You’ve probably experienced this at some point in your life and there are people who live there. This is a tiredness that is not remedied by a good night’s rest, there is a need for a deeper rest. A rest that brings nourishment and rejuvenation to body and soul.
This weekend, my soul was definitely needing some deep nourishment and care. While I am aware of my soul needs much of the time, there have been some additional demands on my time and energy lately and I realised I needed to put other things aside for a time and attend to my soul, in ways that I felt drawn to, at this time. It’s winter here in the mountains and pretty cold at the moment. I collected wood and lit a fire, then enjoyed sitting in front of the fire, reading, reflecting and at times just watching the flames. I worked a piece of driftwood I had collected with a simple knife and began to shape it. Long walks in nature and simple home cooked food. I felt my energy start to return. That sense of peace and wellbeing and a feeling of deep rest and nourishment, that was exactly what I needed.
Modern life is busy and full of demands. Time to attend to the needs of the soul is for the most part, not given priority. Often from a young age, we have been taught to ignore our deeper needs, our soul needs, until perhaps we no longer recognise them. We are taught to prioritise success and achievement – getting good grades at school, a promotion at work, having the latest outfit or hair style. And I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with having any of this. What I am saying is about keeping a balance, because in giving a large part of our attention to achievement and outer appearances, we may neglect the soul needs, the deeper needs.
Even when we are aware of them, we may not see how we can make time for these, amidst the demands of work, home, family etc. For many this is so. Yet, the truth is we make time for what we value and see as important. The thing is that for many of us, we have been educated and conditioned, not to value or listen to the needs of the soul.
Over time, ignoring our deeper soul needs can lead to this soul deep weariness. This soul weariness can be described as a kind of dryness. A drying out, from lacking of nourishment and care, like a plant that has not been watered, given sunlight or attention. So it is with our soul. It is often, only through some type of crisis, such as illness or relationship breakup, that we make the time to listen to our deeper needs, our soul needs and to find out what truly nourishes us and restores our wellbeing, peace of mind and joy.
So what does the soul need? What nourishes the soul? There is not one answer to this question, as this is unique to each person and will change over time. That is why taking time to listen and attune to what our soul needs is so important. And this is the thing, in the busyness of life, that often doesn’t happen. It is truly difficult to listen to what the soul needs while driving in the fast lane on the highway of life, or sitting in front of the tv. I often recommend walking in nature, or journaling, perhaps gardening or sitting in front of a log fire. All of these can be great ways to get in touch with our soul and listen to what our deeper self is needing at this time.
A brief discussion of how to recognise soul needs as compared with personality needs may be of help. The soul, in the sense that I’m speaking of the soul – the embodied soul if you like, is more about being than doing. The soul is nourished by simple things that bring that sense of peace, deeper fulfilment and joy – perhaps watching a sunset, listening to a beautiful piece of music, a walk in nature or perhaps a home cooked meal that has been made with care and attention. It is more about the quality of the experience. An experience that encourages presence, engages the senses in a nourishing way or invites the imagination in a deep and meaningful way such as walking through the forest or reading a beautiful poem.
I’m writing this as a reminder to take some time to nourish your soul. Don’t wait until it becomes a necessity through some type of crisis or illness. Regular time doing things that nourish the deeper self improves wellbeing and quality of life and that positive energy can then flow into everything you do.