On Nourishment

Hand in Soil

3546425A concept that’s been coming up a lot for me lately is ‘nourishment’, and leading a nourishing life.

Does your life nourish you? Do your days?

A big part of how I’ve spent the last two years is in the mindset of “trying to figure out the next chapter” or “what do I want to do with my life”.  I’ve worked toward that with Deeper Context, to some extent.

But recently I’ve realized that “figuring out the next thing” is actually a mind state completely distinct from actually living your life and having the next thing happen. You can spend your entire life with the mental filter of ‘I gotta figure out what I want to do’.  The answer doesn’t come from thoughts, from contemplation.  There is no light bulb waiting to pop on and provide a singular a-ha moment.

So, it seems there is no answer.  But maybe the question itself is flawed. Maybe how can I find a job that maps to my skills and interests and passions is not really useful or answerable.  Maybe a more useful framing would be  how might I live a life that more often includes things that nourish me, and trust that the necessarily material concerns will follow?. 

What nourishes me?

For one, stepping away from the computer. I’ve spent too many days glued to one screen or another, communicating with loved ones, feeding my interests, killing time. I’m taking a break from my 12 hour laptop days, as much as i can.  The internet will be there if I need it.

I’m also taking a bit of a breather from the current iteration of Deeper Context.  Now, the project is still very near and dear to my heart.  It’s my own fault, really.  I’ve had the ‘figuring out the next thing’ glasses on, and I’ve accidentally taken something that I care about very dearly (talking to people about the things that they love and their history and what energizes them) and aimed it too much at “let me make videos for your website”.

What I care about is the conversation, and that just doesn’t show through.  So, it needs adjustment.   I know there’s a better way to integrate it into my life in a way that is nourishing, and it will happen.  That will come, in time.

So, here’s my reality now: I have no idea what’s next.

I could not possibly feel better about accepting this reality.

Stepping away from the expectation of ‘finding a path’ or ‘choosing a topic’ is providing me the freedom to look at things through this different, lighter lens.

I’ve been gardening a bit.  Taking my hands off of the keyboard and putting them into the dirt.  Something real.  Something I can help to grow. In some instances, something I can eat later.

Plants exist in the real world.  You feed them and care for them and they reward you with rich colors and flavors.  You can feel them. There’s no screen to look through.

I guess in some way I’m creating nourishment there too.

Feels good.

Note: Sometimes I struggle with making these posts more inclusive. Using ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. I’ve decided not to worry about that now, but I would really genuinely love to have a conversation about this with anyone who would like to share their feelings.

Thanks to Mynde Mayfield for encouragement and Jen Carney for resonance on this post.