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I notice that many spiritual students appear to have a false belief that deprivation is somehow more spiritual. I’m pretty sure that Buddha’s whole life taught us that the middle way is the faster path to awakening.
In my family, my grandparents were young in the depression. Then they went through WWII and lack and limitation became a way of life in many ways. In my family we really have never felt comfortable with extravagance. It seems somehow shameful or wrong. I know this is a false belief.
In my family, we’re hard workers. We enjoy working and we enjoy playing too. What I don’t see a lot of is self-nurturing. Yet, that’s something I’ve learned is essential to my awakening to my divinity.
The more I walk this path of awakening, the more clear I am that we don’t have to crucify ourselves, and we don’t have to live deprived of Joy and enjoyment.
Self-nurturing isn’t something we’ve all had lots of great models for.
So, we’re the ones who can learn to be those models.
Self-nuturing is healing and it’s life-sustaining.
There’s a difference between being nurturing with ourselves and indulging our ego.
Self-nurturing can be an important part of our spiritual practice each and every day!
For me, eating healthy food, getting outdoors, taking time to connect with loved ones, enjoying the foods I like the most, are simple nurturing things I do every day in addition to prayer, meditation and a good night’s sleep.
While some spiritual students have a deep aversion to pleasure, due to a fear of be coming addicted to pleasure, that doesn’t mean that pleasure is bad. Let’s just not make it a false idol. Let’s not pursue pleasure for the sake of pleasure because that really is a huge distraction and detour.
We can enjoy the pleasure of stopping to smell the roses and other uplifting pleasures.
The greatest Joy comes from knowing ourselves as God. Since we ARE the Presence of God in our own life, let’s nurture and cherish ourselves into our remembrance of that fact.
Now is the time to leave the aversions behind and to step into the present moment victorious and free! Self-nurturing is caring for the Christ within. That’s something we can all celebrate!