Friday, October 08, 2010

Nourishing the Wild Self: Part 2 -What is True Nourishment?

What is true nourishment then?
What does it mean to nourish yourself? Beyond self?

Etymology: Middle English nurishen, from Anglo-French nuriss-, stem of nurrir, norrir, from Latin nutrire to suckle, nourish; akin to Greek nan to flow, noteros damp, Sanskrit snauti it drips
Date: 14th century
1 : nurture, rear
2 : to promote the growth of
3 a : to furnish or sustain with nutriment

From Merriam-Webster dictionary online (

Nourishment is that which sustains, promotes growth and nurtures and tends. Healthy and vital food nourishes our body. But we are not just a body, nor are we separate from the Earth which is nourishing us from her body. We must also nourish and tend our spirit, our hearts wild desires and needs, our families and communities, and in turn nourish and tend the Earth from which it all comes.

The Wild Self requires nourishment on all these levels to thrive and become vital. Thus one cannot eat food which nourishes the body on a purely biochemical level, and expect it to nourish ones spirit if it fills your heart with remorse, heartache, guilt or disgust. Likewise, does the food you purchase and feed to your family nourish your greater community? Does it provide livelihood, health and connection for the farmers and laborers who grew or harvested it? Does the farm or rancher from which the food you eat comes from tend and nourish their land with attention to the soil and the long term sustainability and well-being of the land.

In those terms, when you hear the words, Eat Wild! what comes to mind?

How can we find ways to “eat wild” that nourish our bodies most deeply, nourish and tend our hearts and spirits connection to the wild Earth, and directly nourish and tend our communities, and the Earth/land on which we all depend- human and non-human alike?

I realize that some of these suggestions go against what the conventional knowledge of our culture tells us, and require extra expenditures of time, effort and/or money. Some of these suggestions will not be completely achievable by each and every person, but I urge you to find that wild place inside you, and feel deeply what calls most to you. What CAN you commit to in your life, where you live? What feels most urgent and insistent in your wild heart?

What nourishes our wild body most deeply?

Tune into the place in your body where you feel your wild self. Now Take a moment and contemplate what the “wild body” is, looks like, feels like?

The ‘wild body’ isn’t about being perfectly svelte or in perfect health at all times. The wild body feels deeply, senses deeply, knows intuitively what it needs to be nourished. The wild body is able and vital, it is capable of performing the tasks which the wild heart insists upon, the wild body is challenged, and the wild body rests. The wild body is respected, appreciated and tended.
The wild body will tell you what it needs to be nourished, if you can learn to differentiate between cravings and true nourishment, and if you can move past the ‘shoulds’ and moral judgements about what is “good and bad” to eat.

Tune in again to your wild self. Listen deeply- if you could have any one food at this moment, what does your wild body desire? Feel where in your body you sense that. Now, take a moment and think about your favorite craving, something you feel you might be a little addicted to, or something that is “bad for you” as deemed by culture/society . Where in your body do you feel that craving? Notice the difference between a craving, an addiction, a judgement from a culture that is not “wild.”

Use this as you go ahead in life to take a moment and feel in any situation what FEEDS and NOURISHES that wild place in your self, and what is coming from outside- either as judgement, moral, addicition or craving. It is important to differentiate between an unhealthy addictive craving or civilized judgement on what is good for you, and what your true wild nature KNOWS intuitively is good for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your insight - I do enjoy reading your posts - they are truly "food for thought"

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~