Lessons From Nature: Nurture

IMG_2989Some of life’s most important lessons can be learned from observing nature.  I look around in my back yard and feel that my plants are talking to me.  It just takes being present in the moment and a keen eye to “hear” the lessons from nature.

Look closely at the picture to the right.  This is kale growing in my garden that I’ve been putting in my daily smoothie.  At first glance you might not even notice what I see, but if you really look you will notice how the kale on the right side of the row is much shorter and less dense than the kale on the left side.  The exact same amount of seed was planted, watered and fertilized in the row but the reason the kale on the left is more prolific is simply because it got picked more often.

You would think that picking more frequently would make it bare, but in this case, it stimulates growth as long as you don’t pick the terminal bud found at the top center of the kale plant.  By giving just the right amount of attention to kale, it actually becomes more prolific.  Can’t we say that about ourselves too.  When we nurture ourselves and others, don’t we become more prolific and grow more into our potential?

Lessons From Nature: Nurture Yourself

In short, nurturing yourself means taking care of you.  I believe self-nurturing consists of eating the right foods in healthy amounts, getting enough sleep, exercising daily and maintaining life balance.   Life balance for me means fulfilling my sense of purpose, doing for others and having personal recharge time.  I find if I pay less attention to one area and more to another I feel less nurtured, I get more self focused and I become needier.  When I’m nurturing myself in all ways, I’m able to connect better with people, think more creatively and have more energy.

Lessons From Nature: Nurture Others

Nurturing others in your life is done by helping to create a supportive environment to facilitate their growth.  My kale grew well because it was planted in compost-enriched soil, watered, bathed in good sunlight and carefully picked.  I actually had a 12 foot row of kale and found that each day I went out to pick kale for my smoothie I had enough by the time I got half way down the row which is why the kale on the end was sparser.  I never realized that ignoring the kale on the end was going to stop it’s growth.  I did a great job evenly picking the leaves from the beginning of the row, but did not give enough attention to the ones on the end.

Nurturing others means giving them attention in just the right way and right amount so that they can grow abundantly.  Nurturing others means acknowledging someone’s hard work, encouraging someone when they are feeling doubtful, and giving constructive feedback even when it may be difficult.  Nurturing others means helping them be their best selves.

Nurturing Nature So Nature Can Nurture Back

Nurturing has a circular path.  When the kale is well nurtured, it nurtures us back with great nutrition.  When we nurture ourselves, the people around us respond more positively which helps us to feel nurtured.  When we nurture other people in our lives, those relationships become stronger and more meaningful.  I think I will start picking my kale from the left side from now on.

Barbara helps clients with weight management, diabetes and general health improvement. Barbara can be contacted at barbarahgroth@gmail.com.  Enter you email address on the home page to get Barbara’s health blog delivered to your inbox or “Like” on https://www.facebook.com/AHealthyWeighTodayLLC to get blogs on your facebook page.

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