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Your Soul Matters: Life Reconciliation 101

How often do you think about your soul desires? How often do you actively listen to the information your conscious mind, body, and soul are sending you?  Our social conditioning tells us this information is an unreliable way of making life decisions, and we should instead put our trust and faith more in the opinions of the people around us, what society tells us is the right path, and our subconscious response to the situation. And yet these are the most unreliable, fleeting and flippant information gathering systems we could base life decisions off. Doing so is unsustainable and will inevitably cause a large amount of pain and suffering.

I’ve battled with this my whole life. I listened to the opinions of other people, society and my often bizarre subconscious responses and tried to fit myself into the box the world wanted me to fit in. I took on jobs, relationships and allowed situations into my life, in the firm belief I was doing what was best for me, because that’s what all everyone and thing I was basing my life decisions off told me to do. But deep inside me there was a voice whispering ‘Are you sure about this Rachel’, and a quite but clear feeling that felt like a massive question mark throughout my body.

And what happened, was that I began to operate completely out of alignment. Human beings seem to be incredibly good at adapting to this way of living. We go months, years, decades being out of alignment with ourselves and barely notice. But eventually, that whispering voice becomes a blood curdling, arm-hair raising scream; and the quiet but clear question mark because a massive fucking exclamation mark, both which we can no longer ignore.  Not only can we no longer ignore them, but we also can’t bear to hold the weight of what’s now abundantly clear to us – that we actually chose this for ourselves – and this is where the pain and suffering come in. What tends to ensure – at least in my experience – is a monumental fucking train wreck.

This is an individual learning experience for everyone, and something you’ll undoubtedly have to go through yourself in order to learn. But if you want to avoid that as much as possible, I’m going to share with you a set of questions I’ve started to routinely ask myself. This process simply creates space for me to actually listen to the information my conscious mind, body and soul are giving. Not only do I want to make sure I’m in alignment, but I want to make sure my life is saturated by the fire in my soul, and I want to make sure I can keep the promises I’ve made to those I love most. To do both those things, I must listen to the information my conscious mind, body and soul provide, and prioritise it above all else.

Questions to ask your soul on a routine basis:

1) Is this job/person/situation good for my soul or calling?

2) Is this job/person/situation creating lightness or heaviness in my heart or body?

3) Is this job/person/situation expanding or contracting my life?

Where the answer is both, which is often the case because life is complex and messy, it’s important to dig deeper. For further clarification ask these questions:

1) What am I giving up to sustain this situation? If you are giving up your creativity, your innocence, your fire or your light, and it’s considered permanent and/or is being taken for granted by the job/person/situation, then I’d suggest you consider taking action to change the situation.

2) Is the situation creating qualities in me that make me a better or worse person? Sometimes, shit happens. Our parents are assholes, our job sucks, things didn’t turn out the way we thought they would etc. Often these situations are catalysts for deep growth in our lives and that’s why we find ourselves there. So ask yourself what qualities this is creating in you. Is it patience, perseverance, inner strength, or is it fear, insecurity, sadness or loneliness? If it’s the latter, do something about it.

3) Do you have healthy support networks in place to help you cope through this tough time? Who are you talking through the situation with? What self-care strategies do you have in place? If you don’t have any, it’s important to get some. In complex life situations where you’re struggling to cope, negative behaviours are born. Without adequate support networks, you could be creating unhealthy coping mechanisms and added trauma which is only going to extend your healing time.

This process is based on the idea that no one is a better teacher for your soul than you. And it’s true. You know yourself better than anyone, and we must start learning to trust ourselves and our life knowledge more. Your thriving soul is a crucially important part of living, and yet we often unintentionally sacrifice it for jobs/people and situations. Start putting your conscious mind, body and soul first, because really, what can you trust more in this life?

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She’s Still Catching up to Who She Really is

I used to think of life as a process of ‘figuring out who we are’. That step by step, experience by experience, we’d slowly chip away at the outside until we eventually came to the core, where we found our ‘self.’ That was, what I thought, the life process involved. But lately I’ve been thinking a little differently.

Through the wisdom of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, I heard a blessing that goes something like this:

“We do not become healers, we came as a healers – some of us are still catching up to who we really are. We do not become artists, we came as artists – some of us are still catching up to who we really are.”

Some of us are still catching up to who we really are. You can replace the subject of what we each came ‘as’ with anything. But the point is that it’s not about figuring out who you, it’s about catching up to who you are.  Who and what you are, at your core, does not change and does not need to be ‘figured out’. I know what I came as, and who I am – we all do.  There’s an all knowing part in each of us that’s constantly whispering this revelation to us. Sometimes we stray, in fact often we do, and all along the whisper continues.

Do not spend your time trying to figure out who you are. Instead, just stop, listen, and catch up.

Feeling Through The Seasons Change

I’m only just starting to feel and realise how much I change with the seasons, how much I am like nature and should do as nature does.

During the winter the days were short, cold and rainy. The trees lost all their leaves and everything seemed to move back to bare minimum. Trees could rely on their branches in the winter, so they stayed, but the leaves died off. Some plants died off completely. Nature lets die what must in winter. Sometimes forever, sometimes only temporarily.

Winter for me bought with it a desire to do very little beyond watch movies, read and play at home with my loves. I haven’t had a lot of creative energy, there’s been little photography, cooking, writing or art in general, it’s felt like a time of stasis. Inactivity, but with equilibrium. An opportunity to feel the heaviness and grounding of my body and do little else.  Life focused internally, where nothing was produced from me, but all kept inside brewing, waiting.  Winter is a beautiful opportunity to do as nature does, and let die what must in order to find equilibrium. Which I did, I think.

The change from winter to spring has never felt so pronounced. What was death for three months became life right in front of my eyes. I’ve watched day by day as the trees have started to grow their leaves back and the flowers started to sprout. Change. “The stasis is over” the seasons tell me. Whether I’m ready or not, life goes on, it’s time for what’s next. Spring is drawing me out of myself, back out into the world. I love how it feels, like pure potentiality. Nature seeds in Spring. She knows if ten seeds are planted, five will sprout, but only two will eventually turn into plants that thrive through the summer. That is Spring, planting season.

So that’s what I’ll be doing this Spring. Planting seeds. Capitalising on the energy of potentiality and sowing for sowing’s sake.