What is soul? When people speak of the soul of someone or something what are they talking about? Perhaps they are speaking of an inner dynamism, the unique way in which energy is named and used. Perhaps soul is an umbrella term that we use to give shape and context to the ways we see and experience our ‘inner landscape’: what we feel, the way we feel, the names and meaning we give to feelings; our thinking, our perceptions, and the way these things can shape emotions and the practical living of our lives; our sensations of body and the way they can influence our inner energies. All this could be seen as soul. The interplay of body and soul shows us that it can be dangerous to separate body and soul. Body and soul are one – bodysoul.
It follows then that the way we live affects soul, and the ‘state’ of our soul – its relative health – can affect the quality of our lives. If an activity or a commitment is described as ‘soulless ‘, the chances are that it is doing harm. Depression can often be an indicator that we have been doing too much of something that is not nourishing our soul. Depressive indicators such as tiredness and lethargy, together with the accompanying emotional and mental states, can be the way that bodysoul attempts to ‘get us to see’ what is going on.
Nourishing the soul keeps the soul ‘awake’ and expressing energy. Our bodies then become expressers of our unique energetic life and creativity. To not nourish the soul is to risk a slow and inner implosion of energy (melancholia and depression by another name).
The awakening of soul need not be a complicated affair. Mumford and Sons sing of a good remedy: “Where you invest your love, you invest your life”. The expression of love is the expression of soul. Find, then, everyday things that can be ways to invest love in life. Feed the birds; go for a walk; write; make your loved one a cup of coffee every morning. They may be things unique to you that do not have the same effect on another.
These activities are with you already. They are the simple everyday things that we love to do. All we need do is grow in being present to them and sense the gentle inner movements of energy for life that are already happening within us – and value them. To see this everyday stuff as not important is to miss a point. So much of life comes down to doing what we value and love. In this way the divinity with us, the Divine Love within, can be expressed through us in a myriad of ways, very simply and humbly, every day.
Some people may get noticed as they do what they love and may receive the attention of many as they do this. The only real importance of this is that through this noticing they can become an example, a noticed expression of the living of a life of love. They can inspire others. Egoism would tell us that gaining this attention of others is somehow vital to our continued life and well being. It is not. What is important is to simply express in life whatever we value and love. The vast majority of us do this away from the limelight and it is no less valuable because of this. To believe otherwise is to entertain egoism.
Grace – divine energy in action – is always with us to help us grow in nourishing soul and body. Doing what we love can then become a divine-human partnership in the gentle transformation of humanity for divinity. It is true – we are made ‘to meet our maker’. We can do this every day by growing in attention to the things we love to do as we do them.