THE BLOG
06/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Rx For The Soul: 10 Ways To Nurture Soulful Living

"Whatever satisfies the soul is truth." --Walt Whitman

My new blog/ web site, Rx For The Soul, launches today at www.judithrich.com. I'm still putting the finishing touches on it like baseboards and light switch plates, but heck, we're all friends, so come on over and have a peek. And please be sure to sign the guest book while you're there.

Since the subject of my new blog is matters of the soul, and since its launch was delayed a few weeks with the arrival of Bella Coventina, I thought it best to listen to my own soul regarding the timing of this project, and launch while the dust is still settling. It'll be a work in progress for a bit, as the installation process is completing, but as long as you don't mind the dust, and watch where you step, it'll be fine. Wear old clothes and plan to get dirty. Soul work is anything but tidy!

You might be wondering if you have the luxury to attend to your soul with the kind of demands life is most likely making of you these days. Be assured, tending the soul is not a cyclical job, best reserved for the easy times. For when the soul is left unattended, our lives become dry and dusty, we feel barren and parched. More often than not, in times of great difficulty, at some level, it is the soul seeking to be fed.

When you feel "stuck" and nothing seems to flow in your life, you can bet the soul is seeking your attention. The soul beckons us to see with new eyes, to alter our point of view. When all the lights are red, when doors close and the path ahead becomes obscure, the soul is inviting you to open to new possibilities, ones that lies beyond your ability to see from where you're currently looking.

The way of the soul is often radical as it has its own agenda that doesn't always line up with the desires of the personality. The way of the ego is perfection, as in zero tolerance for error. Its path is a straight and narrow one, and since there's no room for error, there's little room for learning and gaining wisdom.

Ah, but the soul is a whore for learning and wisdom and any mechanism will serve its purpose. It's not fussy about which path we choose, as long as it serves to lead us to the unfolding of our own truth. The soul meanders, rarely following the beaten path, but seeks out the road less traveled.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth." Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path." For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals. --Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Our souls hunger for what's most essential to our survival. It cares not whether its requirements are convenient for these personalities we inhabit. The soul takes on these earthly bodies and personalities in order to gain access to another classroom. It hungers for experiences available to the human part of being as our human journey provides many new portals to wisdom for the soul.

So the question arises: What feeds your soul? What sets your soul on fire? What gets you through the tough times and has you come out even stronger? The answers to these questions are the medicine your soul is seeking. A worthy inquiry, indeed! Search your own soul for the answers. Here are my Top 10:

10 Ways To Nurture The Soul

1. Tell The Truth

We speak in terms of "searching our soul" when we need to find answers for life's deep questions. The soul is the seat of our own truth and is a demand for it. We must seek the truth and tell it. Skate by the truth as your soul knows it, and sooner or later, you'll be back to re-visit the subject you avoided. The soul settles for nothing less than the bare naked truth.

2. Spend Time In Nature

Live close to the earth and you'll know its soul. When you know the soul of nature, you'll know your own. Spend time in the natural world and allow yourself to connect with all living things and you will find your place in the order of life. You will see yourself as a part of nature, no more and no less than the stars and the trees. The soul rests in the natural world.

3. Experience Your Experience

The soul is a junkie for experience. It loves it all! The soul has no preference for pain or joy; just a demand that we experience whatever is true in the moment. When grief or sadness are upon you, feel them, experience them. Through these harder emotions, new doors open and great freedom enters. When joy and passion are present, live them out loud. The soul is a glutton for living with gusto!

4. Live On The Edge

"Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish." --Jean De La Fontaine

Live out to the edges of your life. That's where the soul thrives. The soul seeks possibilities that can only be found beyond what is already known, safe and comfortable. It does not understand the meaning of "impossible". What is already known is already known. To the soul, the "juice" lies in the unknown, where all things are possible. The soul calls us to come to the edge, then go beyond.

5. Learn To Dance In The Rain

There will be times in your life when the sun doesn't shine. Dance anyway. There will be times when life is painful. Dance with your pain. The soul is naturally drawn to the dark, tight places inside. Its job is to expand those places so the light can shine into and through them. Dance with whatever cards you're dealt, then tell the truth about it. The soul is nothing if not an excellent dancer. Give it the dance floor and step aside!

6. Uncontrollable Belly Laughter

Laughter is good medicine for the soul. Nothing can uplift the spirit and lighten the soul like a good laugh that starts at your belly and explodes through your whole body. It's orgasmic! The soul needs orgasms as much as the body needs them. Who do you laugh with? Have a "laughter date" at least once a week. It's OK to be silly, hokey, corny, all the things your ego wouldn't deign to be. Get a grip and let her rip!



"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." --Ferdinand Foch

7. Meditation

To meditate is to enter the soul's inner temple. Here, you'll hear the soul's whisper. See Living page blogger Anne Naylor's post for 12 simple and easy steps on how to incorporate a meditation practice into your life. Meditation is like drinking water after crawling through the desert. It quenches the soul's thirst for silence and stillness.

8. Keep A Journal

Having kept a journal for over thirty years, looking back, I see than many of the same questions are with me today as thirty years ago, I'm just on a different turn of the wheel. I'm taking a deeper cut. I'm more surrendered to the wisdom unfolding as my life. All of this comes through my writing as I see my soul's process over the long arc of time expressed on the pages of my journal. It's a living document that you were here, you lived a life, you loved, you lost, you learned. Be sure to record your dreams, which are the language of the soul.

9. Love Fully

At the end of the day, how much did you love? Were you a lover of life, the world? Did you love with a big, wide, open, generous heart? Did you love without conditions? This is what will matter when you come to the finish line. The soul is here to learn to love it all, even and perhaps especially, those things the ego thinks are unlovable. Love the unlovable parts of yourself and others and your soul will find peace.

10. Bring A Sense Of The Sacred

To the soul, it's all holy. It's all sacred. Every moment, every experience, every blade of grass, every bug that crawls, every baby that cries, every tear that's shed, every gesture of love, every act of kindness..... it's all sacred. To bring a sense of the sacred to every moment is to live out the mission of the soul.

"To live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." --Howard Zinn

You've read a few of my favorite ways to feed the soul, how about yours? What constitutes good soul medicine for you? Please drop by the comment section below and share your ideas.

Don't forget to drop by my personal blog and web site, Rx For The Soul, where I'll be blogging and updating regularly with new material and offerings. You might just find some other familiar names and faces there from time to time. You can leave comments and personal messages for me there as well.

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