Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

November 2011 Review: Nourishment

The God of Passing Time

The wet cold bites my bones.   I draw my deep red shawl tightly across my shoulders.

October to January is Makahiki season according to Hawai’in culture.  A time when there was a taboo on warfare and people participated in religious and sports festivities.

Imagine saying “no” to warfare!  If it could be done for an entire season, why not an entire year?  Is this a legacy that could be brought to life once again?

Can we all begin to make this the season of our own peace by refraining from harm in our own interactions?

The Seasons Go Round and Round

Writing this monthly review is like watching the seasons of my life pass by.

What exactly have I accomplished this month?  Is it of merit?  Does it take me where I want to go?  I like the measure it provides.  I like the way it’s serving me as a monthly wake up call.  A reminder of what is real – and unreal.  A reminder of passing time and what’s important to me.

Ironically, I haven’t seen a new monthly review from Gwen Bell or Tammy Strobel  – my original inspirations – since I began.  But that’s OK!  Everything changes, on that you can count!  It’s working for me, for now.

What Nourishes You?

This month, a theme came to me at the beginning of the month instead of knocking me on the head at the end:  nourishment.  I took a moment to chart out what nourishes me.  These are a few of those nourishing things:

  • Rest
  • Sleep
  • Space
  • Solitude
  • Warmth
  • Authenticity
  • Jin Shyin Jyutsu (self-care)
  • Meditation
  • Being in nature
  • Inspirational reading
  • Uplifting friends

I learned a few things about nourishment this month.  If you have been hungry for a very long time, it’s easy to feel insatiable.  It’s easy to feel like you have to do a lot and then get lost in the endless activity of attempted nourishment.

That has felt overwhelming to me.  Instead of becoming overly frantic with self-nourishment, I learned these shortcuts.

  1. To savor and let the self-nourishment sink deeply in so that less is more.
  2. Remembering that true nourishment is really letting go and being happy and content in every moment.

What nourishes you?

Jin Shyin Jyutsu Rocks

I wasn’t able to go to the Jin Shyin Jyutsu workshop, but I had the pleasure of a treatment.  What I especially like about this gentle body work is its self-help focus.  My practitioner gave me two simple flows and a handful of other points or mudras to hold that are especially for me.

I liked this quote in a recent article on The Best Brain Possible:

“…people who routinely relax have improved expression of genes that calm down stress reactions, making them more resilient.”

I like the idea that relaxation is self-reinforcing.  Taking time for these short self-care treatments brings this sense of relaxation.  I hope it’s making a dent on my genes!


I’ve been trying the 30-day free trial of Scrivener, a program for writers.  I’m in love with it and I haven’t used a fraction of its capabilities.  I especially like the way I’m able to organize my writing within its framework.  I was also impressed by the tutorial.  Usually, tutorials are hard to understand, but this one was methodical and surprisingly easy.

Here’s another self care trick:  I’ve been finding it smart to use an online timer when I write.  I set the alarm clock for an hour. When it beeps, I usually jump.  Then I take a break.  It’s proving to be a great way to get more movement and relaxation into my day.

Guess what?  I have had the honor to be nominated to be one of the Top 50 Personal Development Blogs of 2011.  Thank you Steven Aitchison. Now it appears to depend on voting.  If you would like to vote or nominate your other favorite blogs, please visit Steve’s blog.  I appreciate being nominated.  And it’s great if you want to vote for my blog.  But far more than winning, what matters to me is making a difference in people’s lives.

What do you think about the new header I created for Always Well Within?  Do you like it?

It holds a special meaning for me.  Firstly, that all the thoughts and emotions of our mind are just like passing clouds.  Behind and beyond them we find the vast expanse of the sky-like nature of our mind.  Secondly, the lotus is a classic symbol of transformation.  It’s pristine beauty emerges from the muddy water just as our spirit always remains pure, unstained by any darkness.

Aside from the inspirational factor, having a header allows me to use the different post-categories of the Manifest Theme (like asides and links) without feeling I need to add a photo.  This encourages me to share my shorter pieces of writing, which I sometimes feel are the most potent.

All the writing on Always Well Within is offered freely.  However, if you would like to express your appreciation through making a donation, it would be gratefully received.

December:  Simplify

Recent changes in my life have spurred me to deepen my spiritual practice and simplify my life further.  “Simplify” will be my theme for December.

As the month closes, I am reminder to be grateful for everything.  What you least expect, can sometimes be the greatest blessing.

How was your November?  Any insights or experiences to share?

Image:  The God of Passing Time

If this article spoke to you, please consider sharing the link on our social media networks.  Thanks for your support!  Aloha, Sandra


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  1. Sandra, thank you for referencing my blog. I find it encouraging also and amazingly perfect that relaxation is self reinforcing in our brain. It just further proves to me that this is our natural, intended state.

    I think nourishment, too, is a natural, innate tendency in the many forms you cite and more. When we nourish our bodies and spirits everything else in life flows so much better, I have found.

    I do like the new header. Very peaceful and calming.

    • You’re welcome, Debbie! In these crazy times, it helps to get all the encouragement we can get. These scientific facts can really be soothing in a way.

      I haven’t thought about nourishment a natural, innate tendency. That’s an interesting perspective! I know in simple cultures, taking care of yourself is considered automatic. There’s no big drama about it. It’s interesting how modern culture has moved us away from these core ways of being.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Loved this review! I’ve decided to keep my monthly reviews in my journal for now. Currently, I’m working on my year-end review. I’ll be publishing that sometime in January. 🙂

    Keep up the great writing!

    • Hi Tammy,

      I’m so grateful you inspired this idea for me. It helps me keep things in perspective. I can see why you might want to do this in your journal though. I’m looking forward to your year end review. Be well!

  3. Great post! I love the monthly theme. And I must have read your mind about December’s theme because I just posted something today about spiritual simplicity. Isn’t it fun when we’re on the same track?!

    No surprise that your blog is in the top 50! You have my vote!

    I also appreciated what you said about the self reinforcing aspect of relaxing. The same holds true for stress, of course. So by deliberately shifting our energy towards relaxing, we can beging to build that self perpetuating cylce.

    Your mention of the war free season in Hawaii reminded me of stories during WWI and WWII of soldiers on opposite lines coming together at Christmas, and then sadly returning to war the next day. If inly we could extend that season indefinitely!

    Thanks for a wonderful post full of treasures!

    • Hi Galen,

      Yes, it is fun to be on the same track! I wonder if simplicity stands out in particular in the potential complexity of the holidays.

      Thanks for your positive words. I’m not in the top 50…just nominated. There are a zillion blogs nominated, so many worthwhile ones.

      That is the way to turn around stress, isn’t it? Build a new cycle. I just got back from basking in the sun. We’ve had a little break from the cold, wet weather and I jumped for it.

      It is sad about war, isn’t it? If only there were a way around this where everyone could be happy.

  4. I’m not sure why, but beautiful words sound better on a beautiful blogsite – I love the post and do love your new header – always a pleasure

  5. Your header looks great … clean and crisp with depth.

    Friends and nature always lift me up.

  6. Hi Sandra,
    I’ve already told you I love the header but I want you to know that and every time I look at it I like it even more.

    My October and November were very busy — full of excitement, deadlines to meet and wonderful people. Running an election campaign was a HUGE 2 month commitment. I’m happy the candidate was successful. Now I’m looking forward to recuperating before I begin work on my next contract. During my recuperating period I’ll be able to sort out and write down the life lessons I learned. Right now I’m still digesting everything that happened.

    Thanks so much for all you share with us. I appreciate your insight and wisdom very much.

    • Hi,

      I’m so delighted the candidate won! I’ve been checking your blog wondering about the outcome. I’m sure you need a good rest now! Take care. We’ll be looking forward to your insights, which always illuminate.

  7. What a wonderful idea to reflect on the month that has past and prepare for the month ahead. I really must do that more often myself. 😀

    I noticed you mentioned trying Scrivner. What did you think of the program? And were you using it for NaNoWriMo? I’ve considered trying a creative writing program, but most of the ones I’ve checked out so far weren’t as “flexible” as I’d like them to be, though I haven’t really tried to use one to write a story yet.

    I like the header, too. Looks nice and clean on a simple site. 😀

    • Hi Grady,

      Glad you like the idea of a monthly review. Maybe it will work well for you too.

      I like Scrivener a lot, but I’m only using it in a simple way. And I haven’t used any other writing programs. So I don’t think I’m the best judge. It has far more features than I’m using. And I don’t know how “flexible” it would be for you. You can do a 30-day trial for free though, so it wouldn’t hurt to check it out. At least you can on MACs.

      All the best to you! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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