Updated: May 1
With the coming of spring comes the promise of new life and flourishing gardens. This is such a hopeful season. As I see plants spring back to life I think of my own life and make the parallel that I too can have a flourishing life, even after a long winter season depletes me. What a refreshing thought! Life has its own seasons, and just as sure as winter finds us all, so does spring with its hope of life and renewal.
So, when we find ourselves in the hard seasons and our personal growth seems stunted or dormant remember that just as the garden blooms to life again, we too will once again flourish.
Flourishing plants are beautiful. So are flourishing lives. The word flourish means: to thrive, to grow well or luxuriantly; to do well or prosper; to have high productivity, excellence, or influence. Who would not want to flourish? I would suggest that we all desire to flourish. But just how do we flourish? Nature is our good teacher here. Look again to the garden and we see that plants thrive when nourished but shrivel and fade away when neglected. All plants require adequate sunshine, water and even fertilizers. Our lives require no less care than that.
“Nourish” means: to provide with food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition; to keep a feeling or belief in one’s mind for a long time; to feed, provide for, sustain, and maintain; promote the growth of; to support or encourage; to foster; and to strengthen.
If we are to live flourishing lives, then we must commit to nourishing our lives. We are “whole” beings comprised of a body, mind, soul, and spirit and we must nourish all four parts if we are to flourish.
Nourish Your Body
We must provide our body with the proper rest, nutrition, and hydration. Tips for nourishing the body:
1. Switch out enriched white flour for whole wheat flour. Whole wheat is rich in vitamins, fibers, magnesium, zinc, and proteins. Research suggests that eating rich fiber food can aid in the reduction of weight loss, prevent weight gain, cleanse the system, reduce chronic inflammation, and improve mental health.
2. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. Water is to plants what water is to our bodies. We too need adequate hydration to truly thrive. We often live life dehydrated and that drains our energy.
3. Prepare a list of your family’s favorite meals and plan a nutritious weekly menu. Ensure you have you have all the necessary ingredients readily available. Stick to the plan. Planning is half the battle. Preparing food is so much easier once you know what you are having
4. Do not eat in front of the TV, laptop, or tablet. Distracted eating can prompt you to consume 25% more calories than when you are paying attention to your meal.
5. Maintain a healthy evening routine to ensure you get adequate sleep. This might be as simple as unplugging from technology at least one hour before bedtime and turning off the lights by 11:00 pm.
Nourish your Mind
Feed your mind in a healthy way.
1. Go analogue occasionally. Use your brain to complete tasks rather than relying on technology.
2. Consider a news fast. This will promote mental calm.
3. Learn something new. Your brain forms new synapses each time you do something for the first time.
4. Listen to a podcast.
5. Be available to sit in solitude because our brains need time to process things.
Nourish your Soul
Nurture your relationships and emotions in a healthy way.
1. Confide in close friends.
2. Help others.
3. Accept the fact that your feelings do not define you nor do they dictate your destiny. You have a choice in how you react to your feelings.
4. Set weekly dates with friends.
5. Engage in a fun activity that fuels you.
Nourish Your Spirit
Sunshine is to a plant what Sonshine (Jesus, God’s Son) is to the spirit. He warms the cold, dormant places of our hearts and brings love, hope and renewal! Ways to nourish your spirit:
1. Set aside daily time for solitude to connect with God through prayer.
2. Read scriptures daily.
3. Create a gratitude journal.
4. Volunteer your time to help someone this week.
5. Read inspirational books.
Today is a new day. A. Fresh. Start. Now is the time to nourish your life to flourish. You can become all that God has created you to be. Remember, growth is a slow process so have patience and just keep doing the work. It is not the heroic effort that pays off the most but the consistent nurturing that grows deep roots, producing healthy plants. We sometimes feel shy and fear what life would be like if we were truly flourishing. But let us not shrink back from our calling. FLOURISH! Not for our own sake, but for the sake of serving others and making a difference in this world! Shine! Grow beautiful gardens! Let others know that if we can flourish, so can they! This is how we are to be.