Life is the soul’s nursery—its training place for the destinies of eternity.
~William Makepeace Thackeray
The most important thing you will ever do is tend to your soul. The quiet whisper within instructs us of what we need in order to thrive, but we often neglect our inner ally, leaving it unattended and unheard. When we fail to listen, the wealth of wisdom we hold within is left unused, while we continue to muddle our way through the human condition.
The first time I really heard the voice of my soul I ignored it. I didn’t know how to interpret its message and even when I asked those around me about the nudging from within, I was told that it was “just nothing”.
You see, my gut told me something was wrong before I married my husband. The closer the date came, the more uncomfortable I grew with marrying the man I had been with for almost six years. Yes, we had disagreements and as many people say, there were a few things I could’ve taken more seriously when they happened. But nothing screamed “get out” before I felt the stirrings that something was truly amiss. Others said “it’s just cold feet” and encouraged me to dismiss the discomfort as premarital jitters.
On the second day of the honeymoon, I saw what my soul was trying to quietly, but persistently tell me. My new husband’s behavior showed me who he really was and I was literally left standing waist-deep in the Caribbean ocean wondering what the hell I had just gotten myself into. It took two years and three couple’s therapists to help me make the final decision to leave. The day I filed the divorce papers was the day I committed to listening to and trusting my soul. I have been dedicated to tending its garden ever since.
Although the marriage might seem like a tragic mistake, I actually credit the situation to discovering my inner ally. I would’ve never known to listen to the voice within had it not proven that it was trying to protect me from a very difficult and confusing two years. During that time, I experienced several more “nudges”, all leading me to confirm that my “ex” couldn’t tell the truth to save his life. As Thackeray said in his quote above, I experienced the “training place for the destinies of eternity”—I learned the hard way that my future depended on whether or not I listened to the voice within. My destiny included the discovery of how important the soul is to both managing and mastering the human condition.
From that point on, I made it a priority to not only listen to but also to tend to my soul. I consistently make time for quiet so I can hear its voice. I remove anything that gets in the way or muffles its whispers. I provide a peaceful and harmonious environment to nurture my internal sacred space. I engage in activities that are meaningful and necessary while feeding my soul with whatever it needs to both survive and thrive—wonderful and loving friends, a home surrounded by trees and the beings that dwell there, travel to places of wonder and majesty, and of course companionship of amazing creatures that, when written backward spells “god” (something beautifully perfect when you really think about it).
Our conscious evolution requires us to manage more than the nourishment of our body and conduct of our everyday lives; we also hold the ultimate responsibility for the health and maintenance of our soul. We must find and acknowledge that our soul exists (our sacred garden), clean out what has died away in our lives or doesn’t feed us any longer, and fill up or replace them with what nourishes or fertilizes the essence of who we are. Much like an actual garden, we must prepare, plant, germinate, maintain and harvest what we want to create in our lives—our soul’s sacred garden.
Tending our soul’s garden is an unending process—it involves many overlapping and ongoing cycles throughout our lives and it requires a conscious commitment. If we neglect our soul, our lives become overgrown or stagnant in one way or another, thus perpetuating the challenges of the human condition.
Ignoring the voice of my soul twenty-six years ago cost me two years of my life, but helped me gain a life mission to help you understand the essential nature of tending to your own soul’s garden.
Consider the following steps to tend to your own inner ally:
- Listen within—Pause to sense the internal signals and messages that you ignore every day, then consider how life would be different if you followed their instructions.
- Hear the message—Explore how many times you’ve ignored a message, then regretted that you did. These messages are instructions—the keys to evolving beyond the challenges of your human condition.
- Interpret the message—Learn to understand the patterns of when you get nudged and pay attention to how, when, and why your emotions get triggered. Each is a signal that something could be changed to enhance your life.
- Separate your experience from that of others—Find a way to distinguish your thoughts and feelings from those of the people around you. Pay attention to your voice above all others.
- Prioritize your soul—Understand that living “for self” or your soul is not the same as being selfish. Your soul takes others into consideration as you lead a soulful life, so putting the needs of your inner ally first is always for the greater good.
- Commit to your conscious evolution—Your commitment to consciously evolve is essential to your soul health. If you choose not to grow or learn, the distressing aspects of the human condition will prevail. But listening to and heeding the instructions from your soul guarantees that you will lead a fulfilling and radiant life.
Author, Thomas Moore said, “Because the soul has such deep roots in personal and social life and its values run so contrary to modern concerns, caring for the soul may well turn out to be a radical act, a challenge to accepted norms.”
My mission is to make caring for your soul the newly accepted norm. Your soul deserves the love and attention you would give another.
By taking care of or being in charge of your soul, you are promised not only a satisfying—but also an optimal life.