- Do you wish you’d pursued your dreams?
- Are you sorry you created a life based on living up to other people’s expectations?
- Do you feel remorse that your choices were guided by an internal drive to prove something to someone?
- Do you think about how different your life would be if you’d stood up for yourself and what you wanted?
- Are you disappointed that you didn’t maintain better relationships with the people you care about?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have regrets about how you’ve lived your life. And those regrets are symptomatic of a bigger problem. You live in a way that starves your soul.
Feed vs. Starve Your Soul
There’s a significant difference in the quality of a life that feeds your soul versus one that starves it of the nourishment necessary to thrive—and for you to thrive. When you live a life that feeds your soul, you:
- Stand up for what you want
- Go after your dreams
- Make a difference
- Express yourself
- Fulfill your purpose
- Participate in activities that create spiritual alignment
- Do things that make you feel joyful, enthusiastic, and passionate
- Remain connected to the people and things that are important to you
- Consistently make strides toward achieving your spiritual and personal potential
A life that feeds your soul is one lived as your best, authentic self—on all levels and in every life arena. You wake up every day enthusiastic, energized, joyful, and filled with a sense of purpose. You’re charged up, firing on all cylinders, and doing your life’s work. You stay focused on the things that are important to you: health, love, relationships, spiritual connection, and service. Then, you move through your days in the flow and in harmony with All That Is.
A soul-nourishing life offers a very different daily experience than a soul-starving life. The later leaves you feeling overwhelmed, burned out, stressed, depleted of energy, unhappy, disconnected, unhealthy, and generally stuck.
Unfortunately, too many people live lives that starve their souls.
My Soul-Sucking Life
I hate to admit it, but I’ve lived a soul-sucking life for the last 10 years or more. Not only did the way I lived fail to nourish my soul, but I felt it really did suck my soul out of my body, leaving a void deep within. It felt as if I’d lost myself.
My life lacked soul, and so did I. Outwardly, I looked successful. Inwardly, I was empty, unhappy, and off course.
This year, I turned 60 and decided something had to change. I do not want to spend the next 20 or more (if I’m lucky) years of my life living in the previous way. And so I’m making little changes—trim tabbing—to get back on course.
Change hasn’t yet come quickly or easily, but, little by little, I am, indeed, making changes. Each shift is meant to feed my soul what it needs to thrive. And as I implement the changes, I feel my soul healing, growing stronger, and beginning to guide my life.
As a result, I am happier. My feet are more firmly planted on a clear path. And the emptiness is beginning to dissipate. My life feels more meaning-full, purpose-full, and spirit-full.
9 Ways to Nourish Your Soul
I have discovered nine ways that help me live a life that feeds my soul. Since I see myself as an “everywoman”—someone not much different than the average person, I believe that what has worked for me will likely wok for others—like you. These nine tasks are based, in large part, on eradicating the regrets I’ve had, but I know they are familiar to most people. And as I move toward a regret-free life, I find myself living a life that feeds my soul.
1. Develop the courage to live a life true to yourself.
To accomplish this task, you must stop making decisions about how to live based on other people’s expectations or judgments. Instead of doing what everybody else thinks you should do, do what you know you are meant to, want to, feel is “on purpose,” and feel guided to do.
Living in this manner takes courage, but it allows you to live a life based on fulfilling your expectations for yourself and your soul’s urging.
2. Find a balance between work and play.
Most people regret that they spend the majority of their lives working. If you have a career that involves doing your life’s work, your work probably feels more like play. Doing meaningful and purposeful work provides a fabulous diet for your soul.
However, if your work feels meaningless and your career is busy work rather than life’s work, or if you enjoy what you do but spend most of your time in the office, your life becomes unbalanced. After a while, you’ll feel burned out and unhappy—and your soul will scream for food.
In this case, the diet has to include time spent with friends and family, in nature, caring for your body temple, participating in hobbies, connecting with Source and soul. You need to devote sacred time to the things your soul enjoys.
3. Express your feelings.
Too many of us die without expressing how we feel about the people or situations in our lives. But the soul is fed by expressions of positive emotions, like love, joy, gratitude, and passion.
That doesn’t mean you can’t express sadness or anger or other negative emotions. These need expression, too. Just don’t get stuck in them.
Humans are emotional beings, and often the soul guides us with deep emotions. Pay attention to what you feel, and express your emotions. Your soul will grow strong, and you’ll feel its presence more clearly.
4. Stay in touch with your friends.
In our busy modern lives, we tend to get too caught up in daily responsibilities and tasks to connect with the people who matter most to us—our friends. But the soul thrives on deep friendships, especially the types that resonate on a soul level and push you to become the best version of yourself.
Life feels fuller and has more meaning when shared with friends. Whether you have two friends or 20, spend time with these people. Even if you have to connect with friends with Zoom, phone, email, or text, make time to connect.
Caution: If the time spent with your friends doesn’t make you feel good, you might want to consider finding friends who do. Friends who wish to walk a path of personal and spiritual growth with you, make you smile and laugh, and cause you to feel loved and appreciated are what your soul needs.
5. Allow yourself to be happy.
You have a right to be happy. Sometimes, however, you may think you don’t deserve happiness. Or you might choose unhappiness as a way to prove how horrible your life is or to punish the people around you. In the process, unhappiness becomes a habit you stop enjoying life. Plus, you remove one of the primary soul nutrients from your life.
Your soul wants you to be happy. So does All That Is.
Give yourself permission to be happy. If you have to force yourself to do silly things, sing, laugh, or dance, do it! Be happy. Happiness is an elixir for the soul.
6. Find and fulfill your purpose.
Your soul has a purpose. That soul purpose is your way of making a difference in this lifetime.
Unfortunately, most people feel their lives are meaningless, but the soul longs for meaning. The emptiness you feel may come from your soul’s desire for you to do something positive and meaningful in the world, even if it’s on a small scale.
If you don’t know what your soul purpose is, choose a purpose—something you feel passionate about that allows you to be of service or do good in the world. You may, however, have one and not realize it. Sometimes soul purpose is simple, like supporting and taking care of your family. It doesn’t have to be a big huge task, like finding a cure for a disease. That said, your soul purpose could be quite lofty.
In either case, feed your soul a consistent diet of actions that fulfill your purpose. Daily, ask yourself if what you are doing is “on purpose” for you.
7. Consistently pursue your personal and spiritual growth.
Some say the only purpose we, as humans, have is achieving our potential. To do that, you have to consistently participate in anything and everything that helps your personal and spiritual growth.
If you are on a spiritual growth path, the only thing that stops you from connecting to Source and your Higher Self, soul, or spirit, is you. That means to further your spiritual growth, you need to focus on your personal growth. Your beliefs and habits stop you from leading a more spiritual life.
On the other hand, to progress in your personal growth, you must also address your spiritual growth. You won’t achieve your human potential if you don’t also achieve your spiritual potential.
Your soul craves both personal and spiritual growth. Give it both consistently, and watch how it flourishes.
8. Tap into your spiritual nature.
Acknowledge that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. As you do, you become conscious of and tap into your spiritual nature, which includes your soul. When you are aware of the soul and its place in your human experience, you give it the attention it needs.
We get so caught up in the physical aspects of life that we forget about our spiritual nature, and the soul is a massive part of that. Your physical body houses your soul and spirit; remember that regularly, so you tap into intuition, guidance, and connection to Source.
If you don’t, you’ll miss over half of your physical life experience, which is integrally related to your spiritual experience. And you’ll forget you have a soul that needs feeding. With more awareness of your spiritual nature, and you will always remember to feed your soul.
9. Created a life you love and live it fully.
If you address the previous eight ways to create a life that feeds your soul, you also will create one you love and live it fully. Anything less, and your soul lacks some form of nourishment. And the less it gets fed what it needs, the less you will love your life or live it to the fullest extent.
Stop and think about the things you love. What excites you? What are you passionate about? What makes you happy? These are the things you need in your life. These are the things your soul wants on the table at each meal.
Where are you holding back? When do you not experience life to the fullest extent? Allow yourself to open to all life has to offer, and your soul will never go hungry.
Listen to Your Soul
Tap into your soul and communicate with it. Ask it what it needs. Listen carefully…Hear what your soul is asking for—time in nature, beauty, love, gratitude, music, conversation, learning, connection… Then give your soul these things.
It’s possible to create a life that feeds your soul. I challenge you to do so in the ways mentioned above. Or discover other ways that provide the nourishment your particular soul needs and wants.
If you need support creating a life that feeds your soul, join me in the Inspired Creator Community—THE place where seekers go to create a life that feeds their soul. Or, let’s work together one-on-one.
How do you feed your soul? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with a friend whose life currently isn’t soul-nourishing.
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Photo courtesy of Mykola Kravchenko.