How Important Is Soul Food?
Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul too. – Doris Day
The soul is defined in the dictionary as your "energy force”. It’s what we notice when someone enters a room. Have you ever “felt” that presence when some people arrive and just seem to “light up the room”?
That light we have noticed is their energy force. It is their “inner light bulb” that reflects how happy, fulfilled and energetic they are. That “light” is the light of their soul.
In our busy, noisy world, we often don’t seem to take care of our physical selves properly- never mind giving soul food to ourselves!
Taking care of ourselves means making sure that we are getting enough sleep, exercising, drinking enough water, eating healthily, seeing to medical issues and having time out for relaxation.
In order to have a holistic approach to caring for ourselves, we need to make sure that our emotional/soul needs are being met too.
We all know that our bodies need food for nourishment, yet we often neglect to sustain our souls in the same way.
To overcome this tendency to neglect your soul, try picturing your soul as a light bulb. When you feed your soul, it is like you have lit the light within you.
Our drive to succeed and achieve comes at a great cost to the soul. We are often totally malnourished, if not absolutely starved, when it comes to being compassionate towards ourselves, having self awareness and self acceptance, and taking care of ourselves.
We yearn for simplicity, but struggle to find it. We ache for balance, but can’t sustain it. There is no time to juggle it all, let alone clear the physical clutter and, more importantly, the very thoughts that have caused us to feel so overwhelmed in the first place.
How do you know when your soul is running on empty? What are your unique, emotional signs? How do you behave differently when your soul is depleted? What is your body telling you about not getting your soul fulfillment? Think about these questions and they may give you answers to what changes you need to make.
Your soul needs many different kinds of nourishment. That nourishment is just as unique as you are. What works for one person may not do it for another. It is vital, though, to be aware of what things you can do to nourish you.
Calm vs. stimulation
These days most of us are overstimulated. We are constantly getting input from smart phones, computers, television and social media. That kind of data drains our internal buckets
Stopping this digital information flow for even an hour or two a day can give you a sense of being revitalized.
Inspiring vs. entertaining
Movies, books, music, dance and even certain TV shows can truly lift and inspire, changing the way you feel.
However, society today thrives on negativity, sensationalism, gossip and scandals which may be considered a form of entertainment, but won’t fulfill those needs. You can tell the difference by the effect your inner heart experiences- the way you feel in your soul after listening or watching.
Natural vs. artificial
We have plenty of noise and pollution in our lives. This certainly does not feed our souls!
However, there’s something about nature that feeds a need that nothing else can. Hearing the sounds and smells of rain, the sea, listening to a bird chirping, feeling the sand under our feet, or just breathing in fresh air can fulfill that need and quickly give our soul a boost.
Change vs. stagnation
In your daily life, keep in mind that change will consistently be taking place.
If we live understanding this and embracing the ebbs and flows of life instead of resisting it, we will have greater peace. Take the approach of being flexible, open and accepting to these changes, instead of them being challenges for you. They could turn out to be wonderful opportunities and gifts, rather than a challenge or a nuisance.
Compassion vs. judgement
Our compassion for all living beings stems from our connection to others. When we make the decision to truly care about others and help them in any way possible, we begin to unleash the power of our soul and it manifests incredible things in our lives.
Your Personal Practice
Remember, what turns on the light bulb for one, does not do it for another, as it is something completely individual and personal. Here are some suggestions on what can turn you on, fill you up and illuminate your world.
- Read. An excellent way to relax, be informed and inspired.
- Me time. Spending a few minutes each day truly relaxed, doing something you enjoy is great for your mental health.
- Immerse yourself in music and/or dance.
- Smile. It influences your feelings in a very positive way.
- Drop the perfectionist all or nothing attitude. You are unique. Don’t forget that.
- Practice mindfulness. Being present in the now.
- Meditation brings about calmness.
- Indulge yourself in something creative.
- Enjoy being in nature.
- Self care. This is absolutely essential to your overall wellbeing.
- Allow yourself to be you. Don’t change for others.
- Breathe deeply. It brings oxygen to our muscles, lungs and brain, whilst calming us down at the same time.
To sum up, we understand the necessity for eating right and the importance of exercise for our physical bodies. But we also need to remember that it is also essential for give our soul the right healthy nourishment it needs in order for us to feel that we are at one with ourselves.
The soul desires to be illuminated- this is what makes us feel whole. It yearns for beauty, art, harmony, stillness and peace. It’s vital for us to be completely congruent and take care of ourselves in a total, holistic way- body, mind and our soul (emotions) too.
There is no better time than right now to start lighting up your light bulb!