“Honey, I figured out what I want for Christmas,” I said to my wife, Denise.
“What’s that, sweetie?” she replied.
“All I want for Christmas is to find my soul.”
Denise’s eyes raised to meet mine as a puzzled look flooded her face. Then she chuckled.
“I’ll run right out to Target and see if I can find it.”
I was serious. One of my spiritual direction clients had mentioned he was looking for his soul. It made me realize I want to find my soul, too.
What’s a Soul?
I researched the definition of a soul. Here’s what I discovered.
According to Lonerwolf.com, “Understanding the nature of the soul is perhaps one of the most fundamental and essential tasks on the spiritual path.”
Without knowing what the soul is and how it relates to our life here on earth, we can easily get lost, confused, and stranded.
Briefly, your soul is the immaterial essence and totality of who you are at a core level—it is your True Nature.
Our soul, which we often call the Spirit, is a unique expression of the Divine.
Your soul can be thought of as Spirit embodied.
Our souls are said to be the source of our intuition and higher knowing.
As psychologist Christa Mackinnon writes,
“It is our soul that provides us with a kind of inner voice, a moral compass and direction. It is our soul that we hear as this ‘little voice inside’ reminding us that there is more we can become, and it is our soul that suffers when we don’t nourish it by integrating a spiritual component into our lives and striving to give our lives meaning and purpose.”
According to Genesis 2:7, God did not make a body and put a soul into it like a letter into an envelope of dust; rather, he formed man’s body from the dust, then, by breathing divine breath into it, he made the body of dust live, i.e., the dust did not embody a soul, but it became a soul—a whole creature (Soul in the Bible).
Our Soul is the center of who we are . . . the unique spark of Divinity we all carry. (Soul Purpose).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines “soul” as:
“The spiritual principle of human beings. The soul is the subject of human consciousness and freedom; soul and body together form one unique human nature. Each human soul is individual and immortal, immediately created by God.”
My head was spinning with all the definitions of a soul.
Okay. But How Do We Find Our Soul?
I was left with the question: How do we find it? How do we move beyond textbook definitions of the soul and experience it, touch it, and feel it?
The next day, my spiritual mentor, Chris, helped me find the answer.
As we entered our monthly session, I told Chris I wanted to find my soul. I expected he’d laugh at me. Instead, he replied, “Okay. I can help you do that.”
Willing to do anything to find my soul—and figuring despite my wife being a great shopper, she probably couldn’t find it at Target—I responded to Chris’ invitation, “Let’s do it!”
He invited me to close my eyes and take several deep breaths to center myself. He then led me through a guided meditation with these words drawing me deeper into my soul:
Imagine the parts that make up your human being are like a Russian doll—a hollow wooden figure that has similar wooden dolls, each smaller than the last, placed one inside the other. One-by-one, we’ll name and notice each part.
Draw your attention to your physical body. Feel your arms and legs, feet, hands.
Notice your physical presence. Bask for a moment in the beauty and wonder of your human body.
Now, notice the energy flowing through your lungs and limbs. How does that energy feel? It might be like electricity flowing in and through you. You might experience it as the flow of divine love from God moving from your head through your throat, lungs, heart, and down through your body to your feet.
Go with the flow and enjoy this loving, energetic presence.
Next, notice your mind. Observe the thoughts rambling in your head. Let them twirl and whirl without getting attached to any one thought. Observe them like you’re watching water babbling in a flowing stream.
Thank the Creator for the gift of your mind.
Notice your emotions. What are you experiencing?
It could be peace, contentment, or happiness. It might be a mixture of feelings, including fear or anxiety, as you let go of your thoughts and the mind’s attempt to understand and control.
Name one or two emotions you are experiencing. Let them be present without attaching yourself to any one emotion. Observe them like a witness.
Draw your attention to your chest. Notice your heart beating below your skin. If you’d like, place your hands on your chest and take a few breaths. Notice the beating and warmth of your heart.
The heart is the seat of wisdom. It’s the place we experience God. It’s the umbilical cord connecting us to the Divine.
There is a sacred light within our hearts—a golden ray of light from God. It’s the light of Christ.
Let yourself sink deeply into this wonderful place deep within you.
(photo by Steven D. Foster with related article)
As you experience being present in your heart, notice a small pearl within your heart-space. Some faith traditions describe it is a blue pearl surrounded by golden rays of light.
Jesus called it the pearl of great price. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he had found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all his possessions, and bought it. – Matthew 13:45-46.”
This pearl of great price is your soul. And, the most important part of your life’s journey is to connect with your soul.
Meditate upon it. Imagine the pearl deep within your heart as your Divine Essence.
You cannot intellectually find your soul. You can experience it through the gift of grace when you quiet yourself and draw your attention to its presence within you.
In that sacred place, you may hear God’s voice guiding you, embracing you with unconditional love, and showing you the way.
This place is your Center. It is your Home.
Stay here in your soul-space for the next few moments. Feel the golden light emanating from the pearl within you and flowing through your whole body and into the world. Notice what it feels like to bask in this sacred space.
This is your Essence. You have touched your soul.
As Chris finished the meditation, tears of joy and healing streamed down my cheeks. I had found my soul—or, rather, by quieting myself and drawing my attention to my inmost being, my soul had found me—at least for a few moments.
Chris invited me to continue to use this meditation practice in my morning quiet time. He told me to return to an awareness of my soul whenever I needed because it’s always there within each of us, within our reach.
We simply need to let go of attaching ourselves to the other parts of our Russian dolls. All our parts are good. But if we cling to one part over the other, we get stuck in that part of our being.
For example, if we attach our sole awareness to the body, we seek pleasure or experience the body’s pain, which distracts us from integrating all our parts within the Center.
When we get trapped by over-thinking minds that ruminate about problems, or let our emotions flood us with swamps of negativity such as fear or anxiety, we elevate those parts of our being and fail to live soul-fully.
My Christmas Wish For You
It’s true: all I want for Christmas is to find my soul.
Perhaps Chris led me to the pearl of great price as an answer to my Christmas wish. At least he showed me a pathway—a tool—I can use to let God’s grace teach me how to return to my Center again and again. And, the more I practice, the stronger is my awareness of and my ability to live from my soul.
This Christmas, consider asking God to help you find your soul. If it works for you, use Chris’ meditation to discover your path inward—the path to finding your soul. It might be the best Christmas gift you’ll ever receive.
Dive Deeper: If you want to listen to the above Guided Meditation click the link below for the audio version.
—brian j plachta
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