What are your ingredients for a good life?


Before I wrote this blog, I invited myself to sit down with a cup of chicory in my grey bucket chair.

I watched the blackbird skip and hop along the low wall, and let my eyes rest on the morning mist veiling the valley. I enjoyed the fierce gold sparkles in Quan Yin’s halo on my wall hanging. I noticed tension in my shoulders like ruched fabric, and felt them release a little, unfurl.

A question arises. What nourishes me? What would I like to offer myself in 2018?

Short regular breaks. Poetry. Peacock colours. The 12 Steps. Stretching my body for ten minutes when I wake up. Self-forgiveness. Structure. Vegan cake. Nembutsu. Weekly check-ins with my husband. Retreats. Learning. Writing small stones.  Watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Growing garlic and potatoes. Hanging out with my bunnies.

I feel nourished even by writing this list. It’s a reminder of the particular ingredients that, baked together, make a good life for Satya.

Your recipe will be different.

It will change at different times in your life. At the moment, the aspiration to ‘connect’ is an important ingredient for me. I’m also adding in a month of mindful writing (join me?) and liberal doses of permission-to-stop-people-pleasing. This is what I need in this particular season of my life.

Some of the things on your list won’t always feel fun. Yesterday I felt sludgy, and going out for a walk in the freezing cold was the last thing I wanted to do – but I had the sense that it would be good for me. It was. Some of what nourishes us, like therapy, can be downright excruciating. Trust your instinct. If activities leave you clearer or happier or healthier or lighter or kinder, put them on your list.

Our lists should never be used to hold us to an impossible ideal. If you tend to use your list in this way, add ‘kindness to self’ in big letters at the top.

Make sure you put some silly things on your list. And lots of things that make you smile with your whole body.

If you’re not sure about whether you deserve the things on your list, or whether you’ll ever get the time or energy or money to do them, write them down anyway.

Now – take five minutes and start writing it. When it’s finished, make sure you keep it handy, and keep adding to it. You might want to share it with a friend. And do share a few of your favourite ingredients in the comments.

What nourishes you?


Photo by Anjana C via Pexels with thanks

2 thoughts on “What are your ingredients for a good life?”

  1. Beautiful, quiet wonder in your words. Your recipe reflects all that appeals and energises your senses. This list could almost be a universal guide for those who wish to put aside material inclinations and seek an alternative.

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