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What Makes Your Soul Sing?

sea lagoon

One day last week, I talked my husband into playing hooky with me on a workday. We went to Point Reyes National Seashore for a day of feeding our souls. For me, being in nature is a spiritual experience. I immediately feel the troubles of the day melt away and begin to feel my own energy slow down and blend with the world around me. Nature always reminds me that I am a part of something so much larger. And this day was no different. The Abbott’s Lagoon trail was quiet and beautiful. It’s a relatively short walk to the lagoon, over a bridge and then one can walk for hours through sand dunes or along the ocean’s shore. Seeing seals, pelicans, deer, hawks and rabbits had my soul singing. And, as soon as I am at the ocean, I breathe easier and actually feel my internal energy “buzzing” and my overall energy and mood elevate.

So why am I sharing this story with you? Because taking some time in nature is the quickest way for me to de-stress. And if it includes some type of exercise, I de-stress even faster. This may not be the way for you, but it is important to know what your path is for turning off the stress response and turning on the relaxation response, even if it’s for just a few minutes a day. Is it exercise? Playing music? Meditation? Yoga? Painting? Dancing? Gardening? What is it that you have passion for? What is it that turns off your thinking mind for even a few minutes a day? I find many of us run so fast and hard in our daily lives that we’ve actually forgotten what calms us and brings us back to our center.

Why is this important? In my practice I frequently find that some clients are too busy to take time to feed their hungry souls. And the problem with that is we tend to substitute soul feeding with feeding the body, or I should say, overfeeding the body. In our culture, there is actually a lot of support for doing this. When what we really need is fun, rest, and relaxation, perhaps some time alone or in a meaningful social setting with friends and family. Of course when we don’t get it, it’s always available in food. Unfortunately, we end up substituting sugar treats, alcoholic drinks, junk food, or just plain overeating for what we really need. And for a short while, it works or at least it seems to work. Ultimately however, with this approach our souls do not get the care and feeding they actually need, leading us back into a self-medicating strategy with food being the drug. In our culture – fun is always available in the refrigerator, or just a short drive away at the ice cream store or the supermarket.

If you are struggling with trying to limit the sugar in your diet and eat more healthfully, perhaps it’s because you are not allowing yourself fun and pleasure in other ways. I often have my clients commit to bringing more fun into their lives as a strategy for improving their diet. Having fun, laughing, or playing three times a week is as important to success as exercising three times a week. The sad thing in our culture is that so many of us have forgotten how to bring fun into our lives. Sometimes it takes weeks of this kind of commitment for clients to discover what is actually fun for them. If this speaks to you I challenge you to make this type of commitment for yourself every week this month. And see what you discover!

What’s the goody in all this? We are often afraid to take time off of our “doing” schedule, because we worry about getting even more behind. But in reality, the opposite happens. When we take the time to de-stress, relax and refresh ourselves, we become much more focused and are actually able to accomplish more. In fact, that day at Point Reyes I actually got some work done. All of the pictures used in this newsletter were taken that day and the ideas for this and next month’s newsletters just flooded me as I walked along that magnificently beautiful beach! I decided to leave myself a cell phone message with the ideas to be sure I didn’t forget them, and to clear my head so I could enjoy the rest of the day. So why not at least give this approach a try. Soon you may notice that sticking to your healthy eating plan becomes just a little easier.

If you need help in creating balance in your life in order to do what’s most important to you, call for an appointment. Much of the coaching work we do is helping you create strategies to take control of your calendar in order to create a more balanced life.