Soul. This is a word I give a lot of thought to and that means a lot to me. We throw it around--soul-searching, soul-shredding--but what does it really mean to go soul-searching or soul-shredding? Soul, to me, is the essence of our being. My soul is what makes me, me, and what makes you, you. Soul is not our personality or attitude, it's something different, it's the embodiment of our self; it's who and what we are at the most basic, most existential level. Soul can not be argued into nature or nurture. It's something very free, it's not tangible, it's not tied to our hearts or our brains, and it's unexplainable. It's what's deep within us that makes us tick, what moves us through every moment and every day, and what influences our personalities and attitudes.
We all lose touch with our soul every once in a while. How can we not? Life is busy. We get caught up with our friends, family, jobs, hobbies, and whatever else life likes to throw at us. Any one that knows me at all knows that I love to be busy, I love to be with friends and family, I am rarely alone, and I like to cram as much as I can into every day. Obviously, this catches up to me at some point, so, to me, it's important to take time every so often to get back in touch with my soul, to get back to my most basic roots, to get back to that point where there is nothing on my mind except inexplicable happiness, gratitude, and contentedness.
These moments, for me, are not always planned. Often times it takes me getting completely burnt out and ass-kicked before I realize I have fallen out of touch with my Self. But sometimes, I catch myself before I implode. This whole winter has been an anti-implosion measure. It's been a winter spent getting back in touch with myself, having fun, and not worrying. I didn't realize how well this had all been working until I ended up in Colorado for a week, skiing by myself. Though it was not originally planned to be a solo-mission, circumstances out of my control lead it be so. And even though trips with friends are always wonderful, I couldn't have been happier soul-shredding by myself for a week.
From the moment I got in the car and left Flagstaff for Aspen, I was happy and calm. I was on no one's schedule besides my own. No one was rushing me or slowing me down. I got up when I wanted, ate when and what I wanted, skied what I wanted, and had no one to object. There were countless moments where I found myself close to, or in tears with happiness standing alone in the woods on my skis. I felt so full of gratitude and love--for absolutely everything in my life. It's when I realized that my winter of soul-searching was working; I felt more in touch with myself than I had in a really long time.
Don't confuse what I'm saying, I'm not condoning selfishness--though a little can go a long way--but I am advocating for every one remembering to do things for themselves every once in a while. You can do this without being "selfish." It's important to remember that your mental and physical health is as important as anyone else's. I'm throwing a gentle reminder out there for everyone to remember to do things for yourself--to remember who you are, what makes you happy and whole. To take the time to really breathe and acknowledge that we can take care of ourselves, to remember that our happiness ultimately depends on no one but ourselves, to love ourselves and what we are doing. That time could be an hour of yoga a day, or a bike ride, run, skiing... whatever it is, do it. We are never too busy to take care of ourselves and our souls.
Writing is something I have always been passionate about. I love sharing my stories, my thoughts, my advice, but mostly, I write to record memories and express myself. So here are a few of my fondest memories, best and worst moments, my most profound and boisterous thoughts, and riskiest advice. Enjoy!