When reflecting on nourishment, one might anticipate an assortment of topics such as eating healthier foods, a mini-discussion on the benefits of organic vegetables and fruits, the Buddhist principle of rightful eating, slow and mindful chewing, gratitude for our fellow animals who gave their lives for our digestive process, free range chickens, contented cows. 

I did not grow up with wealth nor organic foods, but I did grow up with my family's version of nourishment, despite the fact that we ate whatever we could whenever it was available.

I immediately thought back to my life as a child in Kentucky when my great grandmother served grits, pork chops, sauerkraut, sausage, eggs, fried potatoes, biscuits and white sausage gravy for breakfast. I never heard the word cholesterol. It was just what she did to help the farmhands start their day of chores with full stomachs. She did it with a sense of love and her way of helping keeping the farm afloat. That’s nourishment that goes beyond nutrition.

"The good life is built with good relationships." - Robert Waldinger

My “second family”, with whom I stayed while my parents worked, had six other children. Some days sandwiches were peanut butter and dill pickles. On special occasions there was chocolate on graham crackers. Yet my memories of the fun and laughter is reminisce of the Waltons. Simple and happy, seven kids sequentially sharing one bathtub of water and fun playing hopscotch on the sidewalk. That’s nourishment, a lasting memory of time well-spent.

One of my best friends was one of thirteen children – and on their special occasions, they had a slab of bologna for their main meal.  They shared clothes, furniture, school books and always had time for friendship and invited me for dinner.

If you have never heard of Brian Andreas, I heartily recommend you look him up. His Story People resonate with me and tickle my heart, so much so that I display his art around my house and office. Above my dining area is his "Real Reason" Story Person which states: “There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other’s cooking & to say it was good."

To me, that is nourishment.

Today, in an era when “telling it like it is” gets a resounding thumbs up from at least one large portion of the population, perhaps we should consider organic thoughts, free range love and encouragement, cholesterol-free moments of kindness guaranteed not to clog our heart arteries. Nourishment is not only sustenance for the body, but sustenance for the soul as well. We need to provide nourishment for the young: to encourage their creative ideas and spirits, nourishment of community giving and sharing, supporting not just healthy bodies, but healthy hearts and minds and souls.

I have had nourishment. 

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Pam Pech recently retired from Connecting Resources, committing to making it her way of life rather than her business. Trading in a desk for a pen, a large dining room table, a fire pit and a coffee shop, she plans on having many conversations with folks willing to share their ideas and souls. She is a connector. She loves to create community and solutions by connecting people and ideas through Soul Chats™–conversations igniting awareness, understanding, action, and compassion. For further information, she can be reached through Linkedin.

 

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Wellness.

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