My son helped me to fill up the bird feeder on the deck yesterday and he was very excited to witness chickadees pecking away at the bird seed in the feeder early this morning. The image of these birds busily feeding without a care in the world made me think about the importance of nourishment physically,emotionally, mentally and spiritually. All these aspects of our life are intertwined and impact each other. I like to see people at their best and I think this happens when we find a balance in these spheres of our lives (as elusive as that can sometimes be to achieve!).

Physically, I am my best self when I exercise, eat and sleep well. I was always physically active as a child but with the demands of work and parenthood, I have had inconsistent phases in my life. I am fortunate to be naturally skinny however this has meant that I have not always seen the urgency of doing exercise. In some instances, I even viewed it as some kind of selfish, self-centered practice where I am trying to improve my physical image (it’s all about me, right?). But of course that’s not really true if one has the right motives. I now see that exercise is just as essential as food and sleep in maintaining a healthy body and mind. I now view it as something that keeps me healthy and therefore allows me to be my best self for my family, friends and others around me. So exercise is now one of my top priorities and I have adopted my brother’s “earthquake policy”. Unless there’s an earthquake, I am doing some exercise today!

Emotionally, I am am my best self when I have social interactions. This really depends on temperament of course and this is just what I have noticed encourages me. I have noticed though that the type of social interaction is vitally important. When we surround ourselves with motivated, positive people, this can make a world of difference to our overall mood. It does not have to be restricted to people with similar interests as us (although we tend to gravitate towards such people). Being with other people takes the focus off of ourselves and helps us keep our own lives in perspective.

Mentally, I am my best self when I am learning something new. This could be from any topic or field but mental stimulation is important for brain health and what you learn can be useful material for conversations with others. I aim to study or read something every day. Its priority in my life is right up there with food, sleep and exercise. It keeps my brain whirring!

Spiritually, I am best self when I take time to pray every day. It allows me to stop, think, and be grateful to the Creator for this beautiful world we live in, despite the pain and brokenness we see. It reminds me to take the focus off myself and onto the one who saved me by his grace and not by anything I could possibly do on my own. It allows me to reflect on all the good things in my life despite the challenges.

Nourishment. We all crave it. We all need it. How do you get your daily nourishment?