I titled my little space here “Words That Nourish” simply because I felt that words itself is powerful enough to influence our mind, thoughts and behaviour. What we say influence how we think and behave. How often do we let words hurt us rather than nourish us. How often do we put ourselves down?
Words though does not just impact on ourselves. A sharp word unintentionally can easily bring down the other person. I feel that the less obvious is when we do not uplift others. Giving another person encouragement, praise or a kind word can be nourishing if not more than not saying something “negative”.
I have been brought up in a typical Asian family where praise is not often used. Instead, I’m showered with love and care through food, books and not needing to worry about my daily needs. Ironically, I grew up loving giving hugs and affection. Must be all the time I spent with my teddies and barbies when I was a kid! (Also a possible only child syndrome)
Lately though, I noticed that as work, home and being a parent consume me, I have fallen into the trap of being more self focused. When one is tired, suddenly the who world seems over whelming. A usual simple chore appears bigger than ben hur. I started to question why I do things and how I do them. It’s like my confidence has been shaken. The negative self talk happens and the world starts to be more grey than usual.
Then it hit me. When was the last time I have been kind, positive and uplifting to someone else? I have been too busy focusing on “tired me” that I haven’t slowed down to notice what is around me.
Paying compliments, being kind and having a listening ear. That has always been me. Lately, in the midst of trying to chase my tail, I lost that abit. How did I realise that? Over the past 1 week, someone paid a compliment to the top I was wearing, another complimented how I did not back down on my principles, and my husband said he enjoyed a soup I made for dinner. It washed through me. I did not even notice it.
The art of giving compliments is matched by the art of receiving them. That was when I realised that I was not listening. It horrifies me bit. How many people have I switched off to automatically over the past week or so?
I made a point. To slow down again. To listen. To repeat back what others have said, to notice things. To be more mindful about the gorgeous flowers that was on my kitchen bench top. The pretty colours on my scarf. The warmth of the sun. The bitter sweet taste of my favourite chocolates.
Suddenly, the focus is off me. The grey is less grey. The world is brighter.