Wherever I Stand…

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

Wherever I Stand...

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. 

Wherever I Stand...

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. 

Wherever I Stand... 

Day 362: Soul Care Sunday

soul care quote

It is with wonderment and amazement that I recognized today that my year of firsts ends in three days. On day 365 I’ll recap the year and share more about what this year has opened up for me and what I have learned. Today, I spent time thinking about 2015 and how that year is shaping up. As I was thinking about a new vision board, new word and theme, a symbol and a song, I decided to make a list of the things that I hope to incorporate into my life next year, for my first today, and share it.

Here’s my list:

  1. Engage life at a soul level, discovering and embracing that which deeply stirs my soul and brings soulfulness to me.

That’s it. That one sentence, I realized, includes it all. In my relationships, work, interactions, hobbies, home, family, fun times, meditations, solitude and creativity, I desire soulfulness. If my soul is being stirred, that’s my signal that I’m on the right path.

Thomas Moore defines soul as “not a thing but a quality or a dimension of experiencing life and ourselves. It has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart and personal substance.” My journey these past few years has allowed me to go inward and become acquainted with my soul, chipping away the fears and the limiting beliefs and the false selves that molded themselves around other people’s expectations. Those things that choked my soul loosened and fell away and the real me began to emerge, shining brighter, expanding beyond the confining space of playing small. There is a depth there yet to explore, an expansiveness that I occasionally get glimpses of.

My desire is that next year, as I journey, my soul will be my guide….that spiritual, connected, intuitive self that knows and understands beyond what my mind can comprehend. And so, with a few days left in this year, I am shining the light of soulfulness on all areas of my life. It is time to release some things, give away stuff, rearrange, simplify, and allow. My home office is the first room in my house that will undergo transformation, even as the area of my life that it represents is shifting. I am excited!

I declared today Soul Care Sunday. What a perfect day for reflection, rest, and connecting and for feeding my soul. I had no time schedule, no need to do anything beyond what the moment and my soul offered. I enjoyed awaking slowly, reading, making plans around an event in January, visiting my mom and having a very soulful conversation with Greg. I sun gazed. This is a practice of closing my eyes and lifting my face to the sun as it streams rays of golden light through my window and across my chair. For 10 minutes or so, I relaxed  the muscles in my face and my body and enjoyed the warmth and the light. Red, orange and yellow colors swirled behind my eyelids and for a few moments, I meditated and breathed and was still. And then the sunbeams moved on and so did I. In the past 10 days I have only enjoyed sun gazing twice, due to heavily overcast days. This afternoon, it was a real treat and very soulful.

This evening, as I blog, candles are lit throughout the house, 81 of them in total. This Sunday evening ritual, during the Christmas season, brings peace and quiet joy to me, the light of each flame calling to the light within me. It is such a gentle and beautiful way to close the day and conclude the weekend. I believe I will continue the lighting of the candles, even after the Christmas decorations are packed away, using whatever candles and holders are on display.

Reading today in Thomas Moore’s book, titled The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, my soul responded to the call of creating spaces of enchantment and beauty, sanctuary and peace. These will be vital elements of my journey in 2015 and it was confirmed to me once again that “journey” is, indeed, my word for the new year. Moore says, “The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thoughts.” I can so easily substitute the word journeys for excursions. The daily journeys into soulfulness, into enchantment, into curiosity, promise to be so sustaining to my soul. Let the new adventure begin….

Scotland Trip 011e

“The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life.”   Thomas Moore

(picture is my own, of the Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow, Scotland 2014)