Being a somewhat Type A, to-do-list machine I sometimes forget about taking care of the most important part of me...my soul. In many Eastern cultures the butterfly represents the soul, and I have been ignoring mine as of late. This past week had several let downs and in rough times I tend to forget about what needs nurturing the most - me.
So what is a soul? I see my soul as the purest part of me, it's the formless, timeless essence that makes me who I am. I am committing all day tomorrow (I took the day off, knowing this is what I so desperately needed) to "soul tending." The soul is our connection to each other, to something beyond just our bodies and brains. I've heard it described as the way the Universe/One Spirit/God speaks to us and connects us with others.
I heard a beautiful quote this morning at my spiritual community (this is what we non-Western religious folks call churches), "My soul is stirred when it recognizes itself." (Please ignore the blatant tense incompatibility to appreciate this quote.) This really spurred my brain to think about what in my life tends/stirs my soul - spending time on these sorts of things keeps my life in perspective. Being in nature, being with close friends, listening to classical and/or positive music, sitting still, reading, meditating, yoga, running...all of these make me feel alive and grateful to be experiencing life.
I consider myself a rather spiritual person, it's incredibly important to me to have a relationship with something (notice I didn't say someone) greater than myself. I do believe we are spiritual beings have a human experience and this reminder keeps me grounded in my faith. I've practiced with several different religions and always come back to a spirituality that can't be defined by one religion or practice. Growing on a spiritual path, whether 1 or 100 paths, becomes like the peeling of an onion. It peels away layer by layer to get closer to the essence of your humanity - a soul. I enjoy this process as a way of living a life committed to growth. When all is said tending to my soul only requires me remembering how to tend to my spiritual path.
Today I'm grateful for delectable three-course meals, long bike rides, and lunches with friends I haven't seen in a while.