Soul work is an absolute must if you are going to find fulfillment in your life.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what Soul work is, what makes it hard to do, why it’s so important to do it, and what happens if you don’t. I’m going to give you some very practical tips, tools and techniques to start practicing today.
What is Soul Work?
First of all, what exactly is Soul work?
In order to think about what Soul work is, we need to look at the Soul. The Soul is the part of us that’s here to have an experience in an embodied human form.
We’re here to evolve. We’re here to create. We’re here to grow, learn and expand ourselves.
Soul work by default, then, is really anything that supports us in our growth, in our evolution.
The Soul is also a space that carries our shadow. It carries parts of us that we’ve disowned or ignored. It carries impulses and instincts within us that we might not always be paying attention to or conscious of.
Part of the journey of Soul work is bringing the unconscious to consciousness. One of the ways the Soul does this naturally is through imagery and symbols, such as what we might see in dreams. We might see these symbols and think they make no sense, but to the Soul they really do make sense.
You may know I work with metaphor and archetypes, and I really love the ways in which those kinds of symbols can help us know ourselves better. That is one tool that we can use toward Soul work.
Soul work helps us to move out of unhealthy patterns, especially when we start to recognize them and begin to shift and create new habits and opportunities. It helps us to recognize what extremes we go to and how we get stuck in polarities and duality. It helps us to reconcile and to open ourselves to new possibilities.
Soul work helps us to master our impulses, so we’re not acting on impulse. We’re able to respond effectively. We’re able to master our emotions and tap into what’s aligned with our truest path, which also means being able to align our will with Divine will, the Source will, and the sacred will of our true Soul’s destiny.
When we do Soul work, we get to take a deep dive and create greater alignment with who we are here to be. Soul work also helps us to harness the power of forward movement. Forward movement is such a powerful force.
Do you ever notice that you can feel stuck and then sometimes you end up with something that shifts, like a new awareness or a new idea? It comes in and it’s like you know it just comes pouring forth and you have all this forward momentum and you don’t even know where it came from. It’s doing that deep Soul work, and clearing our blocks that helps us to have that forward movement.
What Makes Soul Work Important
Why is Soul work so important and what happens if you don’t do it?
One of the ways the Soul experiences life and this journey and process of evolution, growth and expansion is through our senses.
Having a strong presence, or presencing, grounding and centering, is really important partly because when we’re in a state of presence or centeredness and groundedness, we have our senses about us. We have our wits about us.
What are we really noticing and how can we experience the fullness of life through our senses?
The Soul has a longing to have this human experience through the sensory experience, and when we ignore the senses, we lose out on many different perspectives along the way, such as what we hear, what something tastes like, what we see, and what something feels to the touch. All of those are information and guidance. Without tapping into the fullness of these sensory experiences, we don’t get a full picture of what something is.
This is a silly example, but I remember as a kid going through a haunted house. We were asked to stick our hand in the dark into a jar, and it felt like a jar of eyeballs, yet it was really just a jar of olives. But without the sense of sight to see this, we’re just touching something we don’t have a full picture of. Soul work helps us tap into a clearer picture of life’s experiences.
True Soul work is really looking at the full holistic picture of our being.
What are our thoughts?
What are our emotions?
What are our sensory experiences, physically speaking?
I mentioned that the Soul is longing to evolve, create, have meaning, grow and expand.
If we don’t do the Soul work that helps us to evaluate and understand our habits and patterns, and we end up staying stuck in certain things that aren’t so good for us or don’t allow us to have the experiences we long for, then we’re hindering our Soul.
We came here to experience a full and rich human existence. We need to do Soul work or we will remain stuck.
I’ve heard people say, “What if I’m just happy and content and this is fine for my life? I don’t need to experience anything else?”
There can be some truth to that, but you’ll see in my balance and empowerment cards which can be downloaded for free, there are various virtues we look at. One of the ideas is that contentment can become the power of equanimity, but too much contentment is complacency.
Complacency is not what we want. A lot of people confuse the idea of, “I’m content with my life” with a sense of complacency.
We want to balance complacency with a commitment to moving forward, growing, expanding and opening ourselves up to new possibilities. We can catch ourselves if we’re complacent and understand how we remain stuck, knowing more of ourselves, understanding what’s beneath some of the reasons we get triggered or eat emotionally or have the habits or fears that we do. This greater awareness is what Soul work is all about.
When we don’t do Soul work, we remain stuck in the existence we have. We tend to protect ourselves, stay in our comfort zone, and not break free from our fears because we end up stuck in them.
Another reason soul work is so important is most of us long for meaning.
We genuinely want to have meaning in our life. In fact, younger generations are even more adamant about having meaning in their jobs, or whatever they’re doing, or wherever they’re living. We all feel a sense of that longing for meaning.
The Soul is evolving, and we’re going to see meaning being more and more important as newer generations come in with different sensitivities and different ideas. When I say sensitivities, that’s that sensory experience. The Soul will evolve, along with the sensory experiences, along with what is meaningful.
Soul work is important for us to find meaning, to understand our values, what we’re doing and why, and how we can shift things so it feels like we’re making impact, making a difference, or showing up in this life in the way that we feel is resonant for us, and not just sitting back watching life pass us by.
Soul work takes a lot of time to do.
This is one of the reasons many of us don’t do it, because it takes effort, energy, and sometimes a lot of discomfort. It can be so uncomfortable to embrace the challenges that life throws at us.
Just when you think everything is going super well, most likely we’ve all experienced times when it’s like the universe throws a great big monkey wrench into the mix, and we’re wondering, “Why can’t this just be easier?” But out of those monkey wrenches, out of those challenges we’re thrown, something magical happens. We begin to grow and evolve and see things differently, and we become a stronger and more expanded person. That is the growth that begins to happen.
Why Soul Work Can Be So Difficult
What exactly makes soul work so difficult? Why is it so challenging?
It’s very difficult and uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
I encourage you to take a look at my discomfort video playlist where I have lots of different video topics around this idea of learning to grow more comfortable with discomfort. It’s part of what we must learn to do. We’re not going to get out of this lifetime without experiencing a certain amount of pain. It comes with being human, and that’s something we have to learn to embrace.
Part of Soul work is learning to embrace the reality of our human form and all the limitations that come with it, while at the same time, embracing the reality that we are creative beings. We are here to be creators. We are here to open ourselves to this incredible field of flow and creative force, and these amazing dynamics that are available to us.
This doesn’t come without pain, and it can be very difficult to challenge the status quo because we don’t want to feel that pain.
We don’t want to step outside of our comfort zone.
We don’t want to be criticized or judged or cast aside.
We want to stay connected.
It’s also difficult to do Soul work because the Soul actually thrives in uncertainty and in the void, the empty space from which all of creation is birthed. That’s where the Soul thrives, but our culture doesn’t like that.
When we do Soul work, we go to those depths. We go to darker places. We go to uncomfortable spaces.
We must learn to live in uncertainty to let things unfold according to the laws of Nature. This is part of what Soul work is all about, and we don’t tend to want to be uncomfortable.
We have a cultural norm that says no to pain. No discomfort allowed. As soon as you feel pain, take medication. As soon as you are uncomfortable, just walk away from it and move on. Try something else. Ghost the person, ignore the person, run away, find a new friend, or move to a new town.
We run away all the time instead of staying with discomfort.
The Soul thrives in discomfort because it knows that out of that, it’s going to evolve. It’s going to grow, and it’s going to experience something new.
Another reason Soul work can be so challenging is that Soul work requires stillness, and we’re living in a culture that wants anything but stillness.
You can’t go anywhere without screens, billboards, advertisements and sounds and noises flashing at you. It seems ever more impossible. It used to be that if we were stopped at a stoplight, we could have a moment of stillness. We’re just going to sit in our car until the light turns green. Maybe we’d have the radio on, but now we check our cell phone and fill those opportunities for stillness with screen time.
You could just sit and wait for the bus and look around, see what thoughts would come, and have that moment of stillness. But now, we’re on our devices. We’re constantly distracted.
Soul work requires us to actually be still, to be with ourselves in a world that wants us to be anything but still.
How to Do Soul Work Effectively
I want to talk about a few tips to help you start doing Soul work effectively, and start today.
One of the first tips is journaling as a tool for Soul work.
Journaling is one of those holistic approaches because it’s engaging your thoughts and your emotions. It’s also engaging your will and behavior. You’re physically writing, and I do encourage the physical writing versus voice journaling or typing on a screen because there’s something about tactile experience that gives a more holistic, embodied experience that the Soul is looking for.
You can download my free Journaling as a Path to Come Home Guide for some wonderful tips on different ways of journaling and different ways of getting to know your Soul, and understand how to connect with your Soul more.
Another way you can begin Soul work today is to notice.
I know that sounds simple, but believe it or not, it’s one of the first things I constantly talk to my clients about. What are you noticing? Notice what triggers you. Notice what emotions come up. Notice the things or the memories that show up. You’ll be amazed at what you begin to see and learn about yourself.
All of these are aspects of Soul work.
Notice your dreams.
Notice your sympathies and antipathies.
Notice the ways you do or don’t really want to do things.
When we notice, we allow ourselves to name what’s going on for us, become more aware, and bring what is unconscious to consciousness.
I challenge you to notice.
What do you feel when you hear these things? Notice any angst that comes up today, or notice any emotion that gets triggered and what triggers it. The more we pay attention to these things, the more we’re on the path and journey of deep Soul work.
Another thing you can begin practicing today is sensory awareness.
What if you were to eat your food slowly, tasting every bite, feeling the texture, and smelling it? Feel into the space around you and who’s sitting at the table with you. Ground yourself. Feel the weight of your body sitting in the dining chair, your feet on the ground. Have a full sensory experience with your meal.
Believe it or not, tuning into your senses brings you into your body, and a lot of people don’t realize how uncomfortable they are actually being in their body, or how uncomfortable it is as we eat unconsciously.
We do all kinds of activities unconsciously.
When we presence ourselves and have that sensory experience, we’re allowing ourselves to connect the fullness of human experience with the fullness of our Soul.
That is deep Soul work.
The other thing I encourage you to do is remember there’s nothing wrong with you.
Soul work is not about fixing you. It’s not about thinking there’s something wrong, or not okay about you. Soul work is more about getting to know yourself better.
I love to look at things from many different perspectives. I strongly encourage you to look at my resources. I’ve got so many both free and paid resources that you can check out. Take a look at those because there’s something magical that happens when we’re willing to do this Soul work, when we understand what Soul work is and how we can know ourselves better, deepen into who we are, and explore the expansive potential of our empowered self.
For a video version of What is Soul Work, Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1aKoXrHA1M