By Erin Sojourner Agostinelli
This morning I woke up at 5 am. I could’ve easily cuddled deeply back into the down blanket on my bed, but a flash of inspiration- a flash of how my day could start enticed me to turn on the salt lamp in the corner of my bedroom. Behind the salt lamp is my vision board. I know when I sit on the little lime green couch next to my vision board and breath in the cascading images and words, well, I feel deeply nourished.
Why? Well, the dark bedroom magically transforms into my personal temple, complete with a cliché rose glow, and beckons me in to self-connection. Of course, this self-connection is rooted deep inside of me, but when I enter this core, it feels like I’m peeking into a private penthouse room with expansive views. And when I actually take time to look, I literally gasp at the views. “I am more than I seem. Life is more than it seems.“ I realize I want to visit this room more often. Thus, the inspiration continues to nudge me to enter these moments. Even at 5 am. The value is real. I feel inspired. I feel able. I am reminded to stretch into my dreams and visions, believing in fulfillment. This is good stuff to feel.
And that goodness is the spark of this topic called “nourishment”. It’s one of my favorite words. BEING nourished and FEELING nourished are truly the underlying currents of my standard operational procedure. Naturally, food comes in to play with this “coo” from my heart. My soul says, “Feed me”, in every sense of the way. Beauty. Food. Laughter. Texture. Light. Color. Even when I eat, I am audible in my enjoyment. When I describe something I love, it is a flowery gush of sweet and innocent enthusiasm, claimed to be infectious by many of my companions. Simply stated, I even chew slowly because I am savoring the sensual experience. Yummy things delight me.
But, really it all comes down to a few things. Clean Water. Fresh Food. Good Thoughts, and Love. So, let’s jump in to a day in my life.
1) Start Hydrated and Stay Hydrated
Functionally, I start my day with a large glass bottle of fresh, spring water. Note that I say fresh because I am über blessed to live in an area where I can harvest this essential nectar, filtered by mama earth herself. Nine times out of ten, I add the juice of a just squeezed organic lemon into it. This sets my body up for a wonderful alkalizing flush of all the acids that potentially pooled up during sleep, helping wash out any residues my body dumped while I was in rest mode all night. I also feel happily hydrated when I am complete, which is going to be the theme of this blog. No, not hydration, that is a good theme, and just as important… but “happily” is what I am leaning towards.
I also carry my water around with me all day and make a mental note of how many bottles I have to drink to get at least half my weight in ounces. (For example, I weigh 120 lb., so I aim for 60 oz. of water a day.)
2) Find What Feeds You
Being a nurturing mom of three children can really mess with my sense of self. I admit I sometimes struggle to carve this precious time out of my day to ground in to my own identity. So many times, I find myself mothering others and forgetting to mother me. Just a few months ago I was surprised to find myself getting caught up in the culturally programed “3-square-meals-a-day” habit. I personally don’t function very well eating this way.
The solution? Find ways to support and co-empower other family members’ eating habits without losing my own. Being a food lover, I noticed I started eating too much just because my children were hungry. Since I have re-established my rhythms, my cravings have aligned and I now reach for what best feeds me. This is an essential tip for all parents, and in my experience, especially for moms.
The breakfast lineup? Temple Turmeric? Smoothie? Juice? Savory? Sometimes I eat raw until 4pm: munching on fruit and veg, or sipping chia that has been soaked in mango juice overnight. Other times I crave a hearty breakfast of sautéed tempeh and mushrooms with greens and scallions. Or my favorite, a bowl of miso soup with lots of veggies and wakame. The main thing is I tune in to what feeds me and I listen.
3) Cultivate Daily Joy and Inspiration
There are many ways to do this, and listening to music is probably my number one daily dose of joy, but let’s go back to that vision board.
Every year, around Christmas, I take a bag of magazines I’ve been saving and cut out images and words that I like. I put all these images and words in a special pile or container until I am ready to glue them to a poster board. This can happen at any time during the winter huddle, but it is powerful to do it on the first day of the New Year. It becomes the equivalent of what some folks call a New Year’s resolution. It is my dream board. When I sit down to make this piece of art, I turn on music that makes me feel awesome. I take only the words and images that inspire me the most and put them on the board. I want this board to be visually appealing and have a flow to it because I am going to have it in a location where I can look at it frequently. Sometimes I “use up” the images and need to make a new dream board before the year is up. If you feel inspired to make one, any time of the year is a good time to start.
Normally, my vision board is just for me, but I am going to share my current one with you. Right now the words “cultivate physical health, emotional wellness, and spiritual sustenance” are very important reminders. I find I’ve been lingering on those words and it is inspiring me in ways that definitely affect my choices and actions.
4) Eat Organic, Fresh, “Living” Food Daily (As Local As Possible)
Okay, so back to food! I need a salad or a kick butt vegetable juice every day. For some reason, I thrive on copious amounts of vegetables and leafy greens. I salivate thinking of the deep satisfaction I feel as I eat them. I feel so good!
At 19 years old, I had an epiphany about the types of food that I wanted to eat. I remember I was chewing some chemical laden artificially flavored processed food and I had a blasting simple thought… This food is totally dead. Life promotes life. Eat food that still has life giving energy in it. So, I became a veg head by conscious choice, but the cravings for them only grew stronger as time went on. When I switched to eating all organic is when my taste buds really woke up. And over the years, I have eased into a lifestyle shift of keeping a weekly rhythm of buying what is in season by supporting my local organic (and Biodynamic!) farmers.
5) Just For Fun, Try On: You Are What You Eat
One of the best theories I have heard about eating artificial sweeteners is that the natural sweetness of life has been lost. Try using the descriptors of your food as interchangeable descriptors of yourself. I love that I can use words like wholesome, healthy, live, vibrant, organic, biodynamic, diverse, colorful, juicy!! Yes please! That is me I am describing!
6) Walk, Stand, Stretch.
Someone posted a quote that really stuck with me: “Sitting is the new smoking”. A cringing laughter erupted from my face. I’m thinking, move it or lose it baby!
So, I go for walks in nature. I take a break from my computer to jump on the mini trampoline out back. If I am weeding my garden, I mindfully stretch in to the lean I create to grab that bugger. I bounce on the yoga ball. I play wrestle or do airplane with my 5 year old. Sometimes I go to the gym or to yoga, but I prefer to dance, swim, or ride my bike.
The more exercise I get, the better I feel. Even the slightest effort of movement makes a difference in my day.
7) Consider the Ecotarian Diet
At the end of the day, the definition of an “Ecotarian” by Toni Toney (My SUPER COSMIC adopted mom and author of The Ecotarian Diet https://tonitoney.com/ecotarian-diet/) is the best guideline I have for my personal nourishment: “Being an Ecotarian is far more than being a vegan, a vegetarian, or a raw foodist. An Ecotarian is someone who eats for the sustainability of their body and their planet.”
That’s really it. Be in alignment with the health of my planet and myself as much as I can. This goes for the products I put on my body, to the foods I feed my body. These choices once seemed limiting, but now that I am on the other side, I am abundant with all the goodness it creates in my world.
Oh, and the hidden tip? Remember to spend time with people that make you laugh, inspire you to seek joy in your life and be the love that you are. Cheers!