Self-Nurturing - 7 lessons learned from The No Excuses Guide to Uncovering Your Purpose

OK, I am slightly addicted to self-help books, I'll admit. So great is my addiction, in fact, that I have devoted the last 5 years of my life to studying them while writing my doctoral dissertation on the history of self-help literature in Australia.




I have just read an overwhelmingly inspirational book from Australian authors Stacey De Marco and Jade-Sky, called The No Excuses Guide to Uncovering Your Purpose. A big focus in this book is self-care, on respecting your own needs and desires, and in doing so coming more alive to your own potential.

Author Stacey De Marco



Here are 7 lessons I learned from the book about nurturing yourself and taking your own needs seriously:

Co-athor Jade-Sky



1. Get out into nature: One of the book's authors, Stacey De Marco, is a modern witch, and as such is part of a tradition that reveres nature and recognises its importance in our spiritual lives. The book advises getting out into nature every day, something I often forget to do. All of us need to spend more time with our bare feet on the ground, and not on cement.

2. Ask the Universe for help: So many of us are hung up on the idea of being rugged individualists, on being totally self-reliant. But sometimes this just isn't good for us. Learn to ask for help in a way that is non-invasive and empowering. Throw your needs out there and let it be known that you could use some help. You'll be surprised.

3. Remember what you loved as a child, and re-introduce some of those things into your life: Do you ever stop to  think of the things that enchanted you as a child? Comic books, aimless walks, swimming in freshwater creeks, watching B grade monster movies. All of these things nurtured us and fed our imaginations. Going back to them might just help spark some important part of your memory.

4. Get familiar with mythology: For 80s kids, Clash of the Titans (the original!) was a really big movie, and for me it brought to life the ancient myths of the Greeks. How I loved that film! But as the years have progressed, I have became a little shaky in my memories of Greek mythology. I also want to acquaint myself with Celtic and Nordic mythology, all of which has so much importance in Western literary culture. These stories carry incredible power. Learn them again, and you will begin to see them re-created everywhere.

5. Take small steps toward your dreams: Going all the way is often impossible. But we can always do some small thing to move us towards our goals and dreams. And once you start, these baby steps really start to add up. Pretty soon, you are a long way towards achieving what you wanted. Don't think you have to change your life right now. Just do something small, and repeat again tomorrow.

6. Attend seminars: Hardly anyone does this. Self-help guru Brian Tracy says about 4% of the population ever attempts any kind of self-improvement in adulthood. That just seems unbelievable to me. Why wouldn't you want to learn new things, to stretch your horizons? Be a doer. Sign up for classes, workshops, seminars. Consider systematic study and check out university courses. It is NEVER too late to get an education. Be interested in life and be excited about learning from others.

7. Be prepared for a journey, not an instant enlightenment: Just because you want it doesn't mean you will get it immediately. Almost anything worth having takes work, persistance and patience. So many people give up, just at the point of achievement. Don't be so easily disheartened. Prepare yourself mentally for setbacks, rejections and occasional boring patches. That's life. The key to success is a willingness to get up again the next morning and keep going. You're walking a path, not jumping off a cliff.


Measuring Your Outcomes:

Schedule an encounter with nature once a week for the rest of 2013. Record the impact this has on you, in writing, and note any revelations or ideas that occurred to you while out and about. I'd love you to share these with me in the comments, and maybe come back to me at the end of the year and tell me if you have noticed any positive effects in your life.


Exciting Announcement

In January I will be having an inspirational coversation with Stacey De Marco, one of this book's co-authors, at Ultimo Community Centre (Library) in Sydney.
This event is now booked out, but if you are keen you can still register to go on the waitlist here.

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