Occasionally a quote catches my attention and gets snagged within my soul, rather than passing on through. When that happens I sit with it for a few days, or many days, and reflect on it, drawing from it what is intended for me.
Such has been the case with a Rumi quote that crossed my path several weeks ago.
“Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.” Rumi
Those words resonated with me. Soulfulness has been an important part of my recent journey. As my heart has found freedom and my creativity has been unleashed, my soul has expanded.
Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, suggests there is a strong connection between creativity and soulfulness. He wrote, “Creativity means making something for the soul out of every experience.” That has been an important aspect of my journey the past three years. I write about those experiences. Inspiration is my guide this year. I recognize that this is soul work I am doing.
What does it mean to me…wherever I stand, be the soul of that place? First of all, it means that I must be aware of my soul, I must be soulful. I must be connected to my deep feeling and emotions, and have a heart that is open and unattached to expectations. A heart in hiding is shut down, closed off. I lived for many years with such a guarded heart. Fear closed it down, fear and disappointment. My soul wasn’t free to express itself nor was it expansive. Moving past fear and letting go of expectations were the first steps toward greater soul awareness.
Being the soul of a place is easier for me in spaces such as my backyard garden. There I feel the deep connection with the earth. I am grounded there, rooted. I can feel my soul respond to the beauty around me by enlarging and moving outward.
However, being the soul of a place means living in that state of awareness, that expansiveness, in all the places I find myself, whether I am surrounded by peace and the extraordinary, or chaos and the ordinary. I can be the soul of a place standing on a riverbank or in line at Walmart, at the park or in the office, playing with my grandchildren or listening to an agitated client. My ability to feel with my soul, to inhabit a space by expanding my soul into it, is not determined by how receptive that place is to me but rather how deeply connected I am to my own spirit.
Today, I had another realization about Rumi’s words. For months I have been experiencing a heightened sense of joy. I know part of that is the feeling of renewed health in my physical body. I feel good. I feel strong and healthy. This afternoon, experiencing that wave of euphoria, the assurance came on a whisper that the deeper truth is that I am feeling my soul express itself, with great delight. I see the connection between improved health and an ecstatic soul. The body houses the soul. A healthy body creates a better place for my soul to live and thrive…and yes, express itself.
I am still feeling my way into Rumi’s powerful quote, just as I am still feeling my way into a more present, mindful, soulful existence. Wherever you stand…be the soul of that place. What a beautiful truth to guide my journey.