Nurturing My Soul

“Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?” – Horace

Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC – Rome, November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. The adage, Carpe Diem – literally, “pluck the day”, but more commonly referred to by “seize the day”, was written by Horace. He is generally considered one of the greatest Latin poets. His themes centered on “an appraisal of simple life.”

Stop and consider how quickly we run to the doctor when something inside our bodies is amiss. I know when my wife or child are not well I insist that they find out what is wrong. When business is slow I hasten to solve the problem. When my golf swing is off, which is always, I immediately call the pro or go to the driving range to correct what is wrong. Are you getting the point? We all run as rapidly as we can to correct, heal or improve any state of our lives that are out of balance, yet when it comes to our spiritual lives and our core being, we wait and wait and wait, believing that time will make it better.

I had the blessing of teaching a class at Nova Southeastern University – Life Long Learning Institute on Nurturing the Soul. The class was made up of very alert, bright, engaging and confrontational retiree’s.

They defined their souls as: the core part of their beliefs, feelings, attitudes and egos; their innermost selves; their deepest emotions – love, hate, anger, passion and sympathy.

The core part of their beliefs, feelings and attitudes; their innermost selves, and how little time do we spend on nurturing the core parts of ourselves? Very little is my experience. As we move through Chanukah and the Christmas/Kwanza seasons, we’ll experience a wide range of emotions from joy to sadness. The holidays evoke happy and cheerful memories as well as sad and depressing ones.

I would like to offer some suggestions for ways we might all nurture the “core part” of who we are during these holidays and beyond. Please don’t analyze them. Just pick the ones you like, do them and reap the benefits.

They are:

  1. Prayer
  2. Meditation
  3. Gratitude List
  4. Time in nature
  5. Deep breathing
  6. Naps
  7. Physical activity
  8. Go for a walk and inhale your surroundings
  9. Experience your sense of smell
  10. Laugh, laugh and laugh some more
  11. Change your posture and breathing
  12. Get a massage
  13. Listen to music that connects to your passion
  14. Spend time in the present
  15. Eat slowly and savor the taste
  16. Dance with yourself
  17. Imagine whatever you can
  18. Soak in a hot tub with a candle and music
  19. Bake goodies that are healthy
  20. Bake goodies that are not so healthy
  21. Visit with friends and loved ones
  22. Visit a museum or art gallery
  23. Write your own poetry
  24. Perform a random act of kindness
  25. Say yes to a new experience

My prayer for you is that you feel alive, express joy, give thanks, help others, connect to the God of your understanding or to the powers that guide you, be in the moment and above all else, love and nurture you just because you can.

Hugs and Blessings,
Rabbi Mitch

%d bloggers like this: