We are here to assist others in living their Truth while we seek to live our own. We are here to spread Joy and knowledge. We are here to teach. We are here to help others thrive— not just survive.
We are cheerleaders at the very least. We are also talent scouts. We are fans and not-so-secret admirers of those who need it the most.
We praise. We love. We validate. We let people know that they matter.
We plant seeds. We water. We shade and give light.
We see dreams, and raise them as our own.
We midwife, coach, guide, challenge. We nudge and hint.
We see the diamond in the rough. We spot potential. We see success.
We choose the unchosen to be on our team. We love the unloved. We hug the un-hugged.
We see the Divinity that resides in all and resolve to help it shine and be seen.
We keep and guard this Light for all. We Nurture this Light.
Am I My Brother’s/ Sister’s Keeper?
Yes, I am. We all are. Why would we not want to be? Why would we want to do anything other than see each unique thread in the overall Divine fabric as strong and un-frayed? We are all part of that same fabric.
Nurturance does not seek dependency. It provides support for growth. It implores others to have the Courage to grow, to be their best and highest self; it implores them to listen to their heart and do what it says.
We cannot make others expand and grow— and even if we could, we ought not to, because then any perceived “growth” would not be genuinely theirs. This would be a forced, false growth that may not reflect their Truth. Given the opportunity, our duty is to do anything within our powers to establish environments that foster growth for others in a manner that does not harm them or exert exorbitant control over them. We are all Keepers of the Light. We are tasked to oil the flame and shelter it from the wind. Once we have done that, the flame must glow on its own and we can step away.
Nurturance 101: Validation
Here on Earth, we human beings are first cared for in the womb. Everything is there for us, assuming that there is a relatively safe environment for the Mother. Providing safety and basic needs for those who are unable to sustain themselves is the most basic mission of the Nurturance element. Sometimes some individuals fail in this endeavor, such as when people starve or when a child is abused; Nurturance requires all souls to monitor the wellbeing of others from a global perspective, without the distinction of borders or familial lineage. All souls are connected, and all souls require Nurturance.
Beyond the most basic provisions for survival, Nurturance seeks to facilitate an environment that elicits thriving and growth for all souls. In this environment, all souls can remember what their true nature is and can fulfill their Truths in this realm.
A basic need for everyone is validation. Validation is the consistent (overt or subtle) message to another that they matter, that their needs and feelings matter— just as much as yours or anyone else’s. With validation, we are conveying to another: You Matter. Validation is hearing one’s Truth without judgment and supporting one’s vision, provided that vision is based in Peace and not harmful or destructive. Validation is accepting the force of someone else’s emotions, even if you would not have the same emotions in the same situation. It is honoring their experience, whether you understand it or share it or not.
Kids who grow up in what counselors call “invalidating environments” are subject to developing the most pervasive mental health issues, many of which are labeled “personality disorders.”
Providing safety and basic survival needs for others is the primary form of validation. After that, we listen and we are present; these actions are validating as well. We can also be sincerely concerned with how others feel. We don’t need to become genies and grant all wishes to appease others. Instead, we can try to understand them and we can take the time to explain what we know. We endeavor to let the person we are with know that they are equal in importance to others in our world.
On a societal level, whole groups of souls can be classified as and made to feel “less-than” in their human forms and expressions. Society will say, covertly or overtly, that these individuals are not equal, that they are less than or even that they are an abomination. Nurturance demands validation on both the individual and societal level. Nurturance rejects harmful isms, such as sexism and racism, and calls these out at the institutional as well as individual level by spreading the word about harmful behaviors and taking action against them (such as protesting when acts of institutionalized isms occur and raising awareness about them in general).
On the global level, Mother Earth has been the ultimate Nurturer, providing sustenance for all. What she gives as well as what she needs are worthy of validation. She is the great womb─ and no child would consciously seek to harm the womb in which he or she lives, right?
Nurturance demands that we nurture not only those who obviously need nurturing but also that which nurtures us─ our children, parents, elders and the Earth. It is a two-way street. Ideally, in your personal relationships, you are both the Nurturer and the Nurtured.
Nurturance further demands that we Nurture all those who need our help regardless of their crimes, sins and omissions. In this way, Nurturance is closely tied to Forgiveness. This is the highest expression of the Nurturance element and the most self-nurturing as well. In helping others, we Nurture ourselves. We bring forth our own Divinity, our Bliss. We heal.
Self-Nurturance (commonly referred to as Self-Care)
To best nurture others, we must nurture ourselves. We need a recognition of the validity of our own Divine nature and our temporal needs. Self-Nurturance recognizes the gift of our Body as the vessel of the soul through which we express our Truth. To deny ourselves self-care on any level is to deny our Divine origins. It also hinders our ability to help others and to be of Service to the world.
We all need a self-care regimen that honors our physical Body. We need to engage in self-awareness and Healing activities in order to nurture our spiritual being. These are mandatory, ongoing engagements for most beings on Earth. There is no narcissism in these endeavors as they are done to honor our Divinity so that, again, we can better serve others.
Some will eschew self-nurturance. In their drive to serve, they may forget to honor their own Divine Body and spirit. They may suffer from an imprinted belief that their needs don’t matter. They may constantly be on-call to please others as a way of distracting themselves from the inner work they need to do.
Our personal needs matter. Providing for our own health, safety and survival as best we can is a form of self-validation. Practicing anything other is a cause for concern and exploration.
A message to all martyrs─ nonstop nurturing of others at the detriment of self and as a method of proving your worth leads to nothing but emptiness, burnout and disease. Instead, why not nurture others from a place of Freewill and the manifestation of your unique Divine nature?
Self-Awareness assists us in knowing what Nurtures us and what we need to include in our lives in order to receive. What Nurtures each of us is different. At the same time, we are duty-bound to try new and creative ways of Self-Nurturance as a matter of evolving and experiencing new levels of this essential Element.
What Nurtures you? Being in nature? Having solitude? Receiving touch? Movement? Meditation? Being of Service? Discover it─ then live it!
The Ultimate Nurturance
Communion is the Ultimate Nurturance. Uniting our Divinity with the greater Divinity of the Universe means fully knowing who we are. This union feeds us with Love, Bliss, Truth and Equanimity, all at the same time. Our natural tendency to seek Nurturance is fundamentally a drive to seek Divine union and to “go home” to our Divine nature.
When we recognize the Divinity in all of creation and we can be nurtured by the Divinity that lies within all, a beautifully reciprocal dynamic is developed. It’s an ecstatic two-way street! When you touch, love and kiss the spirit of Nurturance in yourself and others, you are kicking in this Divine dynamic and are catalyzing the dynamic of Communion.
Allowing ourselves to be nurtured and being able to Surrender to such opportunities is the key to living a Divinely-inspired life. When we open up to Surrender, we are also opening ourselves up to Divinity. Self-sufficiency is a value endorsed by many cultures. Of course, this skill has its merits. However, it does not serve us when we block Nurturance in the form of help from others. An attitude of “I am fine and can handle everything myself” rebuffs those who could help us grow and heal.
People often come into our lives for the purpose of Nurturing us in ways we may be unaware of at the time. When we block this Energy, we are separating ourselves from this Nurturance and also from the Divine. This blocking can also be caused by fear of intimacy and fear of trusting others; it can be a sign that we are afraid to let ourselves feel vulnerable.
“We must nurture and love if life is to have any meaning. But first we must find a way to survive against things that prevent us from doing so.” -Terry Brooks
Nurturance is about loving and giving to others. It is also about loving ourselves and bringing up and honoring the Divine. We Nurture as supported by the elements of Love and Generosity.
Service is distinguished as helping others when it is part of living one’s Truth or mission on this planet. For example, a person born to teach yoga is serving and nurturing others through their teaching. Anyone can Nurture anyone in anything. For example, praising your nephew’s musical talents even though music may not be part of your personal skillset is an act of Nurturing him. In many respects, Service is the practical application of Nurturance.
Generosity in spirit supports Nurturance as we give love, time, attention, and knowledge to others.
Surrender is the opening up of ourselves to ourselves. It also means being vulnerable in order to be Nurtured and, ultimately, to move towards Divine union.
Both the elements of Self-Awareness and Healing remove the blocks we may have towards nurturing or being nurtured. We Nurture with Humility and Non-Attachment in terms of having no expectation of reward, result or aggrandizement.
Empathy, Respect, Non-judgment and Intuition allow us to care for others. Intuition guides us to Nurture those in need in a manner that works.
We Nurture with Humility and Non-Attachment in terms of having no expectation of reward, result or aggrandizement.
- On a daily basis, effectuate the Golden Rule. Treat other people as you would like to be treated.
- Give praise generously, authentically, and often.
- Develop an Action Plan for integrating Nurturance into your daily routine. Think about your relationship with all others in your social sphere. Take inventory of their needs for Nurturance, from the baseline of validation, to ‘cheerleading’ or direct mentoring. Implement a plan to Nurture those most in need. Expand that inventory to those outside of your social sphere. Who needs Nurturance? At risk kids, the homeless, young mothers, “wounded warriors”, may all need help and there may be existing groups, like Big Brothers, or Sisters that can help you Nurture others. Next, survey how you might better Nurture the entire environment around and all creatures in it. Are you playing a role in it’ stewardship and care? How might that role be expanded? What further information do you need to expand your role? What existing groups will foster care in this vein can you Nurture?
- Develop a Self-Care Regimen for Body and Spirit. Think of two things you can do regularly to take better care of yourself over the next month, such as eating healthier, getting more exercise or going to bed an hour earlier than usual. Write those things down in your calendar or agenda.
- Listen, be attentive and be present for others. Avoid the hurried mind in daily relations. Slow down and really listen to at least one person a day for the next five days.
- Ask yourself: How can I best help and Nurture others in a way that utilizes my own unique gifts and is in alignment with my own Truth? Write your discoveries in a journal or notebook.
- Take somebody under your wing. Be a mentor or take on an apprentice in your chosen profession. On the flip side, allow someone else to take you under their wing by being a student or doing an internship. Share knowledge with an eager mind and allow your mind to be filled by the knowledge of others.
- Learn to feel comfortable asking for help/Nurturance. Some of us feel like we need to be mountains or islands all the time, remote and independent, but there should be no shame in letting others know that you could use a little bit of support. This will not only help you but also may help them in the long run as it indicates to them that you are someone from whom they can count on Nurturance in the future.
- Allow yourself to be Nurtured by others with Gratitude. How does it feel to accept Nurturance in the form of compliments and help from others? Sit with the feelings that may arise as you accept them. Express your Gratitude without restraint.
- If a parent or caretaker of children, investigate mindful/conscious parenting.
May All Beings Be Happy; May All Beings Be Safe. Help Me to Nurture All Creation.
I wish happiness for all others. Let me support others as best as I can.
The Universe will Nurture me when I allow it..
Dear God, please allow me to help and understand others as best as I can.
Dear God, please allow me to heal and nurture myself.
I Matter. My Needs Matter. It is Okay to Honor and Nurture Myself.