Making a Soul Connection
Jun 01, 2015 03:00PM ● Published by Savannah Ludwig
In today's hectic 21 st -century environment, there appears to be little time for taking a step back and tuning in to one's inner self. The same technologies that save lives, allow family members to be in contact around the globe, and make accurate weather forecasts available at the touch of a screen come with a downside. Endless streams of information, working hours spent in front of an impersonal computer monitor, and constant communication with others can make individuals lose touch with the most vital parts of themselves: their souls.
Reconnecting with one's essence does not mean throwing out that cell phone or laptop. There are less drastic ways to reestablish a bond.
Go outside. Look to the west on a clear day as the sun approaches the horizon. The vibrant hues cannot help but amaze and give a sense of wonder. Even on the coldest days of winter, there's a sure sign that spring is on its way. Leaf buds have been present on trees since autumn; as the chilly season nears its end, they enlarge and begin to unfurl. Even before the world turns green, blossoms make their grand entrance. Take a look down; tiny plants, including those long-awaited perennials, push through the ground as early as Groundhog Day. They may not bloom for weeks, but the new arrivals are nothing short of inspirational to the winter-weary.
Observe the birds and the bees. Birdsong (there is a tradition that these sounds are the creatures' ways of thanking the Creator for His goodness) provides uplifting background music to a new day. Watch bees and butterflies as they flit from flower to flower. The former have the ability to not only remember the routes to the best blossoms but inform hive-mates of their location. What's even more awe-inspiring: monarch butterflies take flight in the autumn for warmer climes thousands of miles away--and return in the spring to lay their eggs on milkweed plants, the only ones that can nourish caterpillars. A trip to the zoo or aquarium is at once an opportunity to spend precious time with loved ones and meet extraordinary creatures who evoke a feeling of wonder.
Take a kid's-eye view. Watching and interrelating with babies and toddlers is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Reading to a youngster is an eye-opening experience: his or her powers of perception and ability to imitate and respond are uplifting. Seeing tiny tots' delight in natural phenomena like snow and neighborhood wildlife and interactions with the people in their world is definitely food for the soul.
Read a good book. An uplifting work is definite soul nourishment. Walden by Henry David Thoreau gives the reader an appreciation for the natural world and humankind's relationship with it. Helen Keller's The Story of My Life is an inspiring account of the author's journey from deaf and blind child to activist and author. The Missing Piece and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein simply yet eloquently present truths about self-worth and interpersonal relationships. And the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series by Richard and Kristine Carlson are classics that help readers stay in touch with the best parts of themselves.
Catch a flick.The Proud Rebel starring the incomparable Alan Ladd and Olivia de Havilland is a beautiful tale of family, love, and new beginnings. Mr. Holland's Opus tells the story of a wannabe symphony composer who finds himself a reluctant high school music teacher. This extraordinary movie will move viewers to tears of sadness and joy. And then there's To Kill a Mockingbird, a stirring adaptation of Harper Lee's unforgettable novel. Even the most jaded individual cannot help but be moved by this one.
Be thankful. Stop and think about everything that is going well: a train arrives at the station at the right moment; that injured ankle is only strained, not fractured; a warm spell melts the ice which is making walking difficult; air fares to a favorite vacation spot have suddenly become affordable. A moment spent expressing gratitude for life's blessings big and small is the best soul nourishment there is.