Are you nourishing or shrinking?

Kris Carr recounts the time in her life she found out she had stage 4 cancer at the age of 31.  She says, in a very real and entertaining speech (which I have linked below for your interest), that this was when she decided to become the CEO of her health. She says, very humorously, that she became the lady boss of her company, “Save My Ass Technologies Incorporated”.

As I listened to her speech and her remarkable story of living with cancer, it made me reflect on my own life and of those around me. Kris talks about her life before cancer and how she would eat to stay slim for her job. So this intention led her to develop an unhealthy relationship to food, as she was constantly trying to “shrink” herself. She says her focus was about staying slim instead of eating to “nourish my body, nourish my mind, nourish my dreams”.

Two words really stuck out for me in this talk by Kris, which I would love to explore with you all here. The first word is “shrink”.

Shrink means to become or make (something) smaller in amount, size or value. Shrink also means to quickly move away from something due to fear or shock. This led me to an important question.

“In which areas of my life am I shrinking myself right now?” 

If we look at the 7 areas of our life – family, spiritual, mental, physical, social, career and financial – where do you feel you have made yourself smaller or moved away from? Once I identified the areas of my life, I went onto ask myself the following,

“What am I gaining by shrinking in this area?”


“What am I losing by shrinking in this area?”

One of the most interesting things I discovered (trust me, there were too many to put here!) was I was expanding myself to the point of explosion in some areas of my life and pretending that this was OK with the massive shrinkage going on in other areas. Maybe you will find the same. I must also note here that these broad 7 areas of life can encompass very incomparable specifics within its boundaries for you, compared to someone else. So, some pre-work here would be to define these areas of your life so that you can be very clear.

The second word which stuck out for me was the term ‘nourish”, which means to provide with food or other substances necessary for growth, health and good condition. I believe that this word has a better, deeper and holistic connotation compared to the words “healthy” and “good”. Again, looking at the 7 areas of my life, I asked myself the following questions:

Is this area of my life nourished?”

“How am I nourishing this area?”

“What must I let go of to move this area from good to nourished”.

When I started to work through these questions, life area by life area, I was able to identify habits I have formed which were based on ‘shrinking’ and based on ‘nourishing’. I now try and bring this awareness and these questions to the present moments and my day to day activities. For example, I will look at my relationships and ask
- “is the way I am connecting with this person, nourishing for me? Nourishing for him/her?” or
- “Is this activity I am not doing, shrinking me or shrinking the potential outcome?” or
- “Is this self-talk I am allowing in my mind, nourishing for me?” So many of us choose such harsh and self-depleting self-talk – this is such a good question to flip that script right around.

Without self-awareness, how are we to break through our wounding habits and live nourished, fulfilled lives? Without asking ourselves the right questions, how can we find answers to lead us through the vastness of our thoughts, actions and emotions? I encourage you to take small moments in your day to ask yourself some of these important questions and to plant them into your subconscious.

I was always taught to ask a quality question to get a quality answer. I’d like to change that and encourage you to ask nourishing questions so that you can receive nourishing answers.

Watch Kris Carr's talk here