The same four quadrants can be a useful touchstone to check in with ourselves and how we are nurturing ourselves, both those working with birth, and new parents. We can check in with each quadrant and make sure we do smaller, self-nurturing things often, and larger self-nurturing things regularly.
As new parents in particular, in a blur of feeding and catching sleep when we can, we can tag team to make sure each of us can keep up the things that are special to us, even if it may be less frequently, but are the things that make us feel like WHO WE ARE. For example, rock climbing with mates; maybe no longer every Thursday night, but every fortnight, or every month? Or bring the baby, and make it every Saturday morning instead, and add in a cuppa at the climbing gym cafe?
To check into our own wellbeing, we can ask ourselves these questions; please add your own favourites to mine!
// What have I done today, this week, this month, for my connection with my body?
Our bodies are the most beautiful intricacy of bio/chemical/electrical extraordinariness! They take carrots and rainwater and the outbreath of trees and through a delicately complex interwheeling alchemy turn them into muscle and bone and ideas and lovingkindness and inspiration and connection with others and hugs and the writing of gritty, heart-opening novels and the sharing of laughter. Let alone, the growing and loving of new, small humans.
How have I appreciated her: her curves, heartbeat, digestion, strength, her gift of the ability to taste sharp flavour, to feel the wash of water on my skin, to breathe in fresh mountain air, to see the pleasure of cool and warm tones together in the patterns of eucalyptus bark.
The nourishment of sleep, and hopefully dreams in full colour.
Nourishing foods prepared beautifully in full colour on a dark clay plate. Or, a handful of boiled eggs in the fridge, nuts in the cupboard, fruit within reach, for quick healthy snacks. Really nice tea!
Walking (especially in nature)
And especially, learning to FEEL THE FEELINGS we have, in our bodies, as the signposts they are.
// What have I done today, this week, this month, for my soul connection with others?
Cuppa tea/coffee with friends
Phone calls with sisters or friends, even snatched via bluetooth as we drive here and there
Reading with kids in bed, lying with them for a little while for cuddles and quiet chats, connecting in before sleep
Date nights with lovers
// What have I done today, this week, this month, for my soul connection with the deepness of Life?
Making the everyday beautiful
Being in and revelling in the beauty of nature
Feeling our feelings and following them through until our bodies feel “clear”; using our emotions as a sign post to grow our self awareness, with kindness to ourselves always.
// What have I done today, this week, this month, for my connection with nature/this place?
Walking in the mountains
Swimming in a river, the ocean, a lake
Eating meals outside
Taking a moment to be still and listen to the rain
One of my favourite things which I safeguard religiously every week, is to walk (exercise and breathing deep) around the lake (being in nature: the light on the water, the light on the hills) with a heart-friend (soul connection) talking about the deeper things that matter (Spirit) – so much nourishment of the self on all levels – and in only an hour! And then to really top it off, we take our computers and write further on our separate projects for several hours together in quietness side by side, revelling in creativity.
Let me know the things that nourish you, and your sense of WHO YOU ARE, as a birth worker or a new parent.
It is such a gift and adventure to experience being alive.