September 17
If I had two loaves of bread,
I would sell one and buy hyacinths.
For they would feed my soul.

the Qur'an


Today's Meditation:

There is a huge difference between feeding our bodies and feeding our spirits.  It's very easy to buy food to feed our bodies, and we do so regularly, sometimes without even giving it much thought.  When we need to eat, when we feel hunger, we eat if we're fortunate enough to be able to access food.  But what about our spirits?  What about our souls?  They grow hungry, too, but they're usually neglected.  We may hunger for beauty, for kindness, for positive input into our lives, yet never take the time or make the effort to feed our souls.

I know people who never really do anything for themselves on a spiritual level.  They would never buy flowers just to add beauty to their lives.  They would never make the time to take a hot bubble bath in order to calm themselves and allow themselves to relax.  They would never give themselves an hour of complete silence to try to still the voices and thoughts in their heads that keep them tense and wired.

When we're thirsty, we drink; when hungry, we eat.  But when our spirits hunger for something, we neglect it--thus neglecting ourselves.  And can that be good for us?  What kind of long-term effect does such neglect have on us?  We may never know, for no one is doing research on the topic.  We take our spirits for granted and we don't feed them, and our lives do suffer for that.

What does you soul crave?  Even if you don't know specifically, beautiful flowers really couldn't hurt, could they?  Some time to yourself in a peaceful, silent spot definitely can't be bad for you, and the nourishment that you would give to your soul just may be fulfilling a longstanding need that has yet to be met.  When you feed your body, feed you spirit also, and you'll find that the attention you give to your spirit will be attention well placed.

Questions to consider:

What is the cost to us if we neglect our spirits?

In what ways might you feed your spirit in positive, fulfilling ways?

Why do we tend to take our spiritual side for granted?

For further thought:

You can open yourself to the possibility of nourishing your soul, and you can make it a priority.  Take careful stock of the way you spend your life energies doing things that are not so nourishing.  Often, in the middle adult years especially, people find that they have been busy being productive in some task-oriented way, some way in which their souls were excluded.  The responsibilities of everyday life--taking the kids to school, paying the bills, doing the grocery shopping, all the stuff that life requires of mature adults--expand to fill the entire life.

Jean Shinoda Bolen

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