Welcome to Day 8 of our 12 Days of Gratitude Journal Challenge. We are going to cover nourishing your soul today. You'll find Day 7 here.
This is a timely post for us and we will be putting our minds into perspective today. There always comes a moment when you need time to clear your mind, replenish your spirit and spend time so you can work on nourishing your soul.
Sometimes your soul gets hungry. You want something more, something deeper and more meaningful. You feel a bit low, empty even.
When someone asks of your time and energy, you have this vague sense of not being able to provide. This is a serious soul-state that needs tending to.
It's hard to feel gratitude for the beauty and joy that's ever present in our world, when we're low on sustenance for our soul.
You don't need a lot of money for nourishing your soul.
You don't need an appointment at the nail salon or a fast food binge fest to get yourself “all full up” on the delights that life has to offer at every turn.
Those things might offer immediate gratification, sure. But they don't quite deliver the soul-soothing we're seeking at this moment.
Your soul needs more than material goods. What it really needs to be happy, may just be as simple as truth and understanding.
So let's explore a possible source of these Soul Feeding Essentials.
Truth. Where does truth originate for you?
Truth could be hearing the wise words of a friend who tells it like it is.
Maybe truth speaks to you by way of a brilliant book you're reading that sheds light on the essence of what it means to be alive.
Truth may emerge from a conversation you had with your coach or counselor. Someone like this can help pull the honest reality of your life from you simply by asking questions, encouraging you to express yourself, and listening.
Truthful statements may look something like this:
- I don't know what I want to do with my life, and that's okay.
- Something is amiss with my marriage. I'm not sure what it is, but I’m open to seeking answers.
- I'm giving my all at my job. And yet, I don't find this fulfilling.
- Sometimes I make mistakes. The people who are important to me make mistakes, too. I accept myself, and others, in all of our perfect imperfectness.
- I went out to have fun, but I was left feeling a little disappointed. Now I'd like to explore why.
- I am happy with the simple things. A kind smile. A genuine compliment. A peaceful afternoon reading a good book.
- Busyness, a brimming social calendar, and “pretending to be busy” are more of a cover or band-aid for the soul. These things look good from afar, but they're not fulfilling. Simple work and simple pleasures feed my soul.
A good, truth-telling session is a soothing balm for the heart. Do you have a place or person that allows you to be truthful about who you are and where you're going with your life? Be grateful for the clarity that this brings.
Be Grateful to Seek and Find Understanding.
It's incredibly satisfying to understand, and be understood. And it's also frustrating when someone doesn't seem to get you or acknowledge your good intentions. Understanding is something that fills up our soul. Lack of understanding causes the soul to feel pain.
When parents, bosses, spouses or siblings direct blame on you, it hurts because you feel misunderstood. So what can you do to foster more understanding in your life?
Surround yourself with like minds. The best way to be understood is to commune with like-minded souls. No, not everyone thinks the same way. And yes, we can feel gratitude for many different opinions and points of view.
But, it's even more gratifying when you find your niche – those folks who already know the tune to the song of your heart, and are ready to sing along with you.
Limit contact with people who oppose you and seem to work against your best interests. If you feel like certain individuals impede your forward progress, and that makes you feel misunderstood, and even brings you farther away from your “soul truth” or genuine purpose, then choose to spend less time with such people.
Doing this will open the door for more opportunities to be with folks who will help you grow, and who can show you the truth of who you are simply by being a supportive presence and comrade that you're grateful to have in your corner.
Exercise 8: Being Grateful for the Truth of Your Being. Nourishing Your Soul
Journal Tip: Set aside some time today to do the following, just doing this is going to go a long way to nourishing your soul.
- Write down five true statements about the person you are today.
- Write down five examples of a time when you felt misunderstood, and the details of what transpired.
Complete the exercise by penning some personal insights into what might have helped you reach positive understanding.
What can you do next time to bring your truth to light, understand someone else, and be understood by another?
How has truth and understanding helped you to feel grateful for the people and circumstances of your life?
Take some time to discover who you are. What are you good at? What revs your engine and gives you healthy pleasure?
If your soul feels like an empty cup that needs replenishing, seek out sources of fulfilment. Look for people, places and activities that bring you closer to your personal truth, whatever that may be.
Seek out commiseration. Seek to understand, and be understood.
We really hope that you have been enjoying this days of gratitude challenge. Once you have completed today’s journal exercise feel free to leave a comment below, or come and join in the conversation on our Facebook Page.