Quench the thirst of my soul...
In my late twenties, I moved to Arizona, convinced that I couldn't take another drop of rain. The constant blue skies and warm sunny days were a welcome change. What the Northwest lacks in the sunshine and blue skies, the Southwest more than makes up for. I've come to appreciate the beauty in the desert- the bright orange and pink flowers on a blooming cactus, the rolling hills, giant rock formations and the amazing sunrises and sunsets. I've been here four years now, and I've loved every minute of it.
Well, almost. By the time summer hits, I am ready for a taste of the Northwest. It's not just the high temps that get me or the feeling of being completely landlocked. It is something deeper. When the weather turns hot and I can't do my usual exploring outdoors, my soul is overcome with an unquenchable thirst. It longs for the sweet smell of pine and salt water, for a crisp cool wind that chills to the bone even on a warm summer day.
As I sit in my air-conditioned office, the scorching sun streaming through my windows, I wonder... How can I quench the thirst of my soul right here, right now, without the Pacific Northwest as my willing playground? I've turned this idea around in my mind over and over again. Would a drive to the "greener" high country of Arizona feed my soul? Would my sound machine set to rain fill me up? How about a long talk with an old friend? While all of these things have proven to be good short-term fixes, I am looking for something with a lasting effect. So, I started at the only place I could think of- writing. I wrote in my journal, created brainstorming lists, and spent some time on my knees. Here is what I learned: My soul isn't thirsty for the Northwest. It is thirsty for something comfortable. It wants to be fulfilled. Now, this I can work with.
Finding comfort and fulfillment in 3 thoughtful steps:
1. Boiling Blood and Skipping Beats: You've got to know what makes your heart skip a beat as well as what makes your blood boil. In other words, determine your passions. The things that get you really excited and leave you feeling empowered as well as the things that make you tick and get you riled up. By knowing what things make you feel passion, you can begin to include them in your day-to-day life. Including passions in your everyday routine will serve as reminders of your true self- who you are at your core. These little reminders will be food to your soul.
2. Comfy Pants and a Good Friend: I was sitting in my favorite chair wrapped up in my softest blanket, wearing my comfiest pants talking on the phone to one of my closest friends. When I got off the phone, I practically melted into the chair and realized my soul felt at total peace. It wasn't just the clothes I was wearing, it was the fact that I had allowed myself to truly and deeply connect with my friend on the other end of the phone line. I poured into him and allowed him to pour into me.
Finding people who will love you for exactly who you are could be the most important step in learning to quench the thirst of your soul. These people will walk beside you, pick you up when you fall, and remind you of who you really are during those times when you lose sight of it. They will know you well enough to know exactly what your soul needs when you start to feel thirsty, and they will fill it for you- just by being themselves.
3. Spiritual Connection: No matter what you believe in, there is no question that feeling spiritually connected serves as an anchor for your soul. For me, it is the living God, the Holy Bible and time in prayer. Maybe for you, it is a deeper connection with yourself or being in nature. Does yoga help fill you up? Whatever creates a place of spiritual peace in your life, practice it every day. This will help bring you peace and balance, which will, in turn, bring a sense of fulfillment to your spirit.
Remember, we will all go through periods of drought as well as periods of thirst. But, we don't have to remain in them! By making these practices a part of your daily routine, you will overflow with more than enough peace, passion, and comfort to quench even the thirstiest soul.