Do you have a hobby, or better yet, a profession, that you can joyfully lose yourself in for hours? The keyword here is “joyful,” as in follow your bliss. Something you enjoy that takes you out of your left brain, conscious mind and puts you in contact with the right brain, unconscious mind, invites soul communication.
The soul speaks to us through dreams, strong emotions, gut feelings, music, beauty in all forms, intuition and symbols. When we disengage, even partially, from our conscious mind, it allows us to open the channel to the soul as we put the right brain to work, occupying our time with an activity we love or are inspired by.
It doesn’t matter whether it is art, music, photography, or poetry. The road to the soul is one that stimulates the imagination and takes you out of your logical, left brain. Watching a colorful sunset, sitting in a wooded forest next to a babbling brook or even reading great fiction while it paints pictures in your mind are all soulful activities.
Why is communicating with the soul important? The more you tune into what your soul wants to share, the sooner your life experience changes from back and white into shades of color. You are utilizing both sides of your brain for a richer life experience. Your soul knows what’s best for you and so will you.
After a recent trip to Cape May, NJ, I noticed that many of my favorite photos centered on this walkway from a Sunset Beach cottage to the Delaware Bay. Thinking back, I realized how I have always been drawn to photos of pathways.
Perhaps, the times I enjoy them the most are when I am examining my own life’s pathway. Following a new road can be exciting, scary, and wonderful. The uncertainty of it all can be very enticing. The opportunities it brings can be challenging and stressful. Nevertheless, there is one magnificent guarantee – it will bring change…change which is the driving force of life that frees us from stagnation and allows us to grow.
I have heard that authors write what they know. I find myself doing that, both with fiction and non-fiction. It’s comfortable and familiar to build on experience as well as professional training. To me it seems, too, that a writer can’t hide for very long the totality of who they are. If they write extensively, and from that deep part inside of themselves some call the soul, many readers will come to know and understand them, even in a way their family or friends may not.
Where do those crazy, creative ideas in our heads come from? Some may say it’s the collective unconscious. Did you ever hear the phrase, “There are no new ideas?” Everything that has ever been experienced or thought about is out there, if only we can just tune into it. For me, that includes reincarnation; I believe that it’s a past lifetime I’m writing about when I’m emotionally involved in the story such as with my short story, “That’s Just the Way It Is.” It seems further confirmation that it’s one of my own lifetimes when I recognize people I presently know wearing unfamiliar clothing in a past time period.
“That’s Just the Way It Is” is free today on Amazon.com through October 25th. It takes place in Texas in the 1870’s. The personal connection to me is discussed in the “Afterword.” Here’s an excerpt from one of the action scenes between Rebecca and John:
“What the devil’s wrong with you? Carryin’ on with a scalawag like that? Good thing I came in when I did. In a couple more minutes he’d of had you bare-assed on the table.”
“For heaven’s sake, John. What’s the matter? Calm down. The children will hear you, and I’m sure Jake already did.”
“I’m not the problem. And don’t you ever go against what I say in front of the cowboys, or anybody for that matter.” John was getting red in the face and his lips were starting to protrude. I thought for a moment he was going to spit on me. I stood up, and he suddenly raised his arm and slapped my face with the back of his hand, followed by a harder slap on my other cheek with the front of his hand.
“I won’t have you carryin’ on with him. I’m firin’ him tomorrow,” he shouted.
“John,” I cried. ”Please come to your senses. There’s absolutely nothing going on between me and Mr. Johnson. Stop being so unreasonable. Don’t you dare fire him. That man has children depending on him.”
Emily and the boys had run into the kitchen by now. They stared in silence, four pairs of eyes wide open with fear. Emily hurried over and put her arms around my waist.
“Get away from her, Em. I’m not through yet,” he said angrily while he took off his belt.
I nodded to Emily and she stepped back. “Take your brothers into the parlor,” I told her.
John grabbed me by the arm. I struggled when he began hitting me with the buckle end, leaving deep gashes in the skin on my neck and arms. I tried to cover my face, and my hands became streaked with blood. After I started screaming, Emily came running and tried to pull his arm back. John accidently knocked her down.
“Stop it! Let me go! I’m pregnant,” I shouted angrily.
We came here to connect with, not disconnect from, our true selves. For some of us, this takes a lifetime; others seem to be born with a knowing that we are more than our physical body. Sadly, there are those who barely connect and continue to live a life of quiet desperation, with an empty feeling they try unsuccessfully to fill. Others never connect at all until they die and reunite with their true higher self.
Some of us feel our soul in the whispers of the wind; others in the crashing of the sea upon the jagged rocks. It might be heard in the spring song of a robin or seen in your baby’s first smile. It is that feeling of joy and infinite peace that you experience when you hook up with all that you are – the part of you that never dies but lives through all eternity. How do you connect? What is it you do when you lose yourself completely and time no longer exists?
When you take the time on a regular basis to experience soul-filled moments such as losing yourself in a hobby you adore or quiet moments of meditation, you will find it easier to keep your life in perspective. You will tend to detach, not escape in addictive behaviors, from the pain or complexity of your existence. You will be able to see through more neutral eyes as your ego-driven personality relinquishes control, and you become capable of seeing who you really are, in love and light. Not only will your health improve, but you will feel at peace as you see the wholeness and magnificence of this unique, loving being you were created to be. Nothing will seem impossible to you then. All problems are solvable, and they no longer even matter. Isn’t that a good place to be?
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
—— Hamlet, Act 1, scene 3
These words of Polonius have stayed with me since I first read them at age fifteen. But it’s hard, isn’t it, to be true to yourself as a teen when the urge is to conform? We come into this life fully being ourselves and then lose who we are under the parental guidance of early childhood and the peer pressure of adolescence. At least most of us do, and I was no different. I always knew, though, that I felt happiest when I allowed my inner light to shine on my own uniqueness.
As the years go by, many of us become more familiar with our true selves. Perhaps we have grown more confident because we’ve found recognition and success in using our natural talents or skills. Or, it might be because we’re fortunate to have solid emotional support from close family or friends with whom we’ve dared to share our deepest thoughts or craziest ideas. Regardless, they still love us. Best of all, maybe it’s because we’ve learned to genuinely love, as well as like, ourselves. It simply feels good when you know you are saying, acting or writing in a way that is an honest reflection of your true self, doesn’t it?
As a therapist and social worker, I‘ve come across many adults from all walks of life who worry too much about what others think of them. Perhaps they are still trying too hard to please a parent or a spouse. Maybe it’s a writer who hesitates to write about controversial issues or an actor or musician who denies some of their creativity and presents himself or herself in a way they believe will be most approving to their audience. It’s more important to play to your soul than to your audience. Ignore the negativity that haunts the internet, the press and the chatter from those who are not capable of understanding you. You will touch those who are meant to find you in very meaningful ways.
If you have trouble connecting with your real self, take a little time to meditate, listen to your favorite music, or simply enjoy nature. That relaxing glow you feel after a glass of wine takes you right there also and is a good time to write down your thoughts or feelings. Journaling daily, with or without the wine, is another pathway. For others, the joy of a religious experience puts them in touch with that deepest part of themselves.
True success lies in living your truth, whatever it is, both professionally and personally. This doesn’t necessarily mean achieving a worldly measure of success, but rather success in the eyes of your soul. It means being open and honest with others to the extent you possibly can. If you can allow your real self to consistently express freely, you will undoubtedly find peace in your life because you have become who you were born to be. You are accomplishing your goal by doing the work you are best suited for and touching others’ lives in very special ways. Your soul will applaud you.