Nesting and Nurturing (After Neglecting)

Dec 03, 2020
My sweet little cottage and my sweet daughter True

In tending to our ever-shifting priorities, things can get lost in the shuffle — maybe it’s time for nurturing to become your new priority instead?

Nesting is a phenomenon that many women experience in the final weeks before giving birth; a burst of miraculous energy inspiring them to clean and organize and prepare for the arrival of their baby. And you know what? Even amidst the holiday hustle and bustle — December, the last month of the year, calls to us in a similar way.

We are completing one thing and prepping for another, new beginnings, new year. Our days feel shorter as darkness descends upon us earlier which creates longer nights to rest, settle in…to dream. And get real.

Like many, my nervous system has been set on survival mode for much of the past 9 months. However, I also relied heavily upon my tools of reset: breathing, trusting, praying, letting go. Most of all I reminded myself to look around at what was, not what wasn’t or what could come barreling around the next corner. And what was there was YOU and my incredible staff. And we’re here. Standing. Grateful. Resilient. It was because of this that I fell in love with my sweet café all over again as I shared in our last blog. I never fell OUT of love, I just felt deeper.

But there was an aspect of my life that got overlooked in the mix — my home, my sanctuary, my nest.

Truth be told, it more than got shoved to the back burner…I let it go to shit. With life set on ‘high alert’, I treated my home like a bunker. I would routinely wake up, shower, go straight to work, come home, shower, go to bed (repeat). That was it.

The nourishment of all the in-betweens disappeared. Gone were my sweet routines — quiet mornings with tea surrounded by candles cuddling with my cats — reading, meditating, pulling cards, daydreaming, exhaling, appreciating. How quickly fight-or-flight removed this sacredness from my life. How quickly I followed its lead.

As our outdoor seating at the restaurant slowed down with cooler temperatures and a few rainy days descended upon us, it was as if Mother Nature was setting me up for a reset. My staff sent me home or told me to come in later. Suddenly, I found myself face-to-face with my mess and with all that I had neglected (and with no excuses left). The piles, the clutter, the dust bunnies! It was all there awaiting my return. And honestly it made me sad because I had missed it all — my home and my rituals that make me feel like me.

Maybe you can relate to this in some sense. In life, we get pulled in different directions. We can feel off balance — and frankly, I don’t think it’s even possible to be ‘balanced’ all the time. How else would we evolve, learn, grow, see what we are ready to see? What I’m trying to say is…just give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up when you do fall off. Remember, you can pick up and start again…which is exactly what my daughter True (pictured above) and I did.

We basically ransacked the place from top to bottom, got into nooks and crannies, dumped drawers, pulled things out of closets and corners, un-piled piles! We caught a wave of energy to purge, connect and be mindful of our space and what we had in it. In only a few short years we had actually collected and ignored quite a bit. But it was time to let some of it go. It was also an invitation to bring things in that made my soul sing, like this gorgeous photograph that I purchased locally. From the moment I saw it, it felt like this new version of ‘me’. 

New art, new inspired spaces and Baby Meow

The more we took out, the better we felt. This project took days, but was so worth it. Suddenly I felt the desire to yet again bring in fresh flowers, light candles, play music, create installations around me from my favorite things.

Speaking of ‘things’…the holidays are here and that means shopping, gift giving…acquiring more ‘stuff’ we don’t need. We’ve all renegotiated our relationship to consumption.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Scrooge — I absolutely adore gift giving, but if Covid has taught us anything, it’s that we can do things differently. We can relate to ourselves, our self-care, our families, our holidays and our traditions — and our spaces in new ways.

I was given a gift recently that left an imprint upon me, The 13 Holy Nights Oracle Deck and companion book by Lara J. Day. Lara explains how December is innately a time to retreat, nest and nurture — not a time to over-indulge and over-consume, like the holiday season urges us. Maybe that’s why we feel so drained after it’s all over — because we went against the grain of what we really needed. 

13 Holy Nights Oracle Deck 

This deck helps us realign with our true intentions for life and the year ahead — and allows us to sink into the womb of winter, like I sank back into the sweet cottage I call home. Cleaning clears more than dirt, it clears energy too. In rearranging my furniture, I reconnected to myself and even to my daughter in a deeper way. During these past months we often felt like two ships passing in the night. I had taken these precious gifts for granted. 

Of course I’m dreaming of travel, un-masked freedom to move about a Covid-free life again and hugs! But for now, I’m deeply connecting to the things before me, right here and appreciating them in new ways. I’m also connecting to the rhythm of Mother Nature and mimicking her lead. Winter calls us to get all comfy cozy for a reason.

What have you felt called to reconnect to these past months? Is your nest in need of nurturing like mine was? I believe we are constantly being provided with opportunities…we simply need to see them.

If you close your eyes right now and ask yourself what would feel good right now…what is the first thing that pops up for you? I’m certainly looking at life thru a different lens right now…for one thing it’s much cleaner (ha), but it’s also much quieter and gentler. I’ve cleared the clutter so I can hear my soul. I hope you nurture your precious self too.


I’d love to hear how you are navigating this year, the holidays and remembering what’s most important to you. Please leave a comment below.

— Lea Haas, Owner, The Garden Café Woodstock


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