Hello, dear ones! It’s week three and we’re reaching the halfway mark of the This Is Me retreat – already! Today is the last day that we focus inward and on discovering our souls; and then we move on to how to create and make the life that we want, based on who we are called to be. Exciting!
How did your alone/sitting time go? Did you have a dedicated time every day? Maybe you were more like me and just found nooks + crannies of solitude throughout the days? Or, did you forget and/or not create any alone time? Any answer is totally fine. Wherever you are, however you are showing up with yourself is simply how it is right now. And that’s A-ok. I’m just here, popping in your inbox twice a week right now to give you a little gentle push to move towards adding some white space/quiet time to your everyday life.
Because, if I haven’t pounded it into your head enough (sorry!), it is my deep, deep belief that time spent alone + apart is the grounding + foundation to finding magic + meaning in our everyday lives… and, most importantly, to discovering who we are and how we are called to live that out in our own lives.
And, again, in order to know how we want to live + who we are called to be, we need to know who we are. In this retreat I’ve set aside, as you know, the first 3 weeks to doing just that. Now, we’re not going to know everything about ourselves… especially because we are evolving + changing as each day passes. But, we can discover + know the depth of our soul and how our soul is guiding us. And that’s what I hope + believe that we can begin to tap into when we decide to live a life filled with little pockets of solitude + silence.
– During week one we simply committed to creating space and getting into the idea of stepping away.
– And week two (last week), we focused on using that space (or not) to provide us a place to sit in silence. Alone. In solitude.So, I thought that today, for week three, it would be the perfect time to drop deep into our soul. And perhaps we should begin digging deep into what our soul is. Or, at least, what I believe it is. Here’s a quote from a current contemplative dude that I think is quite profound + perfect:
I think of soul as anything’s ultimate meaning which is held within. Soul is the blueprint inside of every living thing that tells it what it is and what it can become. When we meet anything at that level, we will respect, protect, and love it. – Richard Rohr
The soul is our essence. It is where our spirit resides. It is that universal energy, light, and being that is found in all living things. Human, plant, animal. It is where truth is found. Where love is pure. Where consciousness, awareness, and enlightenment are revealed. It is the stardust of the universe. It is the opening to our true self.
Dropping into our soul, connecting with our true self, our true image of goodness + divinity, the ego is cast aside and we realize that there is no separation, that there is no duality. That all is one. And one is all. We are one. And we are all. It’s a mystery that cannot be explained, but it can be experienced.
To dive deep into our soul, we surrender to that mystery of the unknown. We couldn’t care less about the fact that we can’t explain how we are connected, but we know it because we feel it. We feel it in the warm hug of a friend, in the smiling eyes of a stranger, in the magic of a spring bird singing in the morning, in the intuition of a cat or dog that gives comfort, in the sound of our favorite singer/songwriter.
There is a book I read about 14 years ago in my first theology class when I began my Master’s of Theology studies that has impacted my worldview + my beliefs on our connection to one another. When I read Martin Buber’s I and Thou all those years ago it was as if my soul was whispering “yes, yes, yes!” with every turn of the page.
The basic point (theology) of the book is that when we meet each other as I and Thou, then a sacred space is created between us. A magical, spiritual connection of two souls who are the same, yet different. It is a union of two people because the two souls, the two people, are of equal worth and filled with the same, divine breathe + spirit.
When we meet each other with the belief that I am you and you are me, that I and Thou are one in the same, then it changes everything about how we see each other and how we see the world. It changes how we treat each other, because we meet each other in pure love. To simply walk around and see strangers, friends, family, co-workers as Thous shifts how we see, feel, talk with, and interact with others. It raises our perspective. Minimizes our ego. Increases our own self worth. And heightens our capacity to love. Because to meet our souls is to meet the Thou that resides in you. And to meet you as a Thou is to meet the Thou in me.
It doesn’t mean that we must like or get along with everyone, of course. Not at all. But, it means that we find the same worth in every living thing because, from deep within our souls, because we are connected. We are the same, even in our differences.
Now, my friend, you do not have to buy into this at all. Not even one little bit. However, I am sharing these thoughts + musings with you in the hopes that you will ponder whatever sticks out to you + begin to explore and feel your own soul. And to feel our own soul is to discover the souls of others.
You know, the whole purpose of our lives is to simply become who we are meant to be. And, to do that, we have got to get in touch with ourselves first. To really think about who we are, from deep within; and also who we are as unique, beautiful, talented individuals.
The soul tells us who we are, that we are all Thous. But, it also reveals to us what we can become.
We are meant to be whole, enlightened, beings who live in light, love, and abundance. We are meant to grow + evolve as our years pass, becoming more + more, with each passing year, a better, more authentic version of our true self. A true self that feels that all of life is filled with magic + meaning. The more that we settle into our souls, the more that we listen to the whisperings of the soul, the more we trust our soul to guide us, the more that life will unfold as a journey of peace back to who we are created to be.
Now, how that looks in each of our lives is very, very different… because, though we are united in spirit, the life that we create + live is as unique and individual as we are in our personalities. And we are meant to share all of that amazing bad ass-ness of who we are with this world.
So, that’s what we’re going to explore over the next 3 weeks.
I’ve got nothing else to challenge you to do this week other than to just be. Just spend time with yourself. Keep it simple. And silent. Feel your soul. Ponder those things, those people, those moments, those places that make your soul sing. Drop deep into the quiet silence of your soul and imagine the stardust sparking within you – and within everyone you meet. That’s it. Just be with yourself. Get to know your soul. Feel your own Thou + then expect that same Thou in others.
Random tidbit: I looooove The Beatles + the title of this letter comes from one of their songs. Wonder which one? Or do you know? Listen to it here… just for fun.
Blessings, my dear, wild souls. xoxo. liz.
Have you missed the previous This Is Me retreat posts?! You can find them here: