Soul Food

While I wholeheartedly believe in living life to the full, sometimes it becomes a little too full. A few too many items on the to-do list, too many trips planned, and too few moments to spend staring out the window. Or listening to a new song. Or reading a book.

For years, I wasn’t able to identify what it was that made me feel alive. I knew it wasn’t my job or my checked off to-do’s or my fight to maintain a mold free shower. Mothering made me feel alive, but more in the way that jumping into an ice cold pool makes you feel, simultaneously painful and exhilarating. What I discovered was that I am wired for words and art and beauty.The things that make me feel most whole, are not the things that are valued in this ‘Just Do It’ kind of world. Let’s be honest, ‘photograph a sunset or read a poem’ look slightly ridiculous on anyone’s to-do list.

And so a cycle of denying those desires begins until I can’t even visit a friend for lunch without guilt creeping in. I’ve lived a lot of my life feeling guilty. Guilty that I’m not as productive, busy, or capable as you or him. Guilty about needing time to read and write and think when there is a huge pile of garden rubbish mocking me from the yard. However, I’m not me without this time, this soul food, and I feel a little smaller for the lack of it.

I haven’t worked my way out of the guilty cycle yet. I’m getting better, but I’m still a good girl at heart, and good girls always want to do the right thing. For this reason, I am so looking forward to Emily’s new book ‘Grace for the Good Girl’ (releasing next week). Hop on over to her blog, Chatting at the Sky, for more on her book and her life as a recovering good girl. Stay a while and let it feed your soul.



  • This is such a great post for me to read right now. I find myself sneaking away in the middle of unpacking a box to step out onto our back deck to catch a peak at Mt. Hood. It’s an instant reminder of how lucky I am to have this opportunity to live in a new place surrounded by the beautiful things I can’t see back home. Everything else is small stuff, and I’m going to try not to sweat it.

  • Thanks for this post – you really got me thinking today. I totally sympathise over the ‘guilt’ thing – I know most of mine is what they call ‘irrational guilt’ ie unfounded, but it still plagues me. In fact, you inspired me to blog on the same topic!

  • I’m so glad you’ve discovered your need for soul food, for the things that nourish you.

    Reminds me of that line on the airplane that the stewardess says when she’s going through the safety spiel. “If you are traveling with a child, put the oxygen on yourself first and then assist the child with hers.”

    To be a great mother, you need to be alive, healthy, breathing.

    (I guess I’m mixing metaphors from food to breath, but you get the idea.)

  • Hopping over from a link on twitter…

    True words on living authentically to what nourishes you…it’s a journey, right? Thank you for this post. A reminder to surround myself with what feeds the soul.