Desire + Learn + Trust + NOURISH = VIBRANT LIFE (Part 3)

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Desire + Learn + Trust + NOURISH = VIBRANT LIFE (Part 3)

Welcome back to the mini-series on my equation Desire + Learn + Trust + Nourish = VIBRANT LIFE.  This is part 3, so if you haven’t already read part 1 where we discussed Desire or part 2 where we talked about Learn + Trust, head there first!



This is where we bring all of our self together – emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. We’ve touched on most of these pieces in the first 3 areas (Desire + Learn + Trust) of the formula. Now we are going to ensure we unite everything here. No matter what our goals are the only way to actually achieve them is to take action. The first 3 parts of the formula reflect more of the planning stage, but now we need to actually implement and execute the plan. Some may call this “doing the work,” “hustling,” “the grind,” etc. None of those sound particularly enjoyable to me. It literally makes me tired just hearing those words. So this is where I ask that we focus on nourishing all parts of us as we work our way through the process.


Yes, there has to be action, but there’s definitely a more holistic route. It may appear to be a little slower than the “hustle” method, but in the long run I think it’s more meaningful, fulfilling, and certainly healthy. Rather than just focusing on the end goal, let’s stay focused on the present too. When doing so, we’re more likely to notice what we truly need and which adjustments may be necessary for long-term success. Honestly, when we take time to nourish ourselves, we are extra productive during the periods of more deliberate action and in the long run likely aren’t any slower than those routes that run you into the ground in the process.


So how is NOURISH about taking action?


Well nourishment can actually come in the form of purposely following through on the goals we desire with intentional action! I don’t know about you, but I truly feel my happiest when I know I’m growing, learning, creating, and sharing my gifts with others. The fulfillment and empowerment that comes from taking action and watching our desires unfold before us can be truly exhilarating! So, let’s not forget to celebrate and enjoy those moments of more deliberate action and the successes we experience along the way!


In order to be strong, focused, and intentional in our actions, we will need to nourish our bodies with healthy, nutrient-dense, real food no matter the goals. I fully concur with Hippocrates’s age-old adage, “Food is Medicine.”


We also need to nourish ourselves with movement. This includes smart exercise we’ve chosen by listening to what we really need– not pushing to do an intense workout when we are feeling drained, but rather choosing yoga or a gentle walk instead; doing the more powerful routine when we are energized and desiring it; not skimping on sleep just to get in a workout; choosing options that excite us and lead to consistency; choosing exercise not solely by how it makes us look (that’s a side benefit), but instead by how it makes us feel; and more.


Sleep, rest, and leisure are necessities in the nourishment phase, as are periods of time alone where we find quiet and stillness in things such as meditation, prayer, breath work, and other stress management techniques. Motivational speaker and author, Earl Nightingale, speaks to how these things lead to more imaginative and productive work,


We are most creative during periods of leisure. That's why people who are slaves to their work are seldom very creative. Our best creative thoughts and ideas come to us when we least expect them. They come in the shower, when we first wake up. They sometimes appear suddenly at four in the morning. They'll often come while we are driving or taking long walks, while dozing in the sun, sitting in the park, having lunch alone. Good ideas seldom come to us when we are actively engaged in our work.


Isn’t this so true?!


Again, if we’re always in “hustle-mode” we are likely to miss these opportunities for creative growth and inspiration. Innovative ideas actually get us outside our comfort zone and move us into energetic action that feels less like “hustle” and more like fun! So in order to ensure we get these moments of silence it’s a great idea to plan for and allow them daily. I find a lot of people specifically push them away due to feeling the need to be busy. Let’s not just be busy. Busy isn’t necessarily productive. We want to take meaningful action.


While quiet time alone is important, so is finding community and connection. For some this might mean nurturing many relationships, while others may have fewer more intimate relationships. Whichever it is, creating and cultivating real partnerships with those who lift you up and fill your heart is priceless. In fact, research is showing that social isolation may be worse than the risks associated with smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. Check out this infographic by Emma Seppala, Associate Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research & Education, regarding social connectedness:



Play is another area I think is worth mentioning here. We may tend to lump leisure and play together, however, I suggest otherwise. Leisure may look like reading a book or watching TV for some. That’s different than playful activities which I would consider to be more spontaneous, creative, and active. Play can have positive benefits on things like: stress, sleep, immunity, and social connectedness. If you want to learn more you could check out Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide to Play.


Spending time in nature and getting exposure to sunlight are also activities that are truly nourishing for the body, mind, and spirit. I absolutely never feel better than when I’ve been outside for several hours. You may have heard of forest bathing where spending time in the forest can actually increase the body’s natural killer cells. There’s also earthing or grounding where making direct contact with the negative charge of the earth (for example walking barefoot in the grass) can neutralize positive electrons, like free radicals. There are many benefits of responsible sunlight exposure such as synthesis of immune-boosting vitamin D and circadian-rhythm balancing. So take that day at the beach about which you’ve been dreaming! You’re likely to get some rest, play, nature, grounding, and sunlight all in one!


Last, but certainly not least, I have to mention the magnitude of having awareness of our thoughts again. Our thoughts will literally create our reality. What we think and believe is what we’ll experience. For instance, when we wake up late on Monday morning, spill our coffee, and forget something at home, it can be easy to slip into thinking it’s going to be “one of those days”. Or we can recognize that those events likely have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the day and we can expect only amazing things moving forward. In fact, we may even be able to see the blessings in those events we thought were negative. It’s so easy to get caught up in a certain pattern of thinking. Let’s not forget to check in and assess whether our thoughts are serving us. Byron Katie has some wonderful free resources on her site for a process she calls The Work that can help to evaluate the very thoughts that often cause us unnecessary suffering.  One of the first and very effective questions she suggests we ask in her method is, “Is it true?” That alone can really trigger us to assess whether the stream of thoughts we are having is true and whether it’s appropriate to spend our time on them {lightbulb moment, right?!}.


Our thoughts will literally create our reality. What we think and believe is what we’ll experience.


Ibelieve when we balance these nourishing activities with the more deliberate actions necessary to achieve the goals we desire, success happens much more effortlessly. Depending on our goals, these self-care practices may directly or indirectly relate to what it is we want to achieve. I could honestly make a case for saying they are always directly related, but that’s a topic for another time perhaps. I can also say firmly that if any of the activities discussed here previously are in direct relation to your goal, coming at it with a mindset of NOURISHING ourselves versus forcing or depriving, etc., will allow us to find much more ease in the entire process! For example, if fat loss is a goal (which I know it is for so many), making food choices that are nourishing and make us feel both happy and healthy will feel so much better than focusing on what we think we can’t or shouldn’t have. In truth, we can make any decisions we wish, so there truly aren’t any can’ts or shouldn’ts, just choices about what we really want.


I believe when we balance these nourishing activities with the more deliberate actions necessary to achieve the goals we desire, success happens much more effortlessly.


If we have gone through a solid goal-setting process, we are likely to choose our goals more easily over those things that could be barriers to achieving them because in that process we will have hit directly on our true desires. This is where my 2 FREE TOOLS will be helpful to you!  Check out my SMART Goals Guide and my Goal-Setting Worksheet (each just one page). Using the goal-setting tips from the DESIRE section, as well as the SMART framework (see SMART Goals Guide above), we want to really identify the action steps necessary to get us started on our way to our goals. We need to ask ourselves, “What is one thing I can start doing today (or tomorrow) that will lead me closer to my goal?” And once that one thing is beginning to feel more comfortable, we need to identify the next habit to begin forming. It is the culmination of these daily activities that add up over time to success (or stagnation). I can say that PLANNING is key to ensuring completion of the deliberate and purposeful endeavors that lead to our aspirations. “Fail to plan; plan to fail,” rings true often here. Balance the planning and analyzing with a healthy dose of faith, trust, and action and I do believe magic will happen for you!


The final part of the equation will wrap up this mini-series next week.

Share with me something that has helped you in this series so far!

Deanna Wilcox


  • Michelle Desranlesu
    June 23, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I always find your writing inspirational. Once again, you’ve offered me food for thought. Another form of nourishment. Thank you!!

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