As I'm sitting in a coffee shop, typing away, with my lavender latte, it's raining outside here in "Sunny San Diego." Isn't that so life?! We can't hold on too tightly to expectations and outcomes. Sometimes it just pours rain in a sunny place.
And there are times when we are drenched and downtrodden by our own storms within. Dark clouds loom over hope, and emotions flow endlessly like infinite drops of rain. At least that's how I feel sometimes.
At these moments of darkness, I often feel lost in life or unclear about my path and purpose and what to do next. It's apparent that I'm stuck in my mind and can't hear the voice of my soul, the voice that always feels like home, the voice that guides me back to inspiration, hope, and clarity.
So how do I get back there? How do I start to feel at home again in my heart? How can I hear my soul?
This morning, two things became clear to me as I walked under a turquoise umbrella through the drizzle to my favorite coffee shop. Two important things showed me the path back to my soul.
1) Don't indulge your fears.
2) Follow your joy.
Ahh this first one is crucial and sometimes tricky! The mind loves to get wrapped up in the illusion of fear because its job is to protect you. So the mind will wander off to deep, dark, scary corners of the imagination thinking about all of the possible bad things that could happen to you. And hopefully by analyzing a million possible nightmares, the mind will figure out how to prevent them! But we know in our hearts that this is a dreadful waste of time & energy. So how do we stop ourselves from burrowing down into the rabbit hole of fear?
First of all, it's important to differentiate between the voices in your head. For simplicity's sake, let's just say you have a small mind and a big mind. The small mind is the one who indulges in fearful worry, trying to control circumstances and outwit the Universe. The small mind will drive you crazy if you let it!
But the big mind is the voice of strength, love, and protection. Big mind is the one to shut it down when small mind is scampering off into fear. When you feel your small mind wandering away into anxiety, stop those thoughts immediately and don't indulge in the tendency to daydream about your worst nightmares. Feel the guidance and love of your big mind, like that of a protective parent.
"No sweetheart, don't go there. You're going to be fine." Then laugh, sing, pray, or refocus on a hopeful thought to keep your energy up and out of small mind territory.
With practice, you'll soon start to recognize the voices of small mind and big mind and can learn to control the fearful indulgences of small mind with the direct, loving guidance of big mind.
So that's part 1: Don't indulge your fears.
The next part is really fun: Follow your joy!
One of the best ways to reconnect with your soul is to do what feels light, joyful, inspiring, or relaxing to you (often in the most simple and humble of ways). Honestly, your soul doesn't care how productive you are, how much money you make, what you ate for breakfast, or how many calories you burned at the gym. Your soul operates in BEING not DOING.
It can be tempting to think that you have to have a certain career in order to be living your soul's purpose. Or that your soul is only satisfied when you are "successful" on the outside. But truthfully, the soul exists in the pure laughter from deep in your belly or in the quiet peace of feeling your connection to all of life. The soul leaps for joy when you choose love over fear. The soul wants you to express as much joy as possible, not to be as rich, fit, or important as possible.
So when your small mind starts to worry about your success, your purpose, and your path, remember that your purpose exists only in this moment, right now. And your purpose right now is to let go of your fears and reside in your joy.
Following your joy can be anything that lights you upside. It could be something small like treating yourself to a latte, wearing your favorite shirt, making a homemade gift for a friend, or taking a picture that inspires you and posting it to Facebook. It doesn't have to be revolutionary, important, OR make you lots of money. The way back to the soul is through joy in the simple, small things.
Don't look for your soul in your career change, in your workout routine, or in your next relationship. Find your soul in the spark of joy within you that has no words, no expectations. Find your soul in the easy way of being that you already are.
With much love & joy,
P.S. Check out this video I made on Meditation Monday that discusses these two steps to hearing your soul
Gia writes about her journey through life and the many twists and turns of spiritual growth, relationships, health & healing, life as a performer, and the ever-unfolding path back to her heart.