November 4, 2013


It's November and my body craves soups not salads. I enjoy my seasonal shift in tastes--a connection with the natural world. And I enjoy making soup. Soup asks for little and provides much; it's forgiving and flavorful; it's easy and wholesome. All this soup making created a mantra in my mind: nourish. 

To nourish is to provide with food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2001). Growth, health, and good condition. Yet we often feed ourselves news, food, images, or self-talk that inhibits health; that discourages growth. We're habituated. Our busy lives provide little space for actual nourishment. Unless we take a purposeful pause.

Some worthwhile questions: Do the people in my life nourish me? Do they support me and help me grow? Do the actions I take nourish me? Do they feed my creativity? Do they move me forward? Does my speech nourish me? Is it truthful, helpful, and kind?

I stood in my backyard today and watched the perennial beds now covered in leaves. Instead of sadness, I felt contentment. These plants go dormant for the winter, but then emerge with life in the spring. Dormancy + nourishment = aliveness.  As I enter winter, with its low light and cold air, I think of myself as a perennial. This is precisely the time to pause, notice, and nourish. I can embrace winter as I quietly grow my spirit; a spirit that emerges brighter and stronger each spring.


  1. the most favorite line was this "Unless we take a purposeful pause." and then after that it was the questions you posed. I always love the images, that part is a given. This post has me taking a pause, thinking of the answers to those questions. Thank you Joy.

    Love your friend

    P.S. I have been carrying around your post card with me daily and have a blank one to send to you, I just have not taken that moment in time. I'm going to do it now!

    1. tracie, i'm glad this post spoke to you. and i look forward to your postcard, but--of course--there's no rush (we have all the time in the world).

  2. What a powerful post! I am going to have to save this one! Good much to savor. Purposeful pauses...I need more of that in my life, for sure. You blessed me today.

    1. thank you, denise. what a thoughtful, kind comment. i send you many, small pauses.