Last Spring, when a couple of my high school friends and I talked about getting together for my birthday weekend, I didn’t think about which of the 12 ORM Weeks we had chosen. As the date got closer and I realized that it was Food Week, I felt the laughter ringing from deep within myself before the sound reached my voice. It felt cosmically ordered, and I know I couldn’t have imagined better if I’d planned it. In perfect timing, I spent Food Week 2021 with two of my long-time friends and our husbands in Washington, DC. As a group, we took the concept of nourishment to a level that had me feeling like there wasn’t anything in life that I couldn’t easily navigate. By the time we were saying goodbye, I felt like I had connected the roots of some of my deepest emotional spaces to the things that had originally created them, and I actually felt good about it.
These women have nourished and nurtured me--occasionally in person, more often in spirit--for 40 and 35 years, respectively. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically, they have enriched my life’s joyful experiences. They have also been solid energetic support for some of my more challenging moments, helping me uncover my universal lessons from each difficult circumstance. As adults, all three of us have lived vastly different lives, with dwindling (albeit powerful) common experiences. When we come together, we are automatically sharing from a place of curiosity rather than familiarity, because we have genuine interest in each others’ unique perspectives and opinions. Even when we don’t agree, we are still feeding a certain magical energy that has existed among us since we were teenagers. We make best efforts to listen, using humor to accept each others’ most deep-rooted triggers, as we try to lessen their impact and effect on our psyches. What better place to tackle our own psychological nourishment than Washington, DC?!
I have always felt a strong connection to our nation’s capital, even though I’ve never been there before Food Week(end). I’ve read countless books set there, watched movies and television series that were filmed there, felt palpable tension during news broadcasts, and poured over articles written from the desks inside the many historic buildings that house the energy of the ‘political mind’ of our country. The drama, the intrigue, the scandals, the back-door deals, and the money that changes hands in the processes that make it all happen: these are the things that connect us to the Ego’s power source. Washington DC has been rooted in establishing power since it drew its first breath and hosted its first double-cross. The vein of Soul energy running through the place, once a river of flowing intentions and purpose, is now dry and crusty in the parts where we have repeatedly compromised available soul connections for the allure of ego trappings. It just feels different there. The air itself feels heavier, but somehow more kinetic at the same time. The sheer volume of people moving through the place, each adding their own energetic debris to the mix, contributes to the disconnected, but powerful environment.
My biggest takeaway? The energy that emanates from DC’s core is INCREDIBLY strong. I was immediately aware that its reach had grabbed me before I ever had a chance to consider what it really was. I was making pledges to a flag as a practice well before I understood what a pledge was, or the meaning of the republic, for that matter. As children in the US, we are nurtured by the positive stories about America, as they detour and gloss over the not-so-positive. If we listen from within, we can feel the energetic presence and tone of the people who taught us about America, whether we live in the US or not. Often, our feelings slant to match the opinions of our earliest teachers. As we gain our own information about the workings of America, we react accordingly. For some of us, we are just adding more details to the original foundation. For others, there is deep and abiding outrage when the truth becomes more deeply known and understood.
As citizens of the earth, we each use our own raw material as the original basis for our belief systems. Opinions about the United States, what the country stands for, and what it means to be an American vary from the heights of positivity to the depths of negativity; and nearly all of us believe that our own assessment is ‘correct’. We feel satiated by our own knowledge, and uncomfortable when we learn facts that go against what we already know. Ignorance, by definition, is simply the absence of knowledge, but that’s not how most of us perceive it. Collectively, we have a negative connotation around the word, so instead of feeling ‘fed’ by new knowledge, we judge ourselves and/or feel ‘less than’, when we could be recognizing it as an opportunity for growth.
We all possess a general awareness that we need to feed ourselves with nutrition on a regular basis to keep our bodies healthy. Some of us have trouble making that happen for various reasons, spotlighting ‘lack’ in our lives, and pushing it to the center stage of what is important. If we ever have to spend any time living without basic needs - food, clothing, shelter - our ability to reason quickly becomes compromised. Sometimes, our idea of what is healthy becomes distorted, and we compromise and ‘feed’ the distortion, making it difficult to find health from within (even though we may be able to project a perception of it for others for extended periods of time). We become very good at covering the holes in our own raw material so that no one sees where our deepest fears and insecurities originate. We tend to hide these things from ourselves as well, because they attach to feelings that we don’t want to feel.
As we accept the reality of our own conditions, past and present, we create the space for self-nourishment and self-nurturing. Our emotional, spiritual, mental and physical selves each benefit from a periodic evaluation. When we can see ourselves and our life conditions clearly, we are able to assess (and address) our own needs. We become increasingly nourished and nurtured from the inside out, because our thoughts, behaviors and choices attach to the things that truly ‘feed’ us.