This feature is part of Mindstream’s participation in the Wellness Moonshot, an awareness campaign for a world free of preventable disease that’s led by The Global Wellness Institute. Each month features a theme, and November 2020 is NURTURE.

By Liza Horan

turtles on log

PHOTO Patil Samar/Pexels

To nurture is to move incrementally forward, toward something positive. There’s process to progress. Nothing lasting or of great value comes instantaneously. We have to be committed to the regular effort of putting our intention and action toward a goal. Whatever the journey, I’ve learned that it requires the ability to flex to changing conditions, plus patience, perseverance, and humility. When we leave room for learning along the way and having faith in our purpose, we can be lifted to greater heights.

The concept of nurturing reminds me of the saying, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” While it’s much easier, faster and more satisfying in the moment to hand over the fish; the teaching and learning requires interaction, a respect for the process and a much richer reward.

Perhaps ‘the way it’s always been done’ isn’t the way it’s going to get done this time. A big learning for me has been the concept of taking a break from work in order to be more productive. What a paradox! Prying myself from the computer when I have a mountain of work to do has required discipline. But when I’ve tried it, it absolutely works: Walking along the coastline floods me with ideas and actionable inspiration, and winding through the colourful canopy of leaves on a tree-lined path in my local park gives me clarity on work decisions.

Laddie kittenSometimes the break is forced upon me by my kitten, carrying his pink felt ball over to signal playtime. Too cute, and I have to get up and indulge him. After all, I’m nurturing his personality and health. I want him to be happy. It took a while to stop worrying about “all the work I’m not getting done” because of the interruption, but I did so by committing to being fully present in our interactions. Observing his behaviour and having fun with him has been a positive break on many levels and solidified our routine.

I’m learning that laughter can accomplish more than blood, sweat and tears! It’s also helped me out of the lockdown-induced sedentary workstyle by getting up at least once an hour to move — so he is nurturing my own wellness.

Nurturing him surely has been a process of patience, perseverance and humility. Going into our sixth month together now, we’re both enjoying the rewards of having grown together to form a special bond.

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