Sunday, May 28, 2023

Self-Nurturing, by Cheryl St.John


DEFINITION: Nurture as a verb: care for and encourage the growth or development of. "Janet was nurtured by her parents in a close-knit family." (used with object), nurtured, nurturing, to feed and protect: to nurture one's offspring; to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; foster: to nurture promising musicians. To bring up; train; educate. Nurture as a noun: the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.

When we think of nurturing, we most often think of adults caring for offspring or a horticulturist looking after a new hybrid plant. It’s difficult for many adults, especially busy or career-minded ones, to consider how well they’re nurturing themselves. Most of us have become the nurturers. We’ve devoted ourselves to children, adult children, grandchildren and our aging parents. We take care of our homes, our lawns our pets. Sometimes nurturing ourselves only amounts to eating as healthy as possible considering our time and budget, or picking up the latest craft book and a new pen.

When we nurture others, we give the very best of ourselves. Our kids get thoughtful gifts, our time and energy, and we take our senior parents to visit the sites that bring them fond memories. But how are we nurturing ourselves with the very best support?

There are plenty of meaningful ways we can nurture ourselves, not only as artists, but as human beings. A well-rounded life is one in which you are as important as others. Buy yourself something impractical, simply because it brings you joy: A new purse, a pair of leather gloves, a teapot and a collection of teas. Splurge on new bedsheets and enjoy them every night. Order a music device and subscribe to music that makes you happy. Buy a sticker book and give yourself a fun sticker every time you take care of yourself. Buy something off your wish list simply because it’s fun or beautiful. Read a book you’ve been wanting to read  -- or read your favorite book again.

The older I get, the more I have learned to make use of the best things I own. Use the good towels. Wear the expensive perfume every day. Burn the pretty candles. Put out the good dishes. Buy the yummy coffee. Use the Colors of Kindness Crayons because they’re cool and you can.

Make a note in your planner to have lunch with a friend once a month. You’d be amazed how uplifting this is, and how you will come away refreshed. Call a parent, a cousin or an aunt or uncle every Sunday evening for a month.

And don’t forget this vital encouragement: Talk to yourself the way you’d speak to a loved one. “You missed the mark this time, but you can do it; Tomorrow is a new day; Sleep on it and start fresh; Forgive yourself; You’re doing the best you can; I love you and I care.”

If we don’t foster, encourage and support ourselves, how can we expect to flourish and grow? Each one of us deserves the very best self-care we can give ourselves.

Cheryl St.John is the author of sixty novels, both historical and contemporary, print and indie published. Her stories have earned numerous awards and are published in over a dozen languages. One thing all reviewers and readers agree on regarding Cheryl’s work is the degree of emotion and believability. Words like ‘heart-warming, emotional depth, touches your soul, tugs your heart, endearing characters and on my keeper shelf’ are commonly used to describe her work.

In describing Cheryl’s stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real-life situations.” Amazon and Goodreads reviews show her popularity with readers. 

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