Finding your next step

Nurture yourself to open up to it

You do not berate a piece of fruit for not ripening faster; you allow it to ripen in good time. Therefore honor yourself and your progress because everything is happening at the pace it should. Support your personal growth with care.

To nurture yourself is to be gentle. As in, to think positive thoughts about yourself and to take good care of your body, inside and out. That includes what you surround yourself with, so surround yourself with beauty, too. (Read more ways to nurture yourself here.)

Nurture has become the theme of my life, as you can probably tell from the above photos. (Armand and I took them in 2014 in Brisbane, Australia at the fabulous Sourced Grocer in Teneriffe.) Every day I look for ways how to nurture myself because it keeps me in a state of flow. And when I get off-balance, life can get overwhelming and that's when I know I need to take a step back and just breathe.

As I write this I know that I'm at another big crossroads in my life. On the one hand I'm feeling unsure of my next steps, yet on the other hand, I know exactly what I need to do next, which is to just breathe and allow it in. (I'm not yet ready to share the glorious-ness of what the next step is. At least, not until after I've taken the step and have found my footing. Because part of me is still freaking out a bit, even though it's something that I really, really, really want. I've made art about getting close to it, only to not manage to allow it into my life.) So yes, I am in full-on nurture mode.

"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it." - John Lennon

 

Let's get back to the subject of nurture and creating what you really want in life...

Ex nihilo, nihil fit.
Out of nothing comes nothing.
Or put another way: you get out what you put in.

Life is that way. Ex nihilo, nihil fit holds true for health and fitness, relationships, home, and work. If you don’t invest in them — or at least maintain them — they will fall apart over time. And if you don't nurture yourself, your life falls apart.

Life can get overwhelming at times, so how do you know which steps to take when you feel lost or overwhelmed? And how do you prioritize?

Answer: be gentle with yourself. Nurture yourself. Get calm and centered. Then ask yourself a single question. And remember, you need to be open to receiving the answer, and nurturing yourself is the key.

 

"A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles." - William Hazlitt

 

Part of achieving success lies in the question you ask. What I’ve learned over the years is that asking the right question will get me closer to my goals. To that end, I’ve stopped asking questions that start with “why”, as in, why did this happen? Asking why will just send you off on a wild goose chase and lead to more questions starting with why, why, why? That won't help you reach clarity, right?

Also avoid asking questions beginning with “how” because, in the grand scheme of things, you don’t need to know how to get from A to B. All you need to know is what your next step is and focus on that.

The most effective way to find your next step is to start off with a "what" or "who" question:

What is my next step?
What are my choices?
Who is going to help me reach my goal?
Who should I contact?

If you have more than one choice, ask more specific questions that begin with "which":

Which choice is most effective?
Which is the best choice for me right now?

When you ask a question, the answer is immediately available to you. You may not hear it immediately though, so this is why you need to nurture yourself, and not beat yourself up (which will only cause you to close up). By staying open through nurturing yourself you're aware when the answer comes to you, whether that be a eureka moment while taking a shower or someone calling you out of the blue.

So how do you stay open when you're used to beating yourself up and talking yourself down? This is when it helps to have a meditation practice. Meditation can be anything from yoga and breathing exercises to dancing, going for a run, or taking a bath. Meditation is not woo woo. Meditation is a form of self-care -- it's a way to connect with your intuition.

Nurture yourself. Be gentle with yourself. And allow yourself the time you need to hear the answer.

Remember, you do not berate a piece of fruit for not ripening faster; you allow it to ripen in good time. Therefore honor yourself and your progress because everything is happening at the pace it should. Support your personal growth with care.

Just see yourself knowing your next step when the time is right. Trust that you will. And stay in the present moment, because focusing on the end goal makes it too easy to forget the present moment and to become overwhelmed by the largeness of the task.

When you shift your focus towards where you are now and away from where you're trying to reach, the situation doesn’t feel like a struggle...and you can enjoy each moment.

Nurture yourself every step of the way.

Here’s the summary

1. Be gentle with yourself.
2. Acknowledge where you are.
3. Accept your situation as it is, without judgement.
4. Set a goal.
5. Ask what one step you can take today. (Accept the answer, without judgement).
6. Take the step.
7. Acknowledge and appreciate the step taken.
8. Ask another question and take another step. (Repeat Steps 1-7)

 

"Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself." - Julia Cameron