Monday, December 27, 2010

The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Soul

This was the post I was planning for a week ago last Saturday, before being side tracked by the 'ick'. 

Throughout the holidays we talk about food.  We eat too much, we want to try a recipe, someone brought cookies again, we giggle at Aunt Mable's annual fruit cake and we are thrilled with chocolate delights.  In fact, as most of our butts and thighs can attest, we are awash in a sea of fat and carbs from November to the New Year.  While these meals and treats feed our stomachs, we miss the most important thing - nourishing our souls.

We rush through life, especially the holidays - shopping and working and parties and cards - hoping all the while, we will have it done on time.  Sometimes losing our minds a little in the process and mostly missing the point of the season.  It doesn't matter your religion - the end of the year is about reflection, appreciation and grace.

Without a doubt you reflect on where you came from - your family, a favorite Christmas, your first game of dreidel or when you first celebrated Kwanzaa.  Perhaps you take the time to bake cookies for the teacher or mail carrier to express appreciation.  But do you embrace grace?

Grace is the one that matters most, it is becoming the embodiment of the goodness you seek in the world.  We all crave favor, kindness, friendship and forgiveness.  Yet, can we expect this to befall us if we aren't willing to endow these things just as freely?  The short answer of course is 'no'.

The full response takes years to unfold and embody.  It's a personal journey toward letting go and being willing to grow.  However, all of the pains we take are washed away as little lessons are learned and it quietly gives sustenance to our soul.  And that's what I want to impart this holiday season.

I am not perfect, in fact it's a daily struggle with my imperfections. (Hence the blog.) Still, I try to keep my eyes open and be trained by the universe to soak up what I need to improve in any way I can.  I know what you are thinking, "Okay all knowing one, how is this 'feeding of the soul' done?"

I'm but an apprentice, but I do have a few ideas: 
  • Send an unexpected card or make that call you have been putting off.  Imagine the relief from years of pressure brought on by the unknown.
  • Reach out to someone you don't even know.  A random act of kindness gives the feeling of accomplishment all day.
  • Go overboard on a gift for that friend who has had a rotten year and be sure the note with it promises you're going to be there whether it gets better or not.
  • Read to someone.  It can be a child, an ill friend or a senior at the local care center.  A warm voice can move anyone from despair.
  • Give to a charity that touches your heart.  And if you can, give your time too.  Even $5 makes a difference and hours are worth more than money.
  • Say 'please', 'thank you' and 'I love you'.  Simple words that will be shared in an endless chain.
I know you have many other ideas for becoming more graceful.  Put them in words, pass them on, but mostly do them.  And then see just how nourished your soul can really be. 

Yours in Health,


  1. I use Philip Yancey's definition of grace: Free of charge, no strings attached, on the house. Have a great 2011 from a KWDM alum!

  2. Very nice Bill! And KWDM, wow, that's where it all started. :)