Soul. I remember speaking with a wise friend once, telling him I knew something deep down in my soul and he remarked "But Kelly , soul is so big!". This statement has stuck with me and inspired todays reflection as I was laying in savasana, trying to "not think". What is soul and how does one lose it, recover it or build it? What's it feel like?
First let's see what soul really is by looking at it's opposite. Soul-less....sometimes that is how one is described who has done despicable acts, a complete lack of caring, a self absorbed state without empathy for others, perhaps Narcissistic?. Webster calls it "no greatness or warmth" "lacking character" and "without feeling". Soulless is used as an adjective describing an activity that is tedious or lacking human feelings or dreary. Soul, you'd think, can then be identified as "fullness", rich with feeling and life, creative and life giving however Websters describes Soul in more of a religious context. It refers to the different beliefs of having more than one lifetime and states that soul is an "incorporeal" essence of a living being. Ah-ha! There may lie the largeness my friend had stated that soul is......It's lifetimes, perhaps, of life force. I believe that between these two definitions lies an answer that is different for each one of us, the sense of our own soul....something invisible that we may or may not know the sense of feeling "soulful" or "soul-less" depending on our own curious journey of self reflection. It seems very closely related and having many layers and depth like authenticity.
As I layed still in what is sometimes called "corpse pose" and asked my body where do I feel "soul" my body began to have some unique sensations that moved thru me, under the surface. A pleasant sensation tingled and my mind felt open and receptive to a variety of information that began trickling in. Between the question, the sensation and the information that i began to contemplate (that felt different than my everyday inner chatter) I believe soul lives. These aspects of me all flowed together and I simply noticed and rode it out in a deep form of bliss. I could feel what i call "soul filling" happening. A deep inner reconnection.
This experience had me reflecting on what does it feel like to have soul taken or sucked out of us? What part of us allows this to happen and why? What does it take to recognize the soul fullness we are? Can we cultivate it thru consciously healing familial patterns (life times?) and living life wholeheartedly thru emotional expression, sharing, loving, and building relationships that are sustainable and resourceful for us all. I believe it starts within each of us, deeply, in our own body through our ability to self love and self heal. This means having a practice that matches our truth of what our personal needs are for happiness(for nutrition, movement, brain stimulation, creativity, higher power connection, relationships, work life etc) In this self care soul is nurtured.
Sharing our soul with another is a whole different dance that requires a deeper sensitivity to build trust, communication and intimacy on all levels or else the potential of one soul tapping into the others for soul-fulfillment can happen. On a repeated basis this can be a lethal siphoning that leaves one partner deeply wounded, eventually empty in fact ( devoid of creativity, life juice, clear thoughts etc.) and in need of deep self care to re-cover and the other on an active search for more "juice" ( ie. soul) as their hunger and source is empty. It's a pattern of relating that is clearly harmful and a one way street to despair for both people. It will crash or present much pain until change occurs. These patterns of relating can be applied to how we relate to anything including our relationship to the earth herself.
Healing the soul takes inviting those lost parts back in to our body. Recognizing, forgiving, and creating boundaries that will catch it before allowing it to become a pattern of deprivation. Releasing old, old, old stories and visioning new ones when being clear in the present moment is an art. Its the practice of believing in our power to bring forth something that we haven't yet seen and yet still not losing sight of what we have seen to not repeat it. To become good at this you have to face challenges, make new choices and continually build confidence and stronger belief in ones ability to create. It's responsible self parenting, self correcting, self awareness and a balancing act between releasing fear and choosing love deep within. One by one we heal, we fill up, we create soulful connections and communities and we create change.