It was my morning ritual. The holy grail in the name of health. I wasn't sure exactly why I was religiously making smoothies every morning other than it was the latest health craze. That, and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired: I figured a mega-dose of nutrition couldn't hurt.
But smoothies were only the beginning. I wanted to learn the meaning of true nourishment and so began my year-long journey in health and wellness. How true, meaningful, lasting nourishment comes from our career, relationships and choices just as much as it does from what we eat for breakfast:
I learned the art of self-care.
I'd neglected myself for most of my years on this planet, being long on criticism and short on self-love. I finally shushed the inner critic that would nag me to keep on the grind and instead lit some candles, put on some tunes and began taking long, warm baths.
I connected to my divine feminine, in my element as I immersed in the water. I would sing. I would cry. I would melt into the ripples, hidden from the world underneath a pile of soapy goodness, emerging to feel like a new person.
I found that how we treat ourselves sets the standard on how we allow others to treat us.
I focused on doing what truly fed my soul.
Finding the courage to give up the road I was traveling for one full of twists and turns with no path or security took courage.
I took a leap of faith and I'm still falling. Yet, somehow I think that I'm getting better at building my wings on the way down. In exchange, I gained freedom and deeper insight into what mattered most to me. I also found that the universe does support you when you go in the direction of your dreams.
Somehow, as I'm falling, I also feel like I'm floating at the same time.
I learned to coach people.
Even when I wasn't sure myself of where I was heading, I connected with strangers from all over the globe. I laughed with them, learned what hurt them and what was most pressing in their lives. I made heartfelt connections, found soul friends and uncovered pieces of my soul in the process.
In helping others with their map, I inadvertently found my way through mine as well.
I gained a love for food.
For whole food, food that is alive and brimming nutrients, warmed by the sun. I felt what it was like to be truly energized and most at home in nature. I found solace in digging my toes into the ground, watering the plants and in turn, gaining nourishment from them. I rejoiced in the cycle, and in the oneness that binds us all together.
I found pleasure in preparing food.
Rich, delicious food in vibrant colors. I delighted in the symphony of smells and tastes, and in the creativity the cooking process would draw from me. I felt my energy meld the ingredients into becoming another creation entirely. In serving food to loved ones, I found nourishment for myself.
I connected to my gut instinct.
Instead of listening to the million voices in my head, I learned to tune into my soul. I felt my way around choices, instantly knowing when something felt right or wrong. I let my inner guide lead the way and let go of the voices of fear, doubt and worry. I stopped when I felt resistance and instead followed the path of ease, lightness and joy. I flowed and let the universe flow through me.
I focused on the most important relationship of all: my relationship with myself.
I've learned to put feeling good first and foremost, and to reach for that feeling above anything else. I practiced my muscle of mindfulness in word, thought and deed. I let go of my harmful habits, clearly seeing how they were forms of violence towards myself.
I changed the language of my inner critic to a dialogue filled with love and compassion. I empowered myself by establishing a routine of yoga, meditation and healthful food. I put my growth as spiritual being at the forefront and felt how this changed my interactions immensely.
I learned the concept of bio-individuality.
How there is no one diet that fits all. I started seeing all the idiosyncrasies and quirks that make us endlessly beautiful. Instead of becoming a barrier, they became opportunities to learn more about myself in relation to others. I saw the universe as an ever evolving, infinite place for expansion and growth.
In that vein and new awareness, I choose to do, eat and think things based on what I feel my body needs. I tune in first to feel brimming with energy, excitement and enthusiasm for what's to come.