I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I’m currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. What attracted me to this school is its holistic approach to nutrition: mind, body, and spirit. Basically, we explore how easy it is to overlook all the things that contribute to our sense of nourishment and fulfillment. It’s not just the foods we eat, but all the other factors present in our daily lives. Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity, and a spiritual awareness are essential forms of nourishment…these are what we refer to as our “primary foods”.
At the beginning of my curriculum I completed an exercise to evaluate which primary foods need attention in my life in order to create more balance. As I looked at the areas of spirituality, finances, career, home environment, health, social life, education, physical activity, etc. I found my greatest deficit was relationships. This area goes beyond a romantic relationship, it expanded into every area of my life. I decided I needed to start here and make an effort to expand beyond my comfort zone. As a single woman with no children, I’m accustomed to being alone. I actually enjoy it. I was such a creature of habit that I made little to no time to nurture relationships in my life. I was committed to connecting with my mom at least once a week, I’d make sure to be available when my brother called, but beyond that I didn’t do much else. For the most part I was neglecting my close friends and despite wanting to be in a committed relationship, wasn’t giving that area of my life any attention.
I was disappointed in how much I’d neglected such an important part of my life. So, I decided to stop declining invitations from my friends, to initiate more calls to my family (beyond my immediate family) and to be open to connecting with people in general. This led to me trying new things, being more social, and having more fun. The irony is I’d always decline invitations because I felt it would interfere with my ability to get things done, like work and school, but it actually made me more refreshed and able to get more things done. Neither work nor school has suffered because I decided to nurture my relationships. I don’t accept every invitation, but I am doing a lot more. I can honestly say my life is much more fulfilled and balanced; I have strong, meaningful relationships that I cherish.
We’re always being reminded of how important it is to cherish our relationships because life is short and we never know how much time we have on this earth. That’s only half of it – the other part is how much meaning and purpose it gives to our lives. We weren’t created to live life alone, God created us to need each other, and if we’re not allowing time to nurture relationships with people we care about, then we miss out on a BIG part of the joy of life. Is there someone in your life with whom you could benefit from making time to connect? If so, what are you going to do about it? Until next time…
Peace, Love & Fitness!