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FEATURE - June 2016 - Kansas City

The Care and Feeding of a Soul

by Trish Elting

 

Your soul is the refined essence of who you are.  When you peel away all of the insecurities, disappointments, expectations, attachments, fears, and those inner worries of what others may think of you, what remains is pure soul.

 

“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.” - Wayne Dyer

 

As a soul living on this planet, you reside in a physical body.  Part of the care and feeding of your soul is caring for your body. Be conscious of the gifts that you give your body on a daily basis - the food you take in, how much movement you get, the amount of rest and sleep you allow yourself, and your level of attentiveness in listening to what your body needs at any given moment. A well-cared-for body makes a happy place for your soul to reside and thrive.

 

All these elements of self-care are an important part of tending to your soul’s needs.  However, one of the most potent ways to feed and nourish your soul is by doing the things that you truly love to do. That might mean reading a book, riding horses, walking your dog, boating on the lake, gardening, creating art, making music, or baking a batch of cookies from grandma’s secret recipe.  It might also mean learning something new, something that you always wanted to do.

 

When it comes to hobbies and extracurricular activities, there is a pattern of resistance that shows up for many people. Often they don’t allow themselves to engage in and enjoy the activities they most long for because, on some level, they feel they don’t deserve it. As a result, doing the things they love becomes a sort of reward—something they can only enjoy after they’ve completed tasks that are more “important.” 

 

By putting the things you most crave on the back burner—or placing them in a position of less importance—you dampen your capacity to fully enjoy life, expand your talents, and free your creativity.

 

What would happen if… instead of feeling like you had to earn the right to spend time on those activities that make your heart sing, you simply allowed what you love doing to become part of your normal routine? 

 

“I've been singing Shakira songs in front of my bathroom mirror into my hairbrush forever. It's like a daily routine.” - Taylor Swift

 

Explore the things you love to do. Do the things you love.

 

Grab a pen and paper.  Then divide your piece of paper into three columns. 

 

Column 1- List those things you love to do.  The things that make you feel really happy, energized, heart filled, or whole. 

 

Column 2- List the things you are really good at. The ones that make you feel confident and like you really know your stuff. 

 

Column 3- List some of things you have always wanted to try out or learn but never got around to doing. 

 

Now that you’ve listed all these items, how do you know which ones to focus on? Let’s take a look at your lists and see if we can find any clues. 

 

  • Do any of the items on your lists overlap?  Did similar items show up on different lists? (This may be a clue to an area you can focus on.)

  • Did any of the items on your lists tug at your heart? Maybe there is an instant feeling of joy, or a fond memory that floats up when you think about doing a particular item. (Happiness, joy, and excitement are clues to areas that will feed your heart and soul.)

  • Of all the items you listed, are there some that feel more doable? Like they would be easy to accomplish because you already have what you need, or you know exactly when you have time to put it on your schedule. (Easy is not overrated—easy is often a clue!)

 

Based on the clues you’ve discovered, choose one item on your list that you can do this week and plan a specific time to do it. If you can’t set aside time this week, that’s okay—the idea is to start thinking about how and where these soul-feeding activities can fit into your life. This way you can make them part of your normal routine.

 

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” - Wayne Dyer

 

Spending time doing things you love can reveal hidden paths and open doors to adventures you never even thought were possible. 

 

Because when you do things you love, it feeds your soul in ways nothing else can. 

Trish Elting is an Artist, Mentor, and Yoga Therapist. She specializes in helping women incorporate supportive and transformational self-care practices into their daily routine. When she’s not working with clients you can find her painting, playing her cello, and hosting photo retreats and painting shindigs. Learn more at www.trishelting.com

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