What Is No Longer Nourishing You?

  • Posted on May 15, 2021 at 8:47 pm
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Serving You Or Nourishing You?

So many meditation teachers encourage us to release by asking, “What is no longer serving you?” And it’s funny because, to aim for enlightenment, we are taught to serve others, not seek to be served. So, I’ve always struggled with this question. I don’t need anything or anyone to serve me. I prefer, “What is no longer nourishing you?” And when I think about my answers, they fit better with this idea of non-nourishment than non-service.


An online search for synonyms for nourish yields nurture, strengthen, where synonyms for serve show work for, obey. So, when I consider things to let go of in my life—Candy Crush, excessive TV watching, mindless online surfing—I see that these fall into the category of things that no longer nourish me. They don’t nurture or strengthen me. They have no bearing on whether they work for me or obey me.

Benefits of Releasing What Is No Longer Nourishing You

Whichever word you use, releasing what is no longer nourishing you is a call to action that is so helpful to your spiritual advancement. Even if only once a year you deeply consider doing this, it is empowering. It serves many purposes:


1) It infuses you with a sense of power. You have within you the ability to choose to let go of something that has been slowing you down, hurting you, preventing you from growing.


2) It allows for something better, more nourishing, to take its place. Maybe you’re going to substitute a chocolate habit for fruit, a habit of sleeping late for waking up earlier to do something productive, a habit of texting for video calling instead. Whatever it is, you can take what is no longer nourishing you and substitute it with something that will nourish you.


3) It can lead to greater self-confidence. Imagine taking action on something you’ve been longing to change. Can you envision what that might feel like? I can tell you firsthand, you’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment that it will fuel your confidence in other areas of your life.


4) You can look back at your progress. Picture something you want to release that no longer nourishes you. Now imagine yourself a year from now without that thing. How does that feel? You can even meditate on how you will feel looking back on how you were able to let go of this non-nourishing element of your life, and how far you’ve come.

My Success In Releasing What Is No Longer Nourishing Me

Now I’m going to tell you that I’ve done all these things … and you can too! As embarrassed as I am to say this, I used to spend money on the game Candy Crush. It was too easy to just press that button, and watch extra rounds show up on my screen, and not think about the credit card charges. I was addicted. But after meditating enough on “What is no longer nourishing me?” I knew that paying money for Candy Crush was at the top of my list. So, three years ago, I made a commitment to never spend another penny on that game. However, I knew I would have to say it out loud to at least one other person to hold myself accountable. So I told my two step-nieces. And I have not spent a penny on Candy Crush since then. I still play the game, which I might also give up all together, but it feels so good to know that, to win a level I’m playing, I could easily hit that button that might cost only 99 cents, but I won’t.

I also gave up certain TV shows. I watch too much television, and I made the commitment out loud, to my husband, that I am going to delete 8 shows that I currently watch that are not nourishing me, and I did. I deleted them from my DVR about 5 months ago, and I have not gone back.

I am much better at the mindless online surfing, but I am still working on it. This one is trickier because it’s not a matter of hitting a button, or saying, “Okay I’ve done enough surfing online today, now I’m done.” But I am much more mindful of stopping myself when I feel I have veered off into non-nourishing online surfing. Now when I research which item to buy when there are ten brands to choose from, I limit the time I spend comparing them. It was not nourishing me to spend an extra hour comparing features and prices.

All of this is so empowering. You can do this! I encourage you to meditate on the idea of releasing what is no longer nourishing you. Pull the Band-Aid off. You will love yourself for it.

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