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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Soul Supermarket

We often forget in our daily lives that the soul needs sustenance, too.

We feed the body, so why not the soul? A healthy spirit is equal in importance to a healthy mind and body, and in my opinion, without the former you cannot achieve the latter two.

It is a sad fact of life that probably 99% of everyone that reads this will need to feed their soul. We are so concerned with the outward appearance, we give little or no time to the inward appearance, to the most important part of us.

We know when the body requires food. Society has tuned us to recognise when the body signals its starvation. We appreciate the need so much that we fix our living around eating, we have labelled certain times of the day for the act of sustaining our physical being. We have even made it into an artform, and sometimes even use it as a method of flirting and foreplay.

Make no mistake, I love to eat.

Yet, shouldn't we have times of the day that are for feeding the soul, also? This doesn't have to be everyday, but we must at least realise that the soul, like the body, knows hunger. If we starve the soul, we starve the mind and body of something greater than energy alone.

We starve it of life itself.

Feed the Soul
So, how do we know when the soul is hungry?

Do you become unhappy over the smallest thing? Even though everyone tells you how goodlooking you are, you just can't seem to see it in the mirror? Do you think that there is something missing in your life, even though you have everything or people tell you have everything? Or do you wonder why nothing ever seems to go right for you?

If I've just described you, then there's a high chance your soul is hungry.

You should feed it, feed it now and regularly.

I am going to tell you how to sustain your soul's hunger, and believe me, living life on your soul's full stomach will be so quality enhancing that you won't believe it.

Pleasure the Senses
We generally feed the body with food through the mouth.

How do we feed the soul?

We feed the soul through the senses. The Ottomans believed each sense was a journey or a link to the heart, and whatever you imbued your senses with filled the heart.

For example, if all you see, hear, smell, touch and taste are roses, then that is what will fill your heart.

The heart is the very gateway to the soul. So, you must fill your heart with things that will make your soul develop and grow through the six senses.

Yes six, not five. There is one more sense, a sense of inner sight that allows you to remove blocks placed on the mind by irrational fears from society, so as to clear up the communication pathways to the soul.

Humans are all about communication, but this should not just necessarily mean connecting with other people. We must also learn to communicate with ourselves, for then we will know when the soul craves food, and we won't have to guess.

This particular sixth sense develops gradually as you use the other five regularly to feed your soul. The more attention you give to yourself, the more attempts you make to listen to yourself will slowly result in your soul, so long ignored, in talking back.

Your inner well-being will start to glow on your face, giving you a shine that no anti-wrinkle cream or Max Factor make-up ever could. Your smile will be more than skin deep, because when a person with a satisfied soul smiles, it goes all the way down to the core. People will also become attracted to you, without knowing why.

"Come to Love" Nights
When we go out to a restaurant or take care over a well-prepared meal, we usually do this for the joy it gives other people.

When we feed the soul, the main aim is the joy we can give to ourselves, and this experience can be shared alone with your soul, or experienced in a group. This will depend on the person, though in my opinion once a person has become accustomed to feeding their soul correctly, they will become less inhibitive.

Sharing is good for the soul, too.

When I was a university student in my second year, I lived in shared accomodation. This meant the house was shared by five or six students, each having their own private bedroom, but sharing the living quarters, such as living room, kitchen and bathroom.

One of our social events was something I introduced to the house - "Aşka Gelmek" or "Come to Love" nights.

The idea is not completely original to me. When the whirling dervishes of the Mevlevi sect dance in their constant turning towards unity with their own oneness, they are "coming to love", or to enrapturement. In Turkish, "aşka gelmek" means both things.

Try saying "aşk", pout your lips into a coy kiss and say "ashhhhhk". Say it with feeling.

So, when we shop at the soul supermarket, which is every shop, store and corner of the entire world, we are looking for those things that will enrapture us and make us feel like the sound you just pronounced.

It is more than just pleasuring yourself. It is finding your core in the very essence of pleasure.

My friends were a bit sceptical at first, but I told them that if they didn't feel better at the end of the school year after our "Come to Love" nights, I'd invite a female stripper of their choice for the next year's house warming party.

Though I can't promise the same thing to the readers of this post, I do invite everyone to have at least one "Come to Love" night a week, and I promise you shortly your whole life will feel better. You'll find a new bounce in your step, because you won't be dragging your starved soul along, instead it will be walking with you in each step you take. You may even feel like running for no apparent reason, just to catch up with your soul.

If you're not a spritual person at first, just see it as experiencing something new once a week. It can even be something as simple as changing the oil essence you put in your hot Friday bath. What is important is that you make sure you are pleasuring all your senses, for example if your smell of the week is lavender, put lavender petals in the water, play some music from the countryside, hang some corresponding pictures on the bathroom wall. Immerse yourself.

Many of my friends keep in touch, and tell me they still have their "Aşka Gelmek" nights.

The next time you shop for a new book to read, or a new album to buy, do it with the intention of satisfying the soul. Then share the experience with others, have a girl/boy night in or a mixed night with your closest friends, and share your favourite movie or album of the week.

The world truly is your oyster when you shop at the soul supermarket. So feed your inner self and come to love.

My Life Handbook: Part one: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Read more about: My life | Love | My Say

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