Nourishing One Another



Why are we here in this life but to learn better how to give and receive love? I write this from the perspective of the Nourisher archetype within my Self.  From this perspective love is all that matters in the end, and in the beginning, for the Life Force itself can be experienced AS unconditional Love, a harmonizing, unifying principle according to which health and growth proceed. When I watch the divisive political speeches being promulgated, I feel I can only send love and graceful neutrality but I do not want to be affected by the hatred being displayed.


You have all probably heard the following parable about the difference between ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’.  As Harold Klemp, spiritual leader of Eckankar tells it (with me paraphrasing from memory of a talk and article of his called “The Giant Utensils of Heaven and Hell” (1990 ECK Springtime Seminar, San Francisco, California), imagine a group of recently deceased Souls sitting around a table laden with a cornucopia of foods. The only utensils are some very long forks, so long that one person alone could not reach his or her own mouth with food at the end of one of these utensils. How can these Souls know if they are in a Heaven or a Hell? They are in the Negative place if they try to feed themselves and cannot eat. But if they are in the positive realm of a Loving afterlife world, they will feed one another from across the Table.


Isn’t that a telling story for the world today? How can we feed one another from across any Divide, not being content to selfishly serve ourselves or those who agree with us in opposing others?  After all, we are all in this together…that is, in this world that can be a heaven or a hell of itself depending on how we live in it.


images are from

And BTW, as a university professor I have to say, telling truth to one another and acknowledging others’ positive values, honoring their words: this is nourishing behavior. Lying or stealing from another, even their words as with plagiarism, perpetuates selfishness and demeans the whole. So let’s give credit where credit is due, but be discerning.  Let us honor one another and celebrate nurturing behavior.


To Nurture Your Dreams, Be a Nourisher

sunflowers in the field

Sometimes we might not trust our inner vision to steer us in the right direction. We may feel afraid to Dream, wary of being disillusioned “yet again.” This cautious perspective might seem ‘practical,’ “realistic” or even wise.

But when we squelch our Visions, often another part of our Self grieves.


What happens to a Dream deferred? 

Does it dry up, like a raisin in the Sun?

Does it fester like a sore, and then run?

Perhaps it stinks, like rotten meat,

or crusts and sugars over, like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags, like a heavy load… 

Or does it explode?

–Langston Hughes


Our archetypal Ally for this month is the NOURISHER. I invite you to get in touch with your own nurturing, nourishing part of Self. When do you feel most nourishing and with whom? When do you feel best nourished and how or by whom?

Joyful time

I experienced a lot of Nourishing–from both sides of giving and receiving–during my road trip and visit Home  from June through July. Being with family and with my dog Sophie (my travelling companion and BFF) is a great gift of love for I have lived thousands of miles from my parents and sisters and brother for over 30 years.  We came together—all of us plus several cousins and nephews/nieces—around my elderly mother, Elizabeth—over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Mom was in the crux of a hospital emergency—not what we had hoped or planned for!—and we all came together to help her survive that visit and return to her familiar nursing home with its loving and competent, caring staff.

Mom is experiencing late stage Parkinson’s. At 88, for her this means she has very little independent mobility. She cannot walk on her own nor can she use her own hands to eat. She must consume pudding quality water and only pureed food which others must feed to her in such manner as not to cause her to aspirate or swallow food into her lungs.

While at the hospital, because staff there were inexperienced at preparing the pureed and pudding quality food and water and because most did not have experience (or time for the patience it takes) feeding in this way, it depended on us, her daughters mainly, to feed her morning, noon, and evening, as much and as best as we could.

And we did!  We bought Gerber’s pureed food to supplement or replace the hospital’s too thick or heavy portions. We developed a formula, with help from a speech therapist, to produce her pudding water, and we added fresh lemon juice and used ice cubes to give her more satisfaction.  She was depending on us for her very survival. Each of us stepped up as best we could. We shared our observations and listened to one anothers’ suggestions. We expressed our concerns with the nurses and aides until finally one doctor in particular became focal in helping Mom recover enough to be able to return to her nursing home.

Family of six

I know my Mom would do the same for any of us and often she did, whenever we were sick or ailing.  While at first honestly I was afraid of feeding Mom, afraid I might cause her to aspirate, over time I did the best I could along with my other sisters. And she improved! I believe the nurturing care we all gave helped her more than any medications. The love we all shared was a healing force in itself.  It is a healing energy that will never diminish, no matter what the future may hold.

So, I learn from my Nourisher that LOVE is the heart of it all and all that really matters. To NOURISH is to give and to reciprocally receive divine, unconditional Love.

I invite you to journal and/or to talk with a loved one (or send your insights, comments and stories to us, here!) about one or more of your own Nourisher moments.