Soul Food: What feeds your soul?

What Feeds Your Soul by Crystal Nuding

My son turned 21 a few weeks ago. When I ask him what he wanted me to cook for his birthday I got the answer I expected, Chicken and Dumplin’s. They are and always have been his favorite. And before they were his, they were mine. My Great Grandmother Patterson would make them for me and my sisters when we were little. They were always so delicious.

As I stood in the kitchen preparing my only child’s favorite birthday meal my thoughts would drift back to my Grandmother’s kitchen in the big house. Chicken simmering on the stove, flour from rolling out the dough everywhere, the smells warm and comforting. It was a precious time for me and my sisters; to share that experience with Quentin feeds my soul.

What feeds your soul? It doesn’t have to be food. It can be anything, sitting down with a good book, hiking or kayaking down the river. It could be outside in your garden with your hands in the earth cultivating organic veggies for your family or growing roses like your grandmother did. Maybe it’s mowing the lawn and setting the sprinkler so you can sit back and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of your childhood.

We’ve gotten so wrapped up in what other people think, what we’re “supposed” to do, how we look or what we have or don’t have. None of that really matters. What matters is how you feel on a regular basis. Are you happy? Do you feel good?

Many of us are under constant stress. At home we worry about what we needed to do for work and at work we think about all the things that need to get done at home. We worry about our government, we struggle with our weight, relationships or a health issue all the while believing that if we just think enough about these problems that we’ll resolve them. We came to the conclusion over the years that worrying is a good thing and that if we aren’t worried, we don’t care or aren’t paying proper attention.

Do you want the good news or bad news first?

Well, the bad news is this. Worrying = planning. Worry = creating. The more you think about and worry over upsetting situations in your life, the more and more you will experience those kind of situations that make you feel worried. It’s OK if you are scared to not worry. It’s how we’ve done things for all these years. But, if you’ll notice, worrying isn’t helping, it’s only robbing you of your peace in those moments.

The good news is you can feel through the stress, nervousness or upset physically and shift the situation. You don’t have to keep recreating the same worrisome scenarios over and over in your life. You have more control over your feelings and life than you’ve previously exercised or even been aware of. Again, this is all OK. When you know better, you do better.

We have to begin taking responsibility for our own peace and happiness. It is ours for the having when we stop thinking someone else should behave differently for us to be happy or satisfied. Our happiness and satisfaction is completely within our own control.

When you’re in the midst of a crisis or problem give yourself a break from it and instead let yourself think about what feeds your soul. What could you do in this moment to soothe yourself and begin to think of more pleasing things?

Our minds can’t think differently from how we feel emotionally so give yourself the gift of feeling better. Don’t try to figure things out immediately, just begin to move yourself towards feeling better physically.

What soothes and feeds your soul? Going for a swim, a hot bath and cuppa tea, a round of golf/tennis, quality time with a good friend? What made you feel good as a child? Playing outside, listening to music or coloring? How can you recreate that feeling today?

Ask yourself what feeds your soul and then see what comes up. Maybe you’ll have a memory of something you’d love to do again or a song on the radio or friend reminds you of an activity or experience that would feed your soul. Let yourself open to the wonder you experienced as a child, appreciating small things as if you’re seeing them for the first time.

As I was sitting down with my delicious bowl of Chicken and Dumplin’s I made for Quentin, I was immediately transported to Grandmother’s house. We were at the dining room table, all with our bowls and I could sense her. Her shaky hands with pink nail polish, the clicking of her teeth and dainty way she chewed.

In my heart I heard “You done good girl, I love you, I love you, I love you.” I held that bowl close to my face and just breathed it all in. Being there with my sisters and my precious grandmother, feeling the love that truly exists for me in every moment of my life. My heart burst while the tears of love and appreciation flowed down my cheeks. I love you, Grandmother. Thank you for teaching me about Heaven, love and kindness.

Find whatever that thing is for you and do it. Rediscover the thing that opens your heart and makes you remember the love that is here for you in this very moment, in every moment.

Stress is a temporary thing that can move quickly or last forever, it’s up to you. Give yourself the love and care you deserve by feeding your own soul. Take the time to do it, you’ll never be sorry you did and you’ll always feel better when you do.

Sending you all my soul feeding love, soothing, peace, ease and flow!

 

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week

How about EVERY DAY?

Lord. Bless us every one and especially our teachers.

I always appreciated teachers when my son was in school but I recently gained a whole new level of respect for them.

While I absolutely LOVE my son, there was no way I could spend 24 hours a day with him, much less with hundreds of other children. I didn’t have the patience.

Not only do our teachers teach their specific subject or grade, they support, guide and love our kids. Everyone’s kids. They deal with our happy, sad, hyper, sleepy, irritated, irritating, smart mouthed, bored, sweet children daily. And they put up with some parents that can sometimes lose their minds and forget what a blessing teachers are.

A teacher has the patience of Job and the heart of a lion. It takes courage and dedication to do what they do every single day. Then, they go to their own home, children and families to keep their own lives running on track. Feeding their families and sometimes themselves, maybe getting in some quiet time for themselves, but usually not.

Teachers spend home time working on school projects and thinking about lesson plans and standardized testing. On their hearts are the kids in their classes that don’t have great home lives and might not get good healthy home-cooked food or receive the love and attention they so desperately want and need from their busy parents.

Thank you, Teachers. Thank you. For being there daily, we know you are and we appreciate you.

I worked with around 100 kids at Blanco Middle school during April to help them mentally, emotionally and physically prepare for the STAAR Testing. The two days I spent at the school left me exhausted. I drove home each day alternately laughing and crying over what I had experienced. The sharing and interactions, laughter and a few tears.

It’s always interesting trying to keep their attention and share with them valuable information that will support them throughout their lives. I’m so happy to give them information I really needed at that age.

People that act ugly are hurting.

People, even adults, don’t always know how
to handle situations properly.

Parents and teachers love you and
do the best they can for you.

You are not your thoughts.

Your brain is pre-programed to focus on what’s wrong
and holds on to your failures far longer that your successes.

You can reprogram your brain.

Your thoughts can only go the direction of your feelings
in any given moment.

Breathe deep and relax, let the feeling pass and you’ll have
access to more supportive thoughts.

Be your own best friend.

Be good to yourself and others.

Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

In the follow-up visit I got such a great response. They had used the techniques I taught them and shared them with teachers, family and friends. Students reported feeling more calm and had avoided fights with siblings and parents. I was so thrilled. They were listening.

These kids are listening. They will take the love and support of whomever will give it to them. Teachers, thank you for giving it to them.

Please, please, please, do something nice for you. Take care of yourself. Schedule yourself time to exercise, read a book for pleasure, meditate, get a massage or take a long walk or luxurious bath. Get a great robe and thick soft towels. Use soothing and uplifting scents and lotions. Drink hot tea or a refreshing beverage. Eat healthy and delicious food. Help yourself recover your precious energy daily by taking care of yourself physically. You give so much to others, but you must take care of yourself.

As a parent I remember feeling completely overwhelmed many times and thanking the good Lord above that my child went to school. I was so glad to have my work day. You are there for them daily, teaching them academically, guiding, supporting and showing them how to be good human beings.

It takes a very special person to be a teacher and I am sending each of you my biggest, most heart-felt, loving and supportive hug. I appreciate you. So many people appreciate you. One of these days, very soon, your salary will reflect that.

Times are changing and the more we hold you up and the more you soothe and support yourself, envisioning better pay and more resources, these things will happen. I’m holding the vision of teachers having rock star, super athlete status and esteem. You already have it in my eyes.

Have you appreciated a teacher today?

Giving Thanks for Peace

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was filled with warmth, good food, good company and loving family of all kinds.

I am thankful for the love of my family and friends, my happiness and the peace in my heart.

Although our lives may never be exactly what we want, things are always shifting and changing. New opportunities and blessings present themselves as surely as we stumble across old challenges.

My deep peace comes from my knowledge of how the world works, my ability to not take everything I think seriously and knowing how to let myself feel what I feel without struggle. I know nothing lasts long if I don’t resist it and saying three magic words can change everything. Yes & Thank you.

It’s relatively simple but can be difficult to accept if we’ve spent our lives…reacting to every situation, blaming others for our unhappiness and misfortune, beating ourselves up for every tiny mistake we think we’ve made or thinking someone was “out to get us.”

I can relate to all of it. That was how I lived for a while. It was all I knew. Reacting to life. Recognizing I had control and learning to exercise that control was difficult and heart-wrenching before I learned the true secret to letting life be easy.

Here’s to living each day, appreciating the wonderful people, circumstances and opportunities that constantly surround us. They are always there, we just sometimes get side-tracked by things that worry and scare us.

If you’d like to feel more peace in your heart and happiness in your life, I can help. Click the links below to purchase and send me an email to schedule. Crystal@CrystalNuding.com

Give the lasting gift of peace this season.

“Stuff” is nice but, happiness, health and abundance, the natural by-products of true and lasting peace make life a delicious dream.

All my love,
Crystal

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Blessings & Beliefs

Many blessings for compassionate cooperation

Many blessings for compassionate cooperation

People are mad these days. Mad as hell and don’t want to take it any more. I say, good. Be mad. But then let it go.

Allow yourself to move through that energy and notice how you can shift the circumstances around you by not engaging. And even better than not engaging, how about blessing the person or situation you’re mad at?

I’ve had sessions this past week or so with folks angry, irritated or disgusted by either an individual or group of people. I can totally relate. We’ve all felt those less than warm and fuzzy feelings before and it’s absolutely OK.

Every feeling you have ever felt in your entire life is valid.

Those feelings were your natural reaction to the situation, given everything you’ve lived up to that point. So take a deep breathe and relax. It is OK and you are right to feel how you feel. But that doesn’t mean it can’t change.

We live in a society that wants to make us feel bad for how we feel.

“You shouldn’t feel that way!” “That’s not Christian of you to feel that way.” “That’s not the way I feel, you’re wrong.”

Any of these sound or feel familiar? Of course they do.

If we can’t understand and get frustrated when someone doesn’t like tomatoes or hates walnuts in their brownies, what do you think the reaction will be around subjects with deeper meaning like religion or politics?

We all believe what we believe. Beliefs are merely thoughts we think over and over again. We all think our beliefs are true, but they aren’t. Not necessarily. Unfortunately, some of our beliefs don’t serve us or anyone at all. Some of our beliefs are completely untrue.

We’re not taught to believe things by our parents or teachers by them saying… “Ok, kids! Pay attention. Today, I will teach you to believe ________.”

That didn’t happen.

What did happen was as children we were little sponges.

Our parents raised us and our preachers and teachers taught us like we were only listening to their words. Ha! Bless all of our hearts. I’m sure you can relate from your own experience the truth in this. We’ve all heard, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Guess what folks, it doesn’t work that way.

What we(ALL of us) as children did was pick up on the vibration, the attitude and the underlying meaning of why “they” did what they did. And filtering that through our own short life experiences, beliefs began to form in our little child minds.

Beliefs like…. “Women are supposed to take care of the house and children. Men don’t do dishes or housework. Girls have to be skinny, pretty and nice to get a husband. Boys have to work hard and make lots of money to get a girl. Women are supposed to make everything better. Daddies don’t stick around. I wasn’t good enough for them to love me. I have to be perfect all the time and never make mistakes. Men don’t respect women and think they are hysterical. Women have to take care of and protect themselves because men are neanderthals.”

Children grow up and learn how to treat people and how to allow people to treat them by watching their parents. Is their father kind, loving and respectful to their mother? Does their mother have her own power or does she always defer to father but then blow up and be angry with the children? Girls and boys learn much about the rules of society in their own homes. Whether kindness and compassion or impatience and abuse, they are affected by the circumstances around them.

What if they(we as children) saw and heard parents blessing their enemies?

What if children saw more kindness, gentleness and compassion in their homes? Not only the compassion that parents had for friends and loved ones, but also patience and compassion for people they disagreed with or didn’t appreciate. What change might that bring about?

How can you begin to bless the people that irritate or frustrate you most? Without making huge sweeping moves, what small ways can you begin to bless everyone around you.

What do you think would happen if everyone took a moment to say. “I really can’t stand this person, but wow, they must be suffering to act like that. Or what must they have been through to be like that? Bless their heart.” And then say, bless my heart for having to deal with them. Let yourself feel and move the energy around the situation while giving yourself and the opposing party a break.

Who can you send blessings to today that you have profound judgements about?

What you do for others, you do for yourself. When you judge, curse and demean others you’re doing it to yourself. When you bless them, you bless yourself.

Give it a shot. When you take time for prayer or meditation today, whatever that looks like for you, send blessings to those you don’t care for or understand.

You will be surprised at the level of peace you can achieve when you stop raging against what you don’t like and start cultivating more compassion for what you don’t understand.

I would never do what I see many people around me doing every day, but I’m not mad at them about it. My heart sees the suffering in their heart and I have deep compassion for them. Does it always come easily, no. Many times I have to feel through my own anger and judgement about the situation, but I always understand it is that, my OWN anger, fear or judgement.

Even people in positions of authority(doctors, teachers, pastors, politicians, lawyers) have issues. You have issues, your parents had issues, their parents had issues. Get over it. Stop judging others by their issues and recognize you have your own. Take a deep breath and give everyone a break(yourself included.) When you accept your feelings as your own and stop blaming others, life gets really good.

It’s not always easy, but it’s very simple.

Bless your heart, bless their heart, bless all of our hearts. Everything really is OK. We’re all going to get through this and life will be even better because of it.

Seeing and holding the vision of compassion and cooperation in all areas of our lives.

Sending much love and many blessings to all of you.

I’m here if you need some help.
Crystal