ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Basics of Self-Nurturing

Updated on March 7, 2010
self-nurture with touch, words, and tone
self-nurture with touch, words, and tone

If You Don't Fully Love You, Who Will?

In previous essays I have explained the need to nurture oneself. Rather than explaining the rationale for this once again, I would like to concentrate on explaining the practical nuts and bolts of this.

In self-nurturing we are addressing the most vulnerable, open, and deeply feeling parts of ourselves.

Have you ever peeled an artichoke? We start by peeling the outer leaves, getting to the more tender inner leaves, and finally to the soft heart of the artichoke.

In self-nurturing we are peeling back the outer leaves of our being, to touch the tender inner heart.

There are three main ways we can touch the inner heart: touch, tone, and words.


One of our most basic forms of communication is tactile -- whether it is petting a dog, giving a massage, cradling an infant in our arms, snuggling up to someone, or tracing the contours of our lover's face with our fingers.

Although it is hard to explain exactly how, all of us know that a touch can communicate a variety of things. We know what it is like to hold someone's hand and feel their hand go "dead," as opposed to feeling warmth and enthusiasm in their palm. In some subtle way, the hand can communicate the intention that is animating it.


Place the palm of one hand (or both) over your heart, near the center of your chest. Feel the warmth of your hand against your chest. Feel the weight and presence of your hand there. Does it feel comforting? The intention is for your hand to communicate love and caring to your heart. From the other side, allow your heart to open and receive the warmth, love, and presence being communicated by your hand.

Discussion Points

1. The heart area is the primary center for receiving and communicating self-nuturing. However, you can also experiment with slowly, gently, and lovingly stroking one or both of the cheeks of your face.

2. The intention behind your touch is "I love you." That is the quality of feeling that your touch needs to convey.

3. The following are equivalent intentions: I love you. I care for you. I'm here for you. I see you. I see your pain. I see your goodness. I will never abandon you. I am always here for you. I love you without conditions. I understand you and forgive you. . . . .Your touch can communicate, with physical immediacy, something equivalent to these feelings.

4. Let your heart be receptive to the touch of your hand and the message of love it is conveying. Open your heart fully and let it fully take in the feeling from your hand. Your heart is like a sponge, drawing the energy in. Your receptive heart helps to encourage the flow of energy from your loving hand.

5. In this self-communication through touch, treat yourself with the same care as you would a friend, or a child left in your care. There is nothing artificial about this exercise. The nurturing aspect of yourself is genuinely communicating love and caring to the vulnerable part of yourself.

6. After a couple of minutes of this you should notice some feeling of ease, calm, sweetness, or something pleasant.

Words - Spoken Inwardly or Out Loud

To reinforce your awareness of the feelings of love being self-communicated by your hand, you can use simple verbal communication. Make it very simple and basic, as you would with a child. Use the suggestions from above: "I love you. I care for you. You are special to me. I am here for you always. I will always be with you. I see your goodness. You are important to me," and so forth.

You can say these words to yourself mentally, but I recommend you also experiment with speaking to yourself out loud sometimes. Just as feeling the actual presence of your hand communicates something in a tangible way, hearing the sound of your voice is more tangible than just speaking the words mentally. The mental self-talk is powerful, but sometimes it is important for your ear to actually hear yourself speaking the words: "I love you."

Experimenting with talking to yourself in a normal tone of voice, and with whispering to yourself. Which feels better. Sometimes one may feel more intimate, sometimes the other.

Experimenting with incorporating your name into your words. "Sally, I'm here for you. I love you, Sally. I care about you, Sally." See if adding your name creates a deeper self-communication or not.

Tone of Voice

You can experiment with the emotional tone and rhythm of your voice. Even though an infant may not understand the words its mother says, it is comforted by the sounds and rhythms of her voice. There is a musical quality to our voices, and beyond the actual words, something in the quality of our voice can communicate tenderness, concern, comfort and affection.

Experiment with different ways of saying, "I love you," to yourself.

Concluding Thoughts

See what works for you. Experiment. Make this exercise your own.

Naturally you will most need to use this exercise when you are attacked by disappointment, failure, rejection, self-criticism, and so forth. However, make a point of also practicing periodically during the times when all is going well. Make a post-it reminder for yourself, or set a reminder on your cell phone. Or find a time of day when you have a moment of pause to self-nurture -- perhaps just before you go to sleep at night, or when you are sitting in your car waiting for someone.

Be here for yourself. Love yourself. Honor yourself. Believe in yourself.

give your heart love, as you would give it to a child you were caring for
give your heart love, as you would give it to a child you were caring for


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      All of use must practice self-nurturance from time to time. If we do not love ourselves, no one else will.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)