The Soul and The Spirit in Pandemic Form

Ever wake up wondering why you are feeling low? You begin by attributing it to outer realities, like the weather, your current personal predicaments, your relationships, the tasks that preceded your sleep, the experience of sleeping or not sleeping, your physical strength or pain, the looming day’s plan or lack of plan. These realities impact your spiritual state and thus, your emotions.

Oftentimes, the senses determine our moods as well. Is there a jarring noise present? Do you smell the litter box? Are you hungover? Do you realize there is nothing good to eat and must now forage for more?

What is available to us, and also what we seek and procure are the very sparks of energy that inspire us or leave us wanting. This is the case with Spirit. Spirit, or breath, is inhaled and exhaled, granted resources necessary for life. Spirit also breathes into us an energy that comes from the divine source. In this way, we are sponges for sunshine, birds singing, pancakes and a good massage. When we awaken to source, we build a vibration that resonates with all the gifts of our world, both inside a single home, inside the neighborhood, or expanding out on a global level, and finally also into other dimensions for which we may connect through meditation, dreams, and intuition.

Spirit is that which gives us inspiration to act, to fight, to love, to hold someone’s hand, and to rest, to keep going. Spirit is the life force within and without the body we inhabit at this time.

Soul, on the other hand, is that which resides within eternally and independent of spirit. It includes our inner thoughts, an untold or realized purpose, memory – both conscious and unconscious – the history of wisdom in this lifetime and prior lifetimes, the family’s genetic imprint, the current experience as an individual entity, and the future calling to another purpose, even beyond the grave.

When we think of a soul having depth or mass, power, equal levels of shadow or light, it is so often out of our human sphere; it is one of fate and divine orchestration, especially noted only if we are paying attention. Of course soul and spirit are inter-related as well.

In a pandemic, our spirit, or life source, is limited by the experiences which protect us from illness, death, and loss, and questions our responsibility to others. We must adapt in order to keep the vibration at a tolerable, or ideally, a joyful level.

We complain and cry out because we are lost and must fight in this new reality. We are agitated and clawing for the upper hand. We are also comforted when we find that the human collective shares in this. We are then not alone, even if we are alone.

However, in order to adapt, we must also surrender to what is. We must come to know new ways to feel inspired, energized, and hopeful. And let’s face it, we are being stretched, and only the strong will survive. The strong will see that they must evolve with it. The strong will continue to use their imaginations and sheer will to their own advantage. Madness may be inevitable. Yet, madness is on a continuum, and we can nurture ourselves out of it.

We have always freely used the world at our disposal. Now our world gives less of what we know. No more vibrating in massive groups. No more breathing in the collective energy of electric concerts, the drive of sporting events, traveling with abandon, and the aesthetic of movie theaters without great risk of meeting the silent, invisible spirit of death.

The soul lives on and integrates a new piece of what it was always meant to know. This pandemic is only another part of the eternal experience. Lessons are being taught.

The question is clear. How do we keep the breath of spirit moving? How do we now honor our ancient or newborn soul by feeding its own divine nature?

Thoughtfully. Intentionally. Bravely. This pandemic has left us weary, but there is still much time left to endure.

For me, it is one simple hour at a time. What does my soul tell me? What does the divine provide? What will I do, but more so, what will I choose to believe?

I can tell you that I believe in the bigger picture. I believe in me. And I believe in us. I believe in a song. I believe in looking into the eyes of the people I love. I believe in looking into the eyes of strangers too.

I will smile. I will sit in silence until the tears come. I will do the dishes and paint and write and dance. I wlll read and talk with my family on the phone. I will spend an hour just taking a bath or tending my nails. I will allow naps. I will walk outdoors as though on a pilgrimage, seeking new roads I have not yet tread. I will watch a comedy. I will curl up to the side of the few that I can, human or animal; it makes little difference if I decide it. I will close my eyes and listen. I will taste every bite.

When the holidays hit, and I am possibly alone, I will play Little Drummer Boy and drink egg nog anyway. I will keep the rituals that build a divine source of spirit with candles and pine boughs and bells. I will be grateful I am alive in a world that will find its way back to its natural state, a tiny sprout of green among the burnt remains.

I will dream of the day, not so far from now, when a warm mist rises off the morning streets, the children of God delight in the fragrance of lilacs and wet soil, and the earth swells with hope.

The Plateau of Summer

The best part of summer for me is that 3-week period right after the 4th of July. A sweet long stretch of open softness. A plateau upon which we may tread naturally and calmly, or pause and bask under the vast skies with nothing but what we individually choose before society requires more.

We come upon a great big beautiful WHAT NOW?

Ralph Blume said, “As I cultivate my own nature, all else follows.” In keeping with such a wondrous philosophy, I encourage you to harken back to this wisdom and ‘cultivate your own nature’ now. What would that look like? Who do you wish to be now?

The essence of living a spiritual life implies synchronizing two acts: First, to do the footwork of manifesting what you really want, the actual completion of logical tasks. This could range from getting yourself some coffee to building schools in the Middle East. Second, to have faith that something divine is supporting you and will provide the momentum and outside variables required.

I do. And I trust.

I keep doing. And I keep trusting.

If I am not doing what is needed, I pay attention to the changes directed by my intuition, the “messengers” around me, my experiences including dreams and unexpected sparks of thought, and I keep going. This is how the divine keeps me between the lines on my path to success. I am always listening, watching and wondering.

Nonetheless, there is also a time to understand that what I do may be nothing. Sometimes I choose to be still or be patient or just mentally prepare. This is not a justification for procrastination, that absurd dysfunction steeped in fear or defiance. I am talking about knowing that timing is important and impulsive, sloppy action is not helpful.

My father used to describe my mother as peripatetic, a constant movement, a nomadic existence, and in her case, it was meant as “unable to stop moving.” He felt she was too nervously erratic.

My mother would likely suggest that his big cushy chair was a bog of muck where he could not be truly living.

I learn from my elders. I find the solid ground of the mesa’s flat top. I move, but I move slowly with intention.

I will spend each day now curiously observing myself as I meditate, meet strangers, walk the city alone, make myself a meal, listen to a friend, write, paint, and share my ideas.

I know my station, my post, my purpose and my plan. This is a result of spiritual living. I don’t have to rush, nor run in circles. I can cultivate my nature, which is to create and to bravely share my creations, and trust that all else will follow.