When we use the word, nourishment, we typically think of nourishing our bodies. We eat the right foods. Exercise regularly. We don't always meet our goals or expectations, but getting in shape is top of mind. We measure our success by how our body looks and more importantly, how we feel in our own skin.
Oxford defines Nourishment as consuming substances needed for growth, health and good condition.
Okay, so let's talk about Spiritual Nourishment.
What does it mean to nourish your spirit? Just use the same definition: substances needed for growth health and good condition.
Wow! There is a whole seminar just on those 3 questions!!
Like your body, your spirit requires the same level of conscious activity to keep fit. Spiritual practices that stretch, challenge and push your spirit to its limits.
Are you as conscious and careful of what you put into your body for spiritual nourishment as you are for physical nourishment? Do you meditate? Do you read spiritual readings? Are you involved in discussion groups that challenge and push your ideas, philosophies and beliefs?
Engaging these types of activities may feel tough. Your spiritual muscles scream! However, just like a great workout, you can feel invigorated afterwards. With the right mindset, you feel your spiritual muscles strengthen and grow.
Try some of these spiritual exercises:
The point is….Spiritually Nourish Yourself!
I learned a term from my sister-in-law related to food. She looked at a bag of potato chips longingly and said, "I'm avoiding empty calories." And she ate the carrots on the table. Kudos to her! A Nourishment Victory! Wikipedia defines empty calories as supplying "energy but little or no other nutrition in the way of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibre or essential fatty acids."
What junk food do you totally LOVE and does not provide nourishment? You want to eat it til its gone and when its gone, you want more. Mine? A rich cold, thick chocolate shake.
So, what are Spiritual Empty Calories?
We are surrounded by channels that want us to consume their content. They can be as enticing as, well, a thick chocolate shake. I watch a new Netflix program until I complete the series. I watch a news program for hours in the evening. At the end, I don't feel more informed or more nourished …. just an empty feeling.
Where did that night go?
Ever experience that? Yep, those are Empty Spiritual Calories!
Let's take this one step further.
I believe anger and divisive language in our culture are indicators of people consuming too many empty spiritual calories. People repeat soundbytes and memes without validating them to know what they're talking about. It was probably originally rooted in fact, but … facts were lost somewhere in the translation. In fact, the fact no longer matters. The meme is cool and sexy to propagate and consume and incite. We extend zero effort to assess the meme's validity or potential harm. That extra effort is exactly the spiritual exercise we need to nourish our collective spirits!
Just like a pulled muscle, anger and divisive language are pulled spiritual muscles just screaming for healing. Amidst the anger and divisiveness, please listen with empathy. More importantly, listen for that specific wisdom gem created just for you – especially if it gets under your skin.
Healing begins with honed listening skills. Our collective spirits strengthen and grow. We become more spiritually healthy.
We are spiritually nourished.