While we remain alive and in our body, our body acts as a container for our soul. In terms of biology, the body is filled with hormones that help determine whether we are happy and peaceful or angry and depressed, or any state of mind in between. If we feed those hormones foods and other forms of nourishment that trigger the feel-good hormones - serotonin, dopamine, GABA, oxytocin and others - then we are likely to lean on the side of happiness. Nutrition plays a core role in making sure that the right raw materials are available for the form, structure and function of our biology. But we need nourishment on a broader scale. (See the 6 Paths to Nourishment to get the big picture). Feeding the soul is core component of happy hormones.
One of the 6 Paths is the SOUL.
So how do we feed it?
How do we make sure it is expressing its full delight, and its true nature of love?
Being present means we’re fully there/here/wherever you are. How do we know that we are? Firstly, there is no place else that we wish to be. Secondly, we are not lost in our mind, traveling to some other place, or caught in what the Buddhists call ‘monkey mind’, flipping from one thought to the other, distracted from what is right in front of us.
Presence is being ‘in the moment’. From my experience that is most readily achieved by being in your body, attuned to one or more of your senses. Or it may be being fully engaged in relationship to another, or even to a creative process. The point is that there is no where else that you want to be or find yourself distracted towards.
PASSION AND PURPOSE
Do you remember studying Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Here it is as reminder (or maybe you’re seeing it for the first time).
If you’re fortunate enough to be living in place and time to have your most basic needs at the base of the hierarchy (Physiological, Safety) taken care of, then you can put more of your energy to moving up the hierarchy. This is where PASSION and PURPOSE come in.
As you move towards Self-actualization, your sense of belonging and esteem are building. As you build those, the feel-good hormones strengthen their pathways and become more stable. PASSION and PURPOSE feed the feel-good hormones, which gives you the biological experience of FEEDING your SOUL.
The result - more happiness, peace, and control around substances that would otherwise take control of you, i.e. food, drink, drugs or any other vice of choice.
So here is an exercise you can do:
Create your list of 30 Things that Feed Your Soul.
I’ve written more in a document that you can download. On the last couple of pages, there are some ideas to inspire your list and a page to write in the things that feed your soul. Download that here.