I don’t know what I should be writing. I guess, maybe that’s the point. I shouldn’t be writing anything. But I can write whatever I choose. So here goes.
This morning I got to do what some people are not fortunate enough to get to spend a morning doing. I got to lie in bed, lounging for an extra few hours. No work, no university. Usually during this time I’m on YouTube or Netflix or my Kindle. I rarely admit this, but I am usually stuffing my brain full of anything I can to drown out myself, just for a little break. But this morning, there was a silence within me that ran deep, so I just lay there for awhile. When I rolled over, I moved to put my arm beneath my head and I stopped myself. I was utterly struck by how smooth my arm was. How soft and young. Truthfully, I was in awe of it – and myself. I found myself wondering would I always remember what it was to have skin this smooth, without wrinkles? Or would I look at my skin at the age of fifty, sixty, eighty and wonder if I had ever been this young at all? I wanted to capture the essence of that moment forever because for once, I was not insulting my body – this body that I have battled for as long as I can remember, in more ways than one, this body that I am always conjuring up ways to improve. This moment was pure, clinical appreciation.
And it lasted. It wasn’t like most of these body positive moments – in and out in two seconds. Ones that require an outfit or a positive quote to inspire.
On this particular morning, I moved from thinking about my body to thinking about my mind. I have cultivated mental resilience these past six or so years. I have crafted a mind that has made me empathetic, honest and moral in ways I adore and ways that I am sure make some people uncomfortable. I wonder what other mental strengths I would gain throughout my life.
And then, I caught myself wondering – is that it? Is this all there is to me? The mind and the body.
You might not agree (I welcome you to disagree) but for me and my generally spiritual belief system, I don’t think so. In fact, I never have. To me, there is an essence like a soul in each of us. It could be called anything, but I believe it is the most sub-molecular part of us where our rawest energy hides. More unique than a fingerprint, more adaptable than we can imagine as humans.
At this point, I got out of bed and went about my day. I went through the motions of the gym, doing my food shopping and doing some ironing – all with the sensation of something niggling at that energetic, soulful part of it. My secret self.
If I am the combination of a body-mind-soul triad and I believe that the soul is the largest component of us, that informs the health of the body and the mind, why do I make every decision based on what the body wants and what the mind has been nurtured by society to believe? Why I am I determining my worth, my actions with the top 10% of my pyramid and not the bottom 90%?
If I was a country, the top 10% of society would be well-attended to, riddled with greed whilst the rest, the majority, waste away.
I know what feeds my soul.
And it is not working to pay my rent, poking holes in my body’s appearance or even transient pleasures like drinking or nights out.
If truth be told, I have known this for the majority of my life – including my childhood – and still, I placate my soul by saying that the society we live in demands that we earn a right to live in this world. I condescend to the truest part of me by saying that I will work on the self-esteem I have around my body tomorrow but for now, the gym can be a plaster over that bullet wound. I gag my dis-ease for large crowds, night clubs and alcohol because I tell myself that sometimes we just need people to like us. I do this even when this suffocation of my soul causes physical disease.
I do these things because I see it as compromising with the world I was born into. Bending slightly to its will, but not entirely. This world that doesn’t feel entirely like home a lot of the time. But after all, I am a body in this world so I better start acting like it, right? Cop on, suck it up, shut up and put up, drown it out, settle … I am not the only one hearing this.
That question alone sets off the tap inside of my mind of worries that start trickling in one by one. But eventually enough droplets makes a lake. What if, God forbid, I’m not like able, I lose my friends, I self-isolate too much, I am not successful, no one will ever love me… The problem with my lake is that it is an enclosed entity. No ocean of truth can get in.
Whilst I may gloriously strong enough not believe these droplets enough to self-destruct, I do give them enough floor space in my life that sometimes, there is precious little room for anything else.
That is how my body and my mind work together when left in charge. They thrive but only when life is smooth. Otherwise they tumble into a back and forth current of doubts and mixed-truths about how I am as a person.
When my soul leads, things are a little different and I realize there is a reason that the soul takes up so much of Who I Am. Because your soul does not live in fear and the emotions that come from a fear that There Is Not Enough – jealousy, anger, frustration. It doesn’t comprehend it and thus, can’t be held back by it. Instead a soul’s only currency is love.
That’s why when we see someone about to step out into busy traffic our instinct is not to be thankful that it wasn’t us and to condemn the person as an idiot. No, we risk ourselves. We try to save that other soul.
On a day when my soul leads, I am not manically happy. I don’t swing between highs and lows in extremes, though I used to years ago. Instead, I am stable in the knowledge that I Am Enough and There Is Enough. Enough self-love, enough money, enough joy, enough fulfillment because everything is fulfilling.
So whilst my actions on a soul-led day and a mind and body-led day are not different – I still go to work, I still study my masters, I still write – my intentionality is starkly different and the most unimaginably small sub-molecules within me sing. Or to use a fairly common phraseology, they vibrate to manifest me a good day which equips me to make others’ days better.
But what’s the lesson here? After all, we live in a generation where we are sold our productivity so there has to be a moral for reading this far.
I don’t have a clear cut answer for you. Instead, joining me in considering this:
1. Perhaps our true highest purpose does not have to be removing ourselves from the societal constraints in our lives, but rather changing the intentionality of how we deal with them.
2. We have nothing to lose and a highly experiential life to gain by leading each day with our souls and watching our minds and bodies excel.
No, these ideas are not popular. And if they are, they’re popular as ideas and not actions. We all know that most of humanity lives the all-talk-no-action rule in any positive change. This can be discouraging. But only to the mind and the body.
The soul knows it cannot be tied down as we are energy. We are charged, always alive and eternally ready to heal.
Right now, that sounds a lot more like an opportunity than a challenge.