I almost overlooked it. There it was, a small little camellia flower. Deep pink, just beginning to burst out of its green cocoon.
I had almost walked passed it without noticing its gift to me. While I was busy pruning and looking at some straggly looking shrubs, I saw this little flower. Here amongst the overgrowth was a small camellia, starving for light but desiring to express its beauty out to the world. I stopped, looked and took in nourishment for the soul.
This gift of beauty was for me, right here right now. I studied its beauty and imbibed its petite delicateness.
Do you take time to smell the roses/camellias?
Mental Health, I believe, is fuelled and empowered by those little moments of nourishing delight.
How and where do you find soul delighting nourishment? Do you have a rhythm where you are open to being nourished?
It’s probably the most familiar of Shepherd Davids Psalms and in it there is an invitation to enter a place of nourishment.
We cannot attain the presence of God. We’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness David Benner
God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life. Psalm 23
This Psalm echoes to me memories of when I was a child and lived on a sheep farm. We had a stream with a grove of beautiful plum trees nestled alongside. Warm summer days were spent under those heavily laden fruit trees listening to the stream whispers to me. I can imagine David sitting there, a few sheep strumming on his harp, resting, listening and finding nourishment for his soul.What I love about this Psalm is the invitations to rest and be nourished.
How to find a rhythm of nourishment
- Invite the Good Shepherd to led you to places of refreshment. God knows you better than you know yourself, God knows what you most need so it is important to ask for direction to that grassy place of nourishment. ‘Lord, this day lead me to those paces of nourishment’.
- Be open in your consciousness to his invite of ‘This is for you’. We so hurriedly pass by potential streams of living water because we have to get to the next thing, the next item on the to-do-list whereas the Holy Spirit may well be saying look at this for 15 seconds. That flower, that sunrise, that scripture, that … Lord, I open my senses today to your voice whispering ‘This is for you’
- Take time to chew those moments of nourishment well. Savour every delicate moment. If it’s a good book, then read that one sentence two, three four times, pondering over it. Savour it well. If its flower then dive deep into its colour, texture, scent. Dive deep and come up asking for more. Lord, you have brought me to your table of delicate delights. I savour every moment
- Think about what was so refreshing and nourishing about this. What was it that touched you? Lord, those words crafted with presence were just what I needed.
- Give thanks for them as if they were the post precious gift you have ever received. Lord, I thank you for this precious gift, bless the musician, the artist, the poet, I long for more of your sustenance.
- Build this gift into a regular rhythm into your life. Make space in your day to savour the gifts on offer.
Just remember that what is refreshing for some may not be for you, and that is ok. What fills your boat may seem ridiculous to others. I give you permission to fill your boat to over flowing. You are special, unique and loved.
Also, filling yourself with information can be a distraction to finding true nourishment. Never before have we been so bombarded with information. The content that we can potentially consume from media whether it be social media, radio, TV, podcasts etc can falsify true nourishment. Quantity does not equal quality. More does not necessarily mean better. We have to sift through the noise to find the whisper.
“It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”- Jesus Matthew 4:4
How do I find nourishment?
- Meditating on the Bible. For me it is reading my Bible on a consistent daily basis. It is not the quantity of reading the Bible I read but the quality of the connection. I don’t enter into reading the bible with a goal of reading so many chapters or verses, but more so to discover what is that one verse or story or even word that jumps out at me and says ‘This is for you’. Then I might meditate on that one portion of goodness all day, week, month, year. I want to suck the life out of that scripture.
You might like to try the ancient spiritual discipline of Lectio Divina where you focus in on just one word or phrase of scripture. If you would like to more about this I would highly recommend Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer by Dr. David Benner
- Reading other content. Books, blog articles, magazines. There is so much good content out there.
- Listening. I love to listen to podcasts and music. While I am driving or working I will often have a podcast going. Interviews, sermons, articles all are available to you to listen to for free. Music is also a great source of nourishment.
Favourite podcasts are Dan Allender, Rob Bell, Richard Rohr, Nadia Bolz Weber, Mars Hill Bible Church, On Being and Jeff Goins
- Creation. I make it a habit of noticing creation. The flower, the leaf, the sunrise, the rain.
Questions to consider
- How do you find your soul being nourished and fed?
- What do you do to place yourself as being available to nourishment?
Mental Health is … developing rhythms of nourishment that build upon each other empowering resilience.
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Read the other posts in this series
- Are you in sync with the rhythm?
- Do you have a rhythm of alignment?
- Do you have a rhythm of nourishment?
- 7 Steps To Develop A Rhythm of Creativity
- How to Have a Rhythm of Connection
- 7 Steps To Enable A Rhythm Of Rest