"We've all heard about an illness in Central Africa called sleeping sickness. What we should know is that a similar disease exists that attacks the soul. It's very dangerous because the early stages often go unnoticed. At the first sign of indifference or lack of enthusiasm take note! The only preventive against this disease is the realization that the soul suffers, suffers greatly, when we force it to live superficially. The soul loves all things beautiful and deep." Paul Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone
The idea that our soul needs nourishment as much as our bodies is integral to the concept of us as a biopsychospiritual being; that body, mind and spirit are all parts of the human whole. For some of us, our ability to do meaningful work, to provide service to others gives succor to our soul. For some it is the involvement in creativity, whether that be cooking or sculpting or writing or knitting or dreaming or music or whatever floats your boat. Some people find intimate personal relationships are their primary way to enrich spirit and promote a sense of connection with all. Inspirational literature provides motivation and illumination on the path. Prayer and meditation are tools to work the garden. However you do it, we all need to feed our spiritual self.
Being spiritual beings in physical bodies can complicate our quest for soul nourishment. The need for earthly care and desire for material possessions demands that we provide for the physical life part of our whole. It is easy to get caught up in our need to have and to do and neglect our soul self. When we become overly rooted in the physical world where our sense of individual identity is heavily emphasized, the ego grows in response, and the necessary balance between the soul self and the ego self is disrupted. Putting our attention to spiritual nourishment as well as corporeal sustenance helps restore that essential balance in our dual nature.
Perhaps feeling over stressed is also a sign of succumbing to what Coelho calls "living superficially"; too much involvement in physical consensual reality leads to the neglect of our spirit self. As we move forward in the holiday season, remember to use your creative vision to maintain inner harmony and take the time to feed your soul. These are the shortest days of the year, time to look inward, to honor each other, and to celebrate our blessings. Include in your schedule the time to dance and dream and practice gratitude. Keep in mind that the most important ingredient in Christmas Cookies is love, that this season is about peace, and that presence is the best present you can give to yourself or to anyone. May you notice what is beautiful and allow yourself to feel what is deep.