Sometimes living soul-fully means choosing the path you don’t want to take, the one you don’t have time for, the one you think will cost you more for taking than if you didn’t right then, like the one suddenly before me today, with my daughter.
Company had just left and I had a list of “to dos” to get done—work, home, personal agendas—that were now urgent in the practicalities of living life. But then her request: “Mom, can we take a walk?” Part of me, the skeptical side, thought this was her perfectly strategized and executed plan to put off homework or cleaning up the mess she and her friend had created. Maybe it was. But it was also an invitation to soul-full living, and I knew it.
While for her it was a simple request to spend more time doing what she enjoyed, I knew it opened doors way beyond that. Her request cracked open the door to possibility, exploration, discovery and going deeper. I hesitated. Actually anquished inside. Why did she have to ask me right now? True, I didn’t have any appointments to run to or emergencies to handle… but my agenda items were still needed to advance my accomplishment in this day, in my life–phone calls to move ahead with clients’ needs, letters sent and laundry sorted to take a step forward with family chores, emails and discussions to clear the plate of another volunteer task were just a few of those “musts” in my head. If I let these wait even one more day my “to-do” list would be that much longer when I finally made it to my desk. Could I really afford to let that happen? It was the last thing the “practical” and “logical” side of me wanted to do.
But then, the practical and logical voice of my soul stopped me in my task-oriented tracks. What was a step ahead with career, a move forward in organizing the household, a moment of “necessary” accomplishment in any realm if the very core of us—our relationships, our hearts, our soul’s ability to embrace life and living—the very core was left to die, brushed aside, not given wing or breath or chance to grow and flourish? What was the point of advancement in life if the living of that advancement actually stole the time needed to really live? I realized the definition of “living” I was giving my daughter in this moment of choosing was huge. It was way beyond go or stay, work or walk. It was a matter of life or death. And so I chose the path of most resistance for my task-oriented self, and opened the door to life for my daughter and I… for that day, and hopefully for many more she and I would share in days ahead.
Say “Yes!” to the next opportunity you have for soul-full living, even if it means putting off a “must do” for later. Maybe this is with family, or a friend, or by yourself. Whatever direction, choose life for your soul. You, and those who live with you, will be so glad you did!
Orignally published at Examiner