I have to admit to sometimes forgetting to eat. I forget to eat breakfast often. I forget to eat lunch on occasion. It’s a habit that has its roots in poverty, when, as a single parent, I often chose to skip meals so that my children had enough to eat. A time when popcorn was all that I could afford to take to work for my lunches. Skipping meals is still a habit that I am constantly trying to change, possibly a bigger challenge because, with my illness and disabilities, I’m not able to expend a lot of energy or burn a lot of calories.
What I do know is that I can be happy without feeding my body 3+ times a day, but forgetting to feed my soul can darken every moment, every perception, and every experience and can even worsen my symptoms and intensify my pain. I think that, for each of us, remembering to feed our souls is as necessary as breathing. It’s what keeps us balanced, hones our inner strength and resiliency, nurtures our connection to self, to others and to life and gives us cause for gratitude and celebration no matter which path our lives take.
There are many, many ways to feed your soul. This list is just a beginning, so I invite you to add to it or to create your own list. Feel free to share if you’re so called – I’d love to see what each of you comes up with!
I’ll start off with these:
- Cultivate and practice awareness of, and find joy in, the small things, the things that might be overlooked in the bustle of your life.
- Find your own unique way to piece the fragments of life together.
- Acknowledge beauty in its many forms; make eye contact with people; savor life!
- Pick a wildflower, send a blessing to a stranger, smile for no reason, walk barefooted in the grass, appreciate the turning of the leaves or the budding of flowers – nurture an awareness of the seasons and the elements.
- Watch the stars come out at night; look for ‘the man in the moon’, watch the sun go down, or enjoy the freshness of dawn.
- Look for shapes in the clouds. Sing in the shower, chant, dance in the dining room, practice affirmations, give thanks, laugh at every opportunity!
- Give a hug, accept a hug; give a true compliment, and learn to accept them too.
- Enjoy a fresh breeze on a warm day, a good book, the wind in the trees, the color of the sky at sunset or dawn (those of you who are photographers know why these times of day are termed “the magic hour”).
- Above all, embrace, appreciate and celebrate yourself and the miracle of life and love that you are! The world would truly be less without you.