Living the Soulful Life
The soul looketh steadily
forward creating a new world before her,
leaving worlds behind her.
My own soul growth has become of utmost
importance to me these past several years. Why? Simply
because I recognize that it directly and deeply affects
the quality of my life. I have discovered that a life
without soul is a life without meaning….
For me, living a truly soulful life
requires a heartfelt willingness that surpasses any
pragmatic process or method. It entails the desire to
experience a life that transcends mediocrity, a life
that is rich with flavor and imbued with passion,
meaning and purpose. Delving ardently into my soul and
recognizing its preferences, quirks and desires is the
first step. For sinking into my soul occurs in the
unplanned moments, those "blips" between the
unemotional thoughts of the intellect and the fearful
concerns of my mind. When my adult intellect in all of
its methodical fury ceases to plan, think, say or do, my
soul can open, exhale and claim "ahh." My soul
reveals itself in the relaxed moments, the instants when
I take the opportunity to breathe deeply after days,
weeks, years of shallow breathing, the times when
I am not diverted by external distractions or mindless
If I ignore the calling of my soul and
neglect to nourish it, it languishes, and without soul,
my life force energy seems to "dry up" and in
general, my life ceases to have purpose. The times I
have ignored my soul is akin to the times I have
forgotten to water my many beloved plants. My soul, like
thirsty foliage, withers from lack of caring, fluid, and
attention. To ignore my soul, to me, is analogous to
ignoring the best part of me; the essence of who I have
been since the beginning of time as well as the being I
am awakening into. Life becomes stagnant, dull, boring
and predictable. The need for external searching
increases. The amount of drama intensifies. My sense of
purpose lessens. I become restless, dissatisfied, and
A soulful life entails listening, genuinely
listening, to what our soul longs for us to hear.
One of the ways I cultivate and nourish soul in my life
is by taking time alone in the peacefulness of nature so
I can hear what it desires for me to understand.
Listening from my heart is the only way I can really
recognize its’ metaphoric meaning. To
"recognize" means "to know again."
In solitude I am able to rekindle the language of my
soul and to reconnect with it as I would a long lost yet
beloved friend. Spending considerable time cradled in
nature’s arms, feeling my feelings, capturing the
essence of infinite possibilities, and appreciating my
life—the "good times," "challenging
times" and all that exists in between—helps to
inspire soulful-ness into my daily life.
Further, being mindful and fully present
with my own thoughts and feelings, whether or not I’m
alone or in front of another provides soulful
nourishment. Being a student of A Course in Miracles,
I have learned that it is the person directly in front
of me that matters, because the person in front of me is
my teacher. That person may be the grocery clerk,
neighbor, client, child, friend, spouse or anyone else
that the Universe has sent. Remaining in the moment
allows me to fully participate in life, and to me, that
supplies enormous amounts of cherished soulfulness.
I’ve witnessed how my life takes on
the greatest amount of soul when I release situations
that no longer serve my highest good, heal old wounds,
expose my deepest and authentic self, create soulful
artwork via painting/writing/music, say "yes"
to opportunities supporting my highest path, and
surround myself with beauty.
Further, I’ve discovered that some
pressure is required so we may experience a soulful
existence. And that pressure exists in myriad ways:
expanding beyond our comfort zones, giving and receiving
love, being vulnerable, forgiving others and ourselves,
and being of service. Recognizing the
"nagging" feeling that I’m here for more
than what I’m currently expressing, facing my fears
and moving forward in spite of the fear, triggers the
most pressure. I always sense a major change is about to
occur when my soul-connection intensifies. Feelings of
vulnerability, excitement then fear inevitably surface,
signals that I am "on my way." Where I’m
going is not always clear. I just know I’m on the
precipice of experiencing yet another dimension of my
soul’s wondrous destiny.
I realize that my soul possesses the
architectural blueprint of what is most cherished. It
has within it the very threads that weave together my
sacred contract’s tapestry. It knows, more than my
most intimate playmate, what will make me feel alive.
But this doesn’t mean I will always feel
"happy." Soul energy encompasses the entire
emotional spectrum: nostalgia, melancholy,
bitter-sweetness, passion, tender love, longing, desire—some
of the feelings that unfortunately, we often try to
suppress. Many of my finest writings have been born from
one of my "dark night’s of the soul."
I’ve also learned that within my soul
dwells aliveness, the very feeling of life itself. What
could possibly be more important than that? I
often ask myself, "Would I rather live a life that
is ‘safe’ and predictable, or one in which I feel
alive and real?" When my life becomes a little
ho-hum amidst the world’s din, I remind myself
"zeal is real," meaning somewhere, somehow, I
have allowed my ego to usurp my soul’s passion.
Recognizing I can only reclaim it with conscious
intention, I know I must silently declare that I am
ready to surrender once again so I may return to my
birthright of aliveness, joy and authenticity.
Further, I have come to realize that my
soul speaks to me through my feelings, desires and
preferences. Yet, even after all of the inner healing I
have experienced, I am at times still tempted to numb
myself from what I feel. I often want to block my
feelings—particularly painful ones—from the
insidious belief that I should avoid, at all costs,
any discomfort. But I am mistaken when I do this, for it
is in my attempt to escape the pain that keeps it
tightly locked in place. Earlier in my life, like so
many of us, I did not have the appropriate tools for
healing my wounds. But now, as I continue to blossom,
the means for vigorously transforming my injuries into
enlightening assets are being provided. My greatest
challenges are the breeding ground for my spiritual
advancement. In my heart and soul, I know that all of my
experiences can be used on behalf of the greater good of
myself and others.
Finally, to me, creating a soulful life
entails capturing the deepest song of my soul including
listening to music that awakens deep emotion, digging
and planting in the dirt, driving down country roads
with the windows open, inhaling the salty ocean air,
walking along the shoreline, and, being fully present
while in front of someone I love and who honestly loves
Living a soulful life
requires courage and the soulful willingness to delve
inward, where our soul resides….
© Copyright 2002
Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.
Read Laura's Past Columns:
2002 Column - "The Power to Change"
2002 Column - "Peace Begins at Home"
Column - "Spiraling to Higher Ground"
September 2002 Column - "Cradled in Nature's
August 2002 Column - "Recovering
Laura Grace is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. As a regular contributor for publications across the U.S. and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed books The Intimate Soul and Gifts of the Soul, and the creator and teacher of various programs including the Self-Mastery Program, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose, and Cultivating the Intimate Life. Please visit Laura's web site at:
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