Self Improvement Requires Nourishment and Hydration of a Different Kind

Like everything, self-improvement requires nourishment and hydration, but of a different kind.  You see, I live in the Arizona desert. When it’s hot, everyone says, “Yeah, but it’s a DRY heat.” That’s true, but it doesn’t make 114° any cooler. But when you look around, there’s a lot of lush growth.  Focus on desert botanicals and, you’ll see the beauty you hadn’t noticed before. You see, everything thrives in the desert with a little bit of rain. And, like the desert,  self-improvement requires nourishment and hydration to thrive—nourishment and hydration of that different kind.

Self-improvement requires nourishment and hydration

Some of us are like the dry desert, especially those of us who are older and our life companions are no longer around.  We get parched and dried out because sometimes there’s no “rain to clear away the dust” and give us nourishment and hydration.

Why is that? What nourishment and hydration do I mean?

Good, stimulating conversation is nourishing, hydrating and healing. Everyone needs it. With computers, TVs, MP3 players and text messaging, we sometimes are so wrapped up in listening to all the pre-prepared and pre-digested music, news, opinions and other information coming in that we forget to talk to each other.

Perhaps we forget how to have a meaningful conversation with give and take of ideas and sharing and exploration of opinions and beliefs. We can go to groups to discuss our grief or our problems, but that really isn’t the same. Do we take time for meaningful conversation, genuine dialog composed of talking and listening, with our family and friends? Let’s don’t let it become a dying art.

Touch and hugs

Nourishment and hydration also come from being touched and hugged. Many people who have no one around to touch them and give them the hugs they need. Virginia Satir says that we need 4 hugs a day for survival,  8 hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth. For more serious information on this delightful subject see

Some families are just not demonstrative of their affection, and yet, we all need to be touched. We all need to be hugged. It is a scientific fact. The phone company had it right when they said, “Reach out and touch someone.” Do you allow people to hug you or are you like a prickly pear cactus that pushes them away?


Love nourishes and hydrates us.  It is critical that we hear it, know it, feel it. We know we’re loved by hearing that we are. “I love you,” are three of the most welcome and healing words in any language. We need and want to hear it. But there’s more. According to that “great sage,” Eliza Doolittle, in My Fair Lady, “Don’t talk of love – show me.”

Stop to say hello. Give me a smile or few minutes of conversation. Remember my birthday.  Listen to what I have to say now and then. Call me just to say “hello.”  Most of us don’t want or need expensive gifts to know we’re loved. We just need to know you’re there and you care. What about you? Do you initiate a hug or do you wait for someone else?

This kind of nourishment and hydration requires interaction with others. But don’t think for a minute that someone else is solely responsible for your personal nourishment and hydration. They cannot give you nourishment and hydration if you won’t or cannot receive it. Loosen up. Hug back.  Initiate hugs and I love yous. The more you share hugs and touches with those who love you, the more you will receive and it becomes more and more mutually beneficial.

Start today.

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