Life is a serious business, but it doesn’t have to be completely serious! As a coach I’m now choosing to look at the lighter side of life and to ensure that I put in to life what I want to get out of it – love, laughter and learning…
One day I was shopping for Christmas presents and it occurred to me that I wanted to buy a gift for someone whose name I didn’t know and whose face I had never seen…
My friend was pregnant with a much longed for and cherished baby. I was so happy for her and so excited to meet the little entity I had nicknamed ‘Boo’. So as I was out shopping for gifts, it came to me that I wanted Boo to have a ‘Nooh Nooh’. Now this may not be a word that you will find in the dictionary, but on some level I’m guessing you will be familiar with the concept: it’s baby speak for a comforter, or a soother – in this case something soft for my forthcoming friend to snuggle with in his sleep, as a reminder that he would always be safe and loved…
Now, Nooh Noohs manifest in many forms. There are the obviously childlike blankies and teddy bears that people (of all ages may) have in their lives – to cuddle with and lose themselves in – for sweet, instinctual comfort. Sometimes Nooh Noohs come in food form – chocolate is an occasional one of mine; and sometimes they are comforting custom and practice – the little routines that demarcate and sweeten our lives, that we may not even notice we indulge in.
A personal favourite of mine is a jumper. It has a story, since I bought it in a sale, and being about 5 sizes too big, I immediately recognised its latent potential to become the perfect Nooh Nooh – in that at different times it is a coverall, or a kind of unofficial dressing gown, which I throw on over whatever I’m wearing and then it suddenly swathes me in pink, fluffy, and all-encompassing glory. The pattern is hard to describe – think of a cross between the dark patches of a cow and pink poached eggs and you’ll get some idea of its ugly magnificence. Yet I feel safe and comfortable in it, it keeps me warm, and when I don’t want to have to think about what to wear – it is there – ready and waiting to Nooh Nooh me to perfection.
It’s usually a secret obsession that particular Nooh Nooh, yet I am very proud of the fact that the only time I wore it on a public occasion, I was told that it was ‘brilliantly hideous’. I suppose it is stylistically, but then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so of course it is ravishingly attractive to me…
Whatever form they may take, Nooh Noohs don’t live in the realms of time, so your experience of them can be short and sweet or else deliciously long and drawn out. One my own personal favourites is the hug – it’s a gorgeous shortcut of connection, that, without words, says so much: Including ‘I’m happy to see you’, ‘good bye beloved’, ‘thank you’, ‘I care’, ‘I want you close’ and whatever minute complexity is going in that unguarded, non-verbal moment of contact.
I grew up in a world that definitely had love in it, but not so much of the physical kind – with hugging and cuddling. I seemed to belong to a family and lived through an era where once you ‘grew out of it’, hugging became a rare act, bestowed briefly on those relatives you loved, but rarely saw.
When I started on my personal development journey around about a decade ago – the constant greeting hugs were, at first, a bit of a culture shock, but then quickly became one of my favourite features of that world. Again it goes to that shortcut mentality – that you share an openness and trust – because you have hugged through and transcended physical boundaries.
Now, outside of that world too, my observation is that ‘nowadays’ it seems to be more common currency. Public Displays of Affection (PDAs), it seems, are most definitely on the up. Physiologically this is all good for us – such ‘Nooh Nooh’ demonstrations can induce endorphins, lower the blood pressure and evoke an unconscious sense of bonding, security and comfort.
For many of us, animals are most definitely Nooh Noohs. I have three cats and they are all a constant source of cuddles, contentment and uncomplicated company – I simply adore having them around.
And sometimes too, Nooh Noohs are people – those we seek out because they make us laugh, feel special, and lift our spirits. And the other side to this is that you can also be a Nooh Nooh to someone. As someone who derives the greatest joy in supporting and making a difference to others, I’m fortunate – I know that I’m that Nooh Nooh for many people in my life – in both a personal and professional way– and that, for me, is always a source of great contentment.
For the Nooh Nooh to be all encompassing requires you to surrender and trust to the experience, so you can allow it to be completely comforting and comfortable. This can sometimes make you feel vulnerable. And sometimes this aspect is the shadow side to the denomination of Nooh Nooh-ness – where it is felt that your vulnerability has been misunderstood, rejected, ignored or violated… This is why Nooh Noohs are so often a secret act of self cherishing love.
If you are a Nooh Nooh, then you have to be careful not to give too much of your supporting self away. Constantly giving can be draining, so you should always redress the balance and see your Nooh Nooh-ism in balance: To receive is replenishing – and giving and receiving therefore work best when they are in balance. The good news is that we do not always have to give and receive from the same source and so, when we seek out and have enough Nooh Nooh-someness in our different worlds, then we have the fulsome resources to support us in our supporting, and giving back.
This then, is the nature of the Nooh Nooh and it is blissful. I am therefore consciously raising its’ status to an elevated one – and I invite you to do the same – to recognise the Nooh Noohs all around you, in every way, shape or form and to seek them out, and then simultaneously exonerate / celebrate them.
So there are many gorgeously good reasons to have such physical manifestations of comfort and joy in your life and this is why I claim that you should consciously crave and seek them out. They are the gift that keeps on giving and the wonderful thing, once you seek the Nooh Noohs in your life, is that you will, continually, find them…
Back then to my opening story of the unborn baby Boo. His Nooh Nooh from me was waiting for him when he was born and now we have met, he is, most definitely my very own Nooh Nooh too. This time karma has conspired in a tight and loving cycle.
And life moves on, so I might just remind him of the Nooh Nooh when he grows into a man, or I might just keep that thought – as a smug, smiling secret memory, all to myself. Somehow, I know that gift has made a positive contribution to his world and the great thing about a Nooh Nooh – whether you are aware of it or not – is the way it makes you feel.
And the true test of a Nooh Nooh is that you feel good.
So create and cherish these marvellous manifestations of comfort and joy in your life. Acknowledge them, seek them out, and fully embrace being a Nooh Nooh too.
Time to climb back into my jumper then…
Author, Coach and Erstwhile Nooh Nooh
I’m also variously known as:
* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor. You can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching – find out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…