It occurs to me that women from all around the world will be reading this article, which is why I realize that life experience in different countries is so relevant in its diversity. How fascinating it would be to sit in one room with a baby boomer from each country, and exchange, share, compare and learn from each other.
Alas the reality of that happening is quite remote, so let me get the ball rolling, and maybe you can chip in with your point of view via the comments section below.
How I nourished my soul through the decades is quite different to how it is now in my seventh decade. My teens were all about trying to be a dedicated student who endeavored to achieve good grades, but I was equally keen to nurture the rebel side of me, too: I was torn between being somewhat of a goody two shoes at home, and cutting my teeth on experimenting with “forbidden fruits” outside those confines.
This led to some confusion on my part as, indeed, is typical of teenage years anywhere. My coping mechanism was my love of music and when I look back, I realize that music is the backbone that has nourished my soul through every single decade.
My 20s became an extravaganza of travel, cruising around the world with my work, and there was no greater opportunity to nourish my soul than by learning about different cultures in their own unique environments. I was beyond fulfilled.
My 30s were dedicated to my first husband, my marriage, building a new business. I was leading a more “responsible” life now. Not entirely unusual as, after all, this is a normal time to start a family, although children were not to be a part of my destiny.
However, life was good, and material possessions probably defined how I nourished my soul: lovely home, top of the range car, designer clothes, high end restaurants. In retrospect, it all seems rather superficial now.
Most of my 40s were difficult. Between a divorce, losing my father, my brother, my mother, and a toxic relationship that lasted way longer than it should have, this was by far my toughest decade. Worst of all is that I completely forgot the art of nourishing my soul. I’m so grateful that music faithfully came to my rescue, without me even realizing it.
My 50s were somewhat of a rebirth in finding my old self. I met my second husband, and he was so kind and caring towards me. I had the insight to acknowledge that I had not been nurturing myself for the longest time, so I set out to rectify that and I’m happy to report I came back with a vengeance, mastering the art of nourishing my soul once again.
However, my version of how to do this had changed; material possessions seemed rather unimportant, and travel was beginning to lose its luster. A shift towards the simpler things in life and contentment within my relationship were far more compelling.
Sadly, my second marriage had run its course by my early 60s, but being a single woman again seems to have had a profound and heightened effect on how I nourish my soul. My physical, emotional and spiritual well-being are firing on all cylinders, and these days all my senses feel super charged; everything seems to be fulfilling me.
The pull of the ocean is ever present (as a water sign this seems logical), my eyes are open to aromas and the color of flowers with a more vivid lens. I am finding much joy from books and poetry. I am treating my body more like the temple it should be.
I am reaping the benefits of rekindling long-term friendships that have sat too long on the back burner, I am sitting in reflective silence more often and identifying those things that move me so that I may make a conscious effort to incorporate them into my daily life.
All has not been a bed of roses since my divorce, but as is well documented, we need to move through many convoluted and difficult life changes to reach the other side. I think we all process self-love in different ways, and that’s perfectly fine, but I encourage you to find a path to your own place of bliss someway, somehow.
I am taking time to smell the roses, be ever present in the moment, nourish my soul more than I ever have done, and it feels really, really good. I guess practice makes perfect.
Do you ever consciously think about the need to nourish your soul? How do you nourish your soul? Has your version of being kind to yourself changed over the years?
Tags Reinventing Yourself