— The Soultree Center (@SoultreeCenter) November 17, 2011
Sometimes the soul needs a reminder…just for itself. A soul wake-up call of sorts. Not a reminder for you, that would be a conscious thing and somehow would then get attached to the need to fit into your appointments on iCal or figure out a way to squeeze in over the weekend. Nope. The soul needs a reminder specifically so it can caution you NOT to do all of that nonsense all of the time. Your soul needs to breathe and it needs room to inspire you. We all desire a life teeming with more balance, beauty, sensuality, time to chillax and space to enjoy the people we love, but how do we fit that in when we’re bombarded 24/7 by tweets, pokes, todo lists and bills to pay? Well, we don’t. And that sucks. But we can. And that’s rad. Trust me, I get it. So for today…I give you permission to put worry aside, turn off your electronics…and connect. Start there. Choose to connect to your self or choose to connect to others. Just do it. The good news, either choice will melt seamlessly into the other and that’s a beautiful thing.
My reminder was delivered at 6:43am using my gangly yet adorable 6’3″, 150 lbs., 3000 calories-a-meal consuming teenager as its messenger. It went something like this…
“Yes my sweetheart angel of a child, I actually woke up from my very short yet deep slumber to cook a hot meal for you simply because I love you. I abSOULutely adore you. And yes…of course, selfless motherly love is enough to brighten even the foggiest beach morning while you ignore me. So even though you’re grunting and only half awake, I’ll keep humming my fave wake-me-up Kate Earl song while I rub your back and tell you how great you are. Sure, you love me and you’re tired, and I know full well that later tonight we’ll sit in the spa together and crack-up about the insanity that ensued in our respective days. But even taking all that into consideration, on this particular morning as I stare at the top of your very tall and lovely head I can only think of one thing to say….put your f**king phone down before I scream bloody murder and throw it in the jacuzzi while your eggs find their way into the dog’s bowl! Uhh…oops, sorry, growling mumma hasn’t had her Illy latte yet my sweet love. What I meant to say was…could we please share a slightly more involved than a one-word answer conversation between bites before you head off for your day?”
Anyone out there with me? I mean really, does he know how early I got up in order to make this particular morning happen? Before my Pearl Jam iPhone alarm woke me up, I went to bed exactly 3.7 hours AFTER he did because I had the ever-so plentiful amounts of first week of school and club volleyball paperwork to fill out on top of completing my workday. Ahh…love. Parenting is…love.
But that was today, on the other days I’m blessed and beyond luckier than most of the nightmare stories I read about in the trashy rags proffered when getting my bi-monthly pedicure. Thank bejeezus for that. This gangly youngster, almost 17, is my last child at home. He talks to me about everything, smiles when I hug him, and totally gets it when my final answer is…”because this way cultivates your soul my angel” or “that’s just straight-up sexy” or “let me meditate on that, have some one-on-one time with God, and I’ll get back to you.” Not so bad. I’ve never had a “terrible teen” in my house. Knock wood. But…this one is addicted to his iPhone. Umm…confession time…Apps have changed my life forever, so maybe I have a bit of a co-dependency problem as well. It seems once you go Mac, you’ll never go back. But, technology has its place, and thankfully so does soul. Lucky for that ever-morphing relationship…it goes both ways. So my real point is, teens aren’t the only ones looking down at something small when they’re walking, rather then gazing in amazement at the stunning world we inhabit daily. Soul thrives and blossoms from a deep sense of connection to the outside world. It craves beauty, sound, touch, laughter and sensuality. The soul yearns to be enraptured by the senses and looks for moments to deeply gaze into something it recognizes as love. That is inspiration at its most authentic. Give it a try as you head into your weekend. Create time to allow your soul to be cultivated within the obstacles and confines of our techno lives. You can have both. I promise.
So here’s your homework: Do yourself, and those around you, a favor…put the smart phone down for just a couple of minutes. But do it AFTER you watch this video link below. Ha! Funny, but not kidding.
Connect. Give. Love. Share. Be. Enjoy your week’s end, together.
Yes, I know. E-cards are so dang easy, but c’mon people…soooo not sexy. Close your eyes and remember back to the day when you walked, ran, sprinted to your mailbox hoping to find a letter addressed to you. Those were the days. Someone took the time to write you a note, lick a stamp, and drop it in a box – for no other reason than to bring you joy. That’s just plain and simple love, and who doesn’t want that? Don’t get me wrong, I think technology is a fabulous blessing of efficiency, but that being said, it also sucks the sensual pleasure right out of soul. So why not get back in the soul groove and give it a try. Send some stamped joy to someone. I would bet a bottle of my favorite rose-water that you derive just as much pleasure as the person on the receiving end. It’s a win-win people…so get bold…send a handwritten note. Smile.
Dirt Nerd Alert…I even go to the Post Office and choose a stamp that best suits the person it’s going to. Try it. Geek fun. Here’s a bonus…you’ll even get to know your neighborhood postal workers. Cultivating community IS cultivating soul. Now that’s a good time!
Aren’t convinced? Need more reasons?
This week’s Soultree “Soul Goal” Poll: Inhale…fill in the blank. Exhale…release it baby!
Take Soultree’s Soul Goal Poll: Inhale…fill in the blank. Exhale…let it go!
Life is different on super-8. We smiled more. There was a tangible curiosity and playfulness about life. Color and sound weren’t perfect. We weren’t perfect. There wasn’t a need, yet if we desired to somehow attempt to figure it out…there was plenty of time. When did we abandon the urge to run into the camera face first and laughing? There wasn’t a need to face the harsh critics of retouching and HD because life was a bit out of focus anyway. We lived in it. We breathed in it. We found soul, like it or not, in the inherent knowing that each moment was lost as soon as the next one began. Super-8 was the simple solitary piece of a captured moment that also held in it the rational fear of burning up forever each time we played back the memory. Now we concern ourselves with the viral spread of memories, even ones we weren’t being truly present for when they were happening. Yes, I have a professional digital camera now, and a Flip, and every Apple product I can get my techno-soul hands on. And yes, as much as that keeps me in the loop (photography pun fully intended), I yearn deeply through a melancholy lens for that accidental mishap in the darkroom which every once in a while made the memory better.
So we may have collectively grabbed a permission slip from the desperate hallways of restraint, and before getting caught we had already squelched our souls’ and their craving for nourishment by imperfect things. A more mistake and passion filled way of living somehow got lost. We got swept up in the bondage of perfection. Now we’re sitting inattentive, not sure if we should raise our hands, yet desperately yearning for élan’s bell to ring.
My thought is: Every so often let’s give that futile slip back, get out of focus and laugh more.
Women are daily bombarded with messages from the media that our bodies are not enough. Dispatches from the body itself remind us that hormones, illness, and stress are taking their toll on “women of a certain age.” Consequently, we are left feeling dissatisfied with the functionality and beauty of the bodies we will inhabit for the rest of our lives. Underneath this habitual physical fault-finding and its consequences on women’s self-esteem is a collective yearning to stop this heartbreaking cycle. It’s time to develop a more loving relationship with our own physicality.
The Female Body – all ages, shapes, and sizes – is the most exquisite manifestation of creative power on the planet. Period.
This is why Lynn Darnton, Caroline MacNeill Hall and Karin McDermott – well-respected executive coaches, leadership advisors, and teachers – created Your Body Beloved™, a program that transforms dissatisfaction and dis-ease into enduring love and gratitude. It’s a vital and audacious conviction… and it’s about time!
Your Body Beloved™ is a 4-month program, bookended by two weekend retreats, which will restore you to a loving relationship with your body. The program includes experiential learning in a community of peers, group coaching, reading and journaling exercises, breath and movement sessions, and homework assignments—nurturing practices all focused on deepening your love affair with you.