Soul Food

    c.111w pantry for the soul

    The body you have at 20 is not the body you will have at 50. What is required to keep your 20-year-old body at optimum health will differ from the needs of your 50-year-old body. However, in both cases it is recommended you eat a varied diet. That diversity supplies the various nutrients you need.

    With many areas of your life requiring variety (diversifying your stock portfolio for financial health, cross-training for physical health, always learning new things to strengthen your mind), why is variety for your psyche and soul not discussed more? Is it because there is a one-size-fits-all attitude when it comes to the subject?

    Many belief systems contend the soul and spirit are infinite, while the body is finite. Accepting that premise, it seems logical the care and maintenance of your psyche and soul deserve as much attention — if not more — than your body.

    The purpose of a food pantry is having various ingredients on hand, so when it is time to eat, you can readily prepare something. A well-stocked pantry will probably contain the same basic ingredients over your life span (though you’ll combine them differently to account for your body’s different needs).

    A pantry for your soul (or psyche) would contain that which nourishes the soul — various healing modalities. There are many to choose from. Yoga and martial arts tend to incorporate the mind and body. Prayer focuses more on the soul or spirit. Reiki, and Munay-ki focus on the energy of your being. Chiropractic, acupuncture, and acupressure focus on the body. TAT focuses on deep rooted cellular matters. These a just a few.

    Detractors are quick to tell you these healing modalities are hogwash. That only quacks and New Age Tree Huggers are interested in them. To those accusations, please consider this is your life. Yours! Not Aunt Matilda’s. Not Uncle Steve’s. And most certainly not your neighbor’s son-in-law’s wife’s best friend’s brother’s.

    The fact is, the more ingredients you have in your pantry (and know what to do with them), the better. When that “awful,” “or blah, or even “Hmm I’m feeling agitated” happens, you will go to your pantry (soul or psyche), see what “ingredients” you have, and put together a satisfying and nourishing “meal.”

    Rather than poo-poo and immediately dismiss an alternate healing modality, check it out. It might resonate completely, or not at all. Either way put it in your pantry. Just as your 50-year-old body doesn’t resemble your 20-year-old body (nor have the same nutritional needs), so your 50-year-old psyche and soul have different needs than your 20-year-old psyche and soul.

    By keeping your pantries well stocked — including those modalities (ingredients) that didn’t resonate at first encounter — you will always be prepared to nourish your psyche and soul. And when at some later date, you find yourself saying, “I remember back when I was exposed to that alterative healing modality [fill in name here]; I think it might help with the present situation” you have that modality near at hand, for yourself or to pass on to another.

    Unlike food for the body, there are no expiration dates on food for the psyche or soul. Also, when you give a can of chili away, it is gone. When you give away (or share) a modality from your psyche or soul pantry, you still have what you’ve given away, as does the recipient.

    The whole idea is to make life work for you. Make it the best it can be given your make-up, constitution, and circumstances. So diversity. Keep a full pantry. Here’s wishing you fun exploring, investigating, and incorporating alternate healing modalities into your well-stocked pantries.

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    Heewon Azad - April 10, 2013 - 10:05 am

    I love you are 50 years old; and share exactly what I feel. I am going through so many changes this year; mentally, psychologically and physically. I am struggling to accept the changes. Readjusting is harder reality.

    It was a wonderful essay. I am going to share with my friends.

    Tana Bevan - April 10, 2013 - 3:11 pm

    Yay for sharing the post and my site. That’s definitely a good! As for getting older, that’s a mixed bag.

    Being here, and of relative sound mind and body, beats the alternative, true. But getting older was to happen to other people, not me. (Gravity was supposed to pass me by, as were those stubborn little hairs which show up uninvited in strange places! Haha)

    Still, all things considering, I’ll take the getting older … if for no other reason than I’m curious to see what happens next.

    Here’s wishing you peace of mind and acceptance of the changes in your life.

    Tammy Bleck - April 14, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Oh, so true! I must confess that I tried Yoga and was asked to leave because my grunting and whining was distracting the other attendees. Ouch! It’s not for everyone. The key is to keep looking. And I did. Long walks with no music, no conversation, have been my salvation on many a day. A moment I give myself to look inside, not to judge but to support. Support is something I’ve learned in my 59 years and I’m a big fan of it in all ways to all people. Propping my soul and mind up to face daily challenges is more common for me these days. Too bad I didn’t know about it’s benefits in my 20’s. But then, again, I most likely wouldn’t have listened. Wisdom comes to us when we finally are still … and listen to ourselves and to those who graciously offer their help and experience. My pantry is full and I visit it often. Enjoyed the post! Well said, Ms. Tana, well said!

    Tana Bevan - April 14, 2013 - 7:38 pm

    “Wisdom comes to us when we finally are still…”. Well said, Tammy. There is great relief in realizing it’s okay to allow “what will be,” as well as accepting you don’t know it all and can learn from others — even those you’d rather not spend time with.

    Glad you have a full, well-used pantry. I’m having fun stocking mine. I find with age I’m actually more open to different ideas and alternate modalities then when I was younger and “knew it all.”

    So glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for stopping by and for commenting.