Day 12-Soul Food
How do you nourish your soul? What are the essential nutrients of your soul's well-being?
I didn't want to write about this prompt on the day that it was posted, because I hadn't a clue as to what "soul food" was. And that might be because for a long time, I haven't been the best at taking care of myself both emotionally and spiritually. But I have come up with a few things as far as what fills me and keeps me grounded.
When I tell people that I wake up at five thirty in the morning on weekdays, they look at me like I'm absolutely crazy. My parents occasionally like to try to convince me that I should at least allow myself to sleep until six. Normally I say that I like to give myself time to get ready in the morning, which is true. I hate rushing around in order to get out the door. Yet, I also like taking the time to either pray or write in my journal and drinking a cup of coffee before I go about my to-do list for the day. Some days it is only for five to ten minutes, and others I might spend up to an hour. It all very much depends on what time I have class. Usually, do my best to begin the day in a calm way, as well as end it in a calm way.
A lot of my soul nourishment also comes from the books I read and the television shows I watch. As cheesy as it all seems, I happen to learn a lot from The Oprah Winfrey Network and Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition. Although I do have the DVD sets of 7th Heaven (I got hooked on it during one of the later seasons; my Mom and I used to watch it together every Monday night). I genuinely miss programs that have some sort of moral or value. I understand that trends change and fads fade, but do networks honestly assume that everybody finds "reality" TV entertaining?
In terms of reading, it's why I enjoy the Chicken Soup series, as well as a lot of biographies and memoirs. It's always interesting to read about a celebrity that doesn't come from a gossip magazine, or to read a story about someone that's dealing with a particular issue. That's why I've always said that I tend to learn more from real life as opposed to a textbook.
However, the essential ingredient does not come from entertainment or self-reflection, but from community and being around other people. In some ways I see myself as extroverted and a completely independent woman, but I know deep down that I cannot survive without having close relationships or community of some kind. I think we're all wired to be that way as human beings, despite how society tells us that self-reliance is key to living the best life possible.
Throughout the last half of the year, I have been learning to pay attention to those particular needs and fulfill them whenever necessary. It isn't always every moment, every day, or every week; but it is also enough to where I feel like I am not driving myself completely insane.
While not considered "normal" or "usual" for a near-twenty-something, it is what helps me to stay focused and not get caught up in the hoopla of every day life. Whatever yours may be, never neglect it because your scared of what the rest of the world might think. When you do things that you truly love, you learn not to give a damn about anyone else's opinions.