Do any of these describe you?
- You find it difficult to appreciate the present moment because you're either focused on a past or future event
- You feel stuck in an aspect of your life and you don't know how to get yourself unstuck
- You don't know how to really enjoy life without keeping busy
- You act like you have most of it together, but on the inside you feel like you're falling apart
- You are tired and are running out of ways to stay positive
- Your body and/or mind are starting to show signs of distress
- Deep down you know something isn't right, but either you can't pinpoint it or you are afraid to acknowledge it
If some of these describe you, you're not alone!
We've all heard of the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection, yet most of us put our spirit, our soul, last – leaving us out of balance and setting us up for pain and suffering. When we are stuck in limiting patterns, we tend to act out in unloving and unhealthy ways, blinded by fear and perhaps doubt, unable to see our unlimited potential. Some times we navigate through life unaware of these patterns, until some challenge show up that looks like loss, lack, or limitation. Even though positive thinking and actions are essential, we must first get to the root of our suffering. which can only be found within ourselves.
Take it from me: Don't wait to nourish your soul until your body starts to show signs of dis-ease!
Long story short- for approximately 3 years, I could feel that something inside of me was going dim, but I justified putting everyone else's needs ahead of my own, so I ignored it. My rationale was that if I could hold out and help everyone else around me heal their own personal wounds, I would then would dedicate my energy to taking care of myself. For a while, I likened and my situation to the movie, the Titanic, specifically to the scene of the steel doors closing to seal off the flooded compartments, fatally trapping many of the workers. I thought of myself as the man who as was waiting to help save as many of the workers as he could before slipping himself under the door at the very last minute. Like the man in the movie, I was determined to hold out as long as I could to help those around me, but in the meantime, I was placing my entire being at great risk. As my life was literally hitting rock bottom, I could feel that which was dimming was actually in the process of dying. I vividly remember crying and saying aloud that I could feel my soul dying, and now looking back, I was dead-on accurate! Unfortunately, with all that I had allowed myself to endure, it came to no surprise that my health became greatly compromised. My intention here is not to focus on my health, which I am in the process of healing, nor is it to place blame. I take full responsibility for neglecting my own needs, and I now realize that I have no business in forcing someone to heal. Everyone will heal when and if they want to, and the best thing I can do for everyone is to heal myself.
The purpose of bringing up my story is to underscore the importance of taking care of your soul. Our soul provides us with the vital life force energy that is needed to drive all parts of our body, including our mind. Please don't wait for your situation to go from bad to worse before you start giving your precious soul the loving nourishment that it needs. The mind-body-soul connection is a real, and your soul needs tending to just as much as your mind and body.
So how can you start giving your soul the nourishment that it needs? Actually, it's not as difficult as you may think. Of the mind-body-soul connection, it is the soul that is the easiest with which to work as well as the most forgiving. Remember your soul is the Divine aspect of you, and as such, it knows you better than anyone, sees you as completely worthy, and loves you unconditionally. Once you start to nourish it a little, it will do a lot to guide and support you, but it can't do it running on empty. Here are six steps you can take to start giving your soul the nourishment it needs.
This should come to no surprise because when we meditate we become present, stopping the negative internal chatter that plagues us throughout most of our day. When you learn to meditate properly, you literally are providing your soul with positive healing energy that works quickly to restore and strengthen it. Take time to find the meditation that works best for you. Meditation is personal and may take a few samplings before you determine the one that's right for you. Meditation is truly one of the best things you can do for your soul, so spend your time investigating, sampling, and then mastering it.
Let go of things you can't control.
Even though this is easier said than done, it is essential in healing your soul. When we try to control people or situations even with the best intentions, we are creating resistance, which literally tears our soul apart. Once you accept that the only thing you have control over is you, everything starts to heal, especially your soul. When your Ego starts to give you reasons as to why you should control a situation, surrender the situation and trust that the Divine will handle it in a way that is best for everyone involved.
Break out of your routine.
Most of our pain and suffering is due to living by the negative emotions that we memorized from our past. Because our emotions are the often catalysts to our actions, we find ourselves living the same routine over and over, leaving us without much of an opportunity for change. Ways to break out of a routine may vary from changing your physical environment to simply switching the order in which you do daily tasks. Personally, I've found that my soul finds tremendous joy in new experiences, so I try to do something new and out of the ordinary at least once a week.
Live your life on purpose.
Of all of the things that you can do to nourish your soul, this is the one that most people neglect because they see it as too overwhelming. While living your life on purpose may translate to quitting your job and pursuing a new career, it can also lead to keeping the same job while adding new purpose to other areas of your life. The main idea here is to determine whether or not your life is in alignment with your life purpose, and if it isn't, explore ways in which you can live more purposefully. How to make your life more purposeful is personal and varies from person to person, but if someone is not on purpose anywhere in life, it will wreak havoc on his or her soul. Purpose is good for you, and it's even better for your soul.
Put your personal needs the top of your list.
Although many of us may have grown up believing that taking care of our needs first is selfish, it is actually one of the best ways we can help those we love. It has been proven that in order to help others, we must first help ourselves. This does not make us selfish, but rather it makes us a strong model for our loved ones, not to mention it makes us more empowered. If you neglect your own needs, not only will you be useless in being able to help others, but you will also be setting yourself up for dis-ease on the fast track.
Learn from others who have well-nourished souls & then look inward to apply it.
It makes sense to model the spiritual teachers with whom we resonate the most, and apply their teachings to our lives. But, before we are able to make what we learn tangible in our lives, we must first look inward, where all of our answers are. True change happens on the inside, not on the outside. One way to do this is to focus on specific teachings that have been proven to nourish the soul, and then determine whether or not you accept them. Contemplating these truths not only allows you to "check in" with your soul, but it also allows you to assess how active your destructive Ego really is. Acceptance of spiritual truths is evidence that your soul is in the lead while rejection is evidence that your Ego is in charge. For example, if I believe in the teachings of the Dalai Lama, I could focus on one specific teaching at a time to help strengthened my soul. If I am in agreement with the teaching, I will look for more ways to apply it to my life. If I disagree with a teaching, then I will dig deep to uncover why I am resisting something that is good for my soul. I will do the inner until my soul is becomes greater than my ego.
Be prepared that as you are taking action to nourish your soul, your Ego will be determined to fight you every step of the way. If your soul takes the lead, your Ego will no longer be in control, so it will make a convincing argument for you to disagree with or reject anything that can strengthen your soul. Your Ego will also encourage you to look outside of yourself for answers. If you continue to look for answers outside of yourself, you will be relinquishing your own personal power while compromising your immune system and strengthening the negative neural connections that support your limiting beliefs – true poison for the soul! Keep digging and keep your attention focused inward. Your soul needs you to find the answers within while your Ego will try to evoke blame to someone or something on the outside in order to keep you victimized. Once you start to give your soul the true nourishment it needs, you will be strengthening your mind-body-spirit connection, making your life more in-balanced, more peaceful, and more joyful.