Parable of Brown Sugar: Radical Self Care and Nourishing of Your Spirit


Brown sugar is a special and delicate type of sugar. When properly cared for, it flows freely and readily adapts to take on the shape of its container. However, when not properly cared for, it loses its ability to flow, and becomes hardened. You see, brown sugar differs from white sugar in that it contains a good amount of molasses syrup, which contains more moisture. Without a proper balance of moisture, the normally pliable and free sugar crystals, clump and harden. Seemingly, small actions can cause the moisture to evaporate. Often it is due to improper storage, perhaps a small puncture in the bag or a loose seal. Those are little actions that can often go unnoticed until you need to use the sugar. That is when the hardening is revealed. Then you will find that it is no longer pliable, and a brick of brown sugar, one that cannot flow when necessary, is not useful.

People share many of these same traits. We are special and delicate creatures. When we take care of ourselves, we can readily adapt to our situation. However, when we do not take proper care of ourselves, we lose the ability to flow and our mindset hardens. You see, people are not mere flesh and bone; we contain a spirit, which needs nourishment. Without a proper balance of nourishment, our normally adaptable and free nature begins to doubt and fear. Seemingly, small actions can cause the spirit to lack nourishment. Often it is due to improper care of the mind and body, perhaps being overstressed, or under nurtured. Little actions that can often go unnoticed until you need to adapt and be at your best. That is when the undernourishment is revealed. Then you will find that you are no longer pliable, and a hardened spirit, one that cannot flow when necessary, is not useful.

From this parable, we see the value of maintaining proper care of the mind and body, as well as the spirit. They say, it is the small foxes that spoil the vine. We must be vigilant for those small actions that deplete our spirit and harden our hearts. Finding a proper balance for activity and recovery is at the heart of proper nourishment. The longer you continue to lack nourishment, the harder your spirit becomes. Nevertheless, just like brown sugar, there are ways to soften a hardened heart. By adding sources of nourishment, to care for the essential needs of the spirit, you will begin to soften its once firm nature.

Just as little actions cause the hardening, little actions can create the softening. To soften hardened brown sugar, you can place a piece of fresh bread into an airtight container with it. To soften a hardened heart, put yourself in the company of loving and joyous people. Allow their gentle spirits to soften yours. Continue with regular doses of activity that provide nourishment to you. Look for actions that restore, replenish, and reenergize you. Apply liberally to create a positive balance in your life.

The care and nourishment of the spirit is a life-long duty. It requires regular attention. Start by first Assessing the nature of your spirit to see if you need some purposeful softening. Then Identify what actions you could take to provide that needed nourishment. This will be unique to you. Finally, Implement a plan to maintain consistent balance, through routine nourishment.

By Assessing, Identifying and Implementing, you will be able to stay flexible and adaptable to all of life’s many changes. Nourishment of the spirit is essential to prevent hardening of the heart. This is at the foundation of wellness. To be well, is not only physical, but mental, spiritual and emotional as well. This time of year people often focus on improving the physical, however, if you properly nourish the other three, physical improvement becomes naturally easier to achieve. Balancing self-care comes from a combination of awareness and action. Recall this parable to maintain awareness and allow your actions to reflect what you know. Best wishes for keeping your spirit soft in the year to come!

Source by Lisa Schilling

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