Soul Food: What feeds your soul?

What Feeds Your Soul by Crystal Nuding

My son turned 21 a few weeks ago. When I ask him what he wanted me to cook for his birthday I got the answer I expected, Chicken and Dumplin’s. They are and always have been his favorite. And before they were his, they were mine. My Great Grandmother Patterson would make them for me and my sisters when we were little. They were always so delicious.

As I stood in the kitchen preparing my only child’s favorite birthday meal my thoughts would drift back to my Grandmother’s kitchen in the big house. Chicken simmering on the stove, flour from rolling out the dough everywhere, the smells warm and comforting. It was a precious time for me and my sisters; to share that experience with Quentin feeds my soul.

What feeds your soul? It doesn’t have to be food. It can be anything, sitting down with a good book, hiking or kayaking down the river. It could be outside in your garden with your hands in the earth cultivating organic veggies for your family or growing roses like your grandmother did. Maybe it’s mowing the lawn and setting the sprinkler so you can sit back and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of your childhood.

We’ve gotten so wrapped up in what other people think, what we’re “supposed” to do, how we look or what we have or don’t have. None of that really matters. What matters is how you feel on a regular basis. Are you happy? Do you feel good?

Many of us are under constant stress. At home we worry about what we needed to do for work and at work we think about all the things that need to get done at home. We worry about our government, we struggle with our weight, relationships or a health issue all the while believing that if we just think enough about these problems that we’ll resolve them. We came to the conclusion over the years that worrying is a good thing and that if we aren’t worried, we don’t care or aren’t paying proper attention.

Do you want the good news or bad news first?

Well, the bad news is this. Worrying = planning. Worry = creating. The more you think about and worry over upsetting situations in your life, the more and more you will experience those kind of situations that make you feel worried. It’s OK if you are scared to not worry. It’s how we’ve done things for all these years. But, if you’ll notice, worrying isn’t helping, it’s only robbing you of your peace in those moments.

The good news is you can feel through the stress, nervousness or upset physically and shift the situation. You don’t have to keep recreating the same worrisome scenarios over and over in your life. You have more control over your feelings and life than you’ve previously exercised or even been aware of. Again, this is all OK. When you know better, you do better.

We have to begin taking responsibility for our own peace and happiness. It is ours for the having when we stop thinking someone else should behave differently for us to be happy or satisfied. Our happiness and satisfaction is completely within our own control.

When you’re in the midst of a crisis or problem give yourself a break from it and instead let yourself think about what feeds your soul. What could you do in this moment to soothe yourself and begin to think of more pleasing things?

Our minds can’t think differently from how we feel emotionally so give yourself the gift of feeling better. Don’t try to figure things out immediately, just begin to move yourself towards feeling better physically.

What soothes and feeds your soul? Going for a swim, a hot bath and cuppa tea, a round of golf/tennis, quality time with a good friend? What made you feel good as a child? Playing outside, listening to music or coloring? How can you recreate that feeling today?

Ask yourself what feeds your soul and then see what comes up. Maybe you’ll have a memory of something you’d love to do again or a song on the radio or friend reminds you of an activity or experience that would feed your soul. Let yourself open to the wonder you experienced as a child, appreciating small things as if you’re seeing them for the first time.

As I was sitting down with my delicious bowl of Chicken and Dumplin’s I made for Quentin, I was immediately transported to Grandmother’s house. We were at the dining room table, all with our bowls and I could sense her. Her shaky hands with pink nail polish, the clicking of her teeth and dainty way she chewed.

In my heart I heard “You done good girl, I love you, I love you, I love you.” I held that bowl close to my face and just breathed it all in. Being there with my sisters and my precious grandmother, feeling the love that truly exists for me in every moment of my life. My heart burst while the tears of love and appreciation flowed down my cheeks. I love you, Grandmother. Thank you for teaching me about Heaven, love and kindness.

Find whatever that thing is for you and do it. Rediscover the thing that opens your heart and makes you remember the love that is here for you in this very moment, in every moment.

Stress is a temporary thing that can move quickly or last forever, it’s up to you. Give yourself the love and care you deserve by feeding your own soul. Take the time to do it, you’ll never be sorry you did and you’ll always feel better when you do.

Sending you all my soul feeding love, soothing, peace, ease and flow!