which you can face personal and professional curveballs. These tend to leave your nervous system in a temporary, yet intense state of whiplash. This, then, makes it easier to default to coping responses that once served to protect you and can now cause you or those around you harm. These default responses can show up as feast/famine cycles of restricting or bingeing behaviours around food, drugs, work, sex, money, conflict, or other substances at home or at work. That being said, what might change for you if you chose to be intentional about breaking punitive patterns and practiced consistent nourishment more often instead?
What do I mean by that? I invite you to think about your nervous system's flexibility aka your body's capacity to adapt to change, challenge, or opportunity in the midst of chronic overwhelm as a battery. This battery needs to be charged in different ways consistently and over an extended period of time to be available when the curveballs hit. By expanding the definition of 'nourishment', you have more sources to recharge your battery with. I invite you to prioritize 4 sources:
a. Mental nourishment
b. Emotional nourishment
c. Purpose nourishment
d. Physical nourishment
When thinking about what these are for you, I invite you to ask yourself the following 8 questions:
1. What relationships, places, or experiences contribute to my lifelong learning?
2. How do I want to feel as I embark on growth-promoting learning?
3. How do I want to feel most of the time in my everyday life?
4. What relationships, places, or experiences contribute to feeling the way I want to more of the time?
5. What relationships, places, or experience contribute to staying connected to something greater than myself?
6. How might all these different types of nourishment contribute to a greater sense of connection with myself, my friends, my teams, my family, my clients, and the communities I wish to serve?
7. What are the sensations I tend to feel in my head, throat, shoulders, chest, belly, and back when my physical body feels nourished?
8. What relationships, places, or experiences help me feel the most comfortable or the least uncomfortable in my own skin?
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