The Ancient Art of Soul Nourishment
What is soul nourishment? How do we know what our soul needs? Often when we have experienced something beautiful or moving, we say “That was good for my soul.” We know when we have had an experience, but we don’t always know how to create these types of experiences on a daily basis, so we plan a vacation or retreat to take us out of our routine which is designed to provide us with rest and rejuvenation, but it generally only lasts as long as the vacation. What do we do once we return home?
We don’t know it, but our souls are very active, they are receiving and giving energy all the time. This process of giving and receiving energy happens without our knowing, but it affects us profoundly. Often when we are overwhelmed we become removed from this natural soul process and we can have feelings of loss, emotional stress, difficulty in managing problems and other subtle or extreme symptoms.
I am an advocate for creating soul nourishment as part of a daily routine, as a way of life. Looking first to the soul and then to the physical attributes of our lives. If we can switch our perspective to come from the inside (soul, essence, creative source) to the outside or surface, (physical health, emotional, mental health) we will always be able to come from pure love and power. The surface needs will lessen, it becomes possible to change habits, to shift ways of being, to heal heartbreak. The undercurrent of the soul will be driving, and the outer current will respond.
Imagine you are with your two-year-old, they are having a hard day, it’s the 4th hard day this week and you are tired. You have done everything you can see to do. You have addressed their problem, you have addressed their physical being, their emotions are all over the place and you have tried to nurture them as much as you can. You feel frazzled and worn out, at the end of your rope. You know this dynamic is affecting both of you as well as the rest of the family, but you do not know how to change it. You may want to get away from your child and get some quiet time for yourself, you feel resigned, your personal power feels drained. We have all been there, it’s a terrible feeling and makes us question all kinds of things.
What if my child is going to become spoiled? Maybe I’m trying too hard, maybe I’m not trying hard enough? Maybe they need more play time, sleep time, they aren’t eating enough? I need to be stricter or less strict. Maybe they hate me, and on and on. These thoughts of something being wrong creep in and sometimes we act on them, we change our behavior in subtle ways and sometimes in drastic ways at the droning of this thought process as well as the influence of others who may be telling us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. We lose connection with our own intuition. The thing is, these thoughts reside on the surface of what our true soul needs are, sitting just under them are the true needs, but we cannot hear the whispers of our soul because our mind thoughts become too loud. We are not yet tuned to the subtle vibrations of the soul.
So, the question is not what is wrong, but what are you not able to see? The answer is simple; connection is missing. You have become disconnected from the strength of your heart, from your inner knowing and from your little one.
Both you and your child have a deep soul need to stay connected. Not only with each other but with your own inner selves. You child’s behavior spirals because they have become emotionally disorganized and they feel your pain though they cannot understand it. Their deepest desire is to connect with you, but they cannot when you’re worn out and they are worn out, you become inaccessible to them, it’s a double-edged sword. The illusion of separation becomes the driving force for your interactions.
Then a moment of peace. Your sweet baby falls asleep on your lap, their sweaty little head, breathing deeply, their limp body exhausted. There is a moment when you look at them and your heart melts. For a second or longer you watch them sleeping and you feel the love that was missing while the tantrums were running. You become present to the miracle of your child and their sweet innocence. You feel a depth of love that transcends every other feeling. You cannot stay mad, you just want to hold them like this forever.
Your awareness of this energy will enable you to use it. Feel your inner power return. See your little one open to receive from you even as you open to give. This is the place where soul nourishment thrives, in the subtle vibrations of true love. You can capture this moment powerfully and use it to heal and decharge your child so that they will awaken with renewed grounding and calm. You will both receive from utilizing the energy of this moment. Decharging is a technique you can use to help you and your children release stress.
When my son was 3 years old we were having a difficult time. He would have multiple tantrums every day and I tried everything to fix what was wrong and nothing seemed to work. I was tired, angry and sad, I wanted us to enjoy each other. I wanted him to relax and the behavior to stop. I finally asked him one day after a tantrum, when he was calm,
“When you’re upset, what are you needing from me, what can I do to help you?”
He became silent for a time then said, “I need you to hug me, I just need you to hug me.” I was so taken by this. He knew what he needed, and it was simply connection with me. I had not been able to see that because of my being overwhelmed and upset.
Then I remembered a technique that I had done to help him sleep when he was a baby, I began to do it with him every night. After he would fall asleep, I would spend a few minutes massaging his legs and chanting a simple mantra. After a few days the tantrums began to diminish in length and severity. Eventually they stopped all together. My new-found awareness of our need for connection in all of our interactions plus the massage time transformed a difficult situation and made us stronger together. My son is now 13 years old, we both still recognize our need to re-connect when we have spent time apart. When we see each other again we take a few minutes to sit together and connect. It looks different then when he was 3, but it is the soul nourishment we both need to be confident in our relationship and calm in our lives.
Simple Technique for Soul Nourishment
While your child sleeps, gently massage their legs, firm but gentle pressure from your hands to their skin ideally or through clothes if needed. While you are massaging, chant silently the simple soul healing sound Hum Hum Hum over and over for as long as you can stay present. Be completely focused on this action and sound while you massage your child’s legs. As you do these two things, add an intention to your thoughts. Bring your deep love through your hands and think silently, ‘I am your mother/father, I am commanding on your soul to be calm. I am your greatest well-wisher, be peaceful, I will take care of you.’
This simple technique is powerful. It can be used for children of any age, but is generally used with kids 0-5 years old, depending on the temperament and other factors. You will want to adjust it for your individual child and circumstances. For instance, children older then 5 years may feel more comfortable with a foot massage plus the chanting and intention.
It is though soul nourishment that we can thrive in our relationships. We can help our children on a deeply profound level, they will take that into their lives as they grow into adults and pass it along to their children and families. Children who are raised with soul nourishment feel honored, respected, loved and supported. They will give this back to you, their peers and all of their relationships.
A note from the author:
This article addresses a very basic scenario, our lives and interactions are unique. There are infinite factors that affect our need for healing and our ability to balance our emotions and soul, to connect with ourselves and others as well as help our children. If you feel that you need more individualized guidance and healing or help with implementing this practice, please contact me at the link below and we will set up an appointment to begin a customized soul healing program for you and your family.
Anasuya Devi Oyarzabal