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What’s a More Soulful Way to Live?

“What’s a more soulful way to live?  What’s a way that I can benefit from the dynamism and prosperity of American society without having to play by these rules that keep us in a holding pattern?” – Rolf Potts, from his Deviate podcast

Leave it to Rolf Potts to ask the question.  The question that drives much of what I write about, and seek in travel and reading and gardening and hiking and in lingering solitude in the early light of dawn and the spaces in between notes and in the eyes of kindred spirits.  What’s a more soulful way to live?  And this is the path I live my life on.  Travel might not be as readily available in this moment, but it will return in time.  In the meantime there’s this living thing to do, and why not make it a dance instead of a holding pattern?

 The world is alive around us. I see it in the trees as the wind swirls the leaves and branches bounce in delightful prances. In the leaves and flower buds earnestly unfolding and reaching for the light. I hear it in the birdsong and buzz of pollinators and I feel it in the dampness of the earth after a night of rain. And we are alive as well, at least for now. Shouldn’t we dance while the music’s still playing?

I’m very good at creating to-do lists. Projects to complete, places to go, bucket lists of experiences and other such compilations. The question, what’s a more soulful way to live? is a useful lens for planning the future, but I find it as valuable as an earnest sounding board for the moment. How do I highlight this moment in time soulfully? How do I fill my remaining days with a more soulful life? Both questions have value. Life is best lived in the moment, but with a realistic eye on where you’ll be tomorrow, should it arrive.

Collectively it feels like we’re all in a holding pattern, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live more deeply. Thoreau showed you don’t have to travel far to explore soulfully. And so it is that the trees dance, the dappled light sparkles on lingering droplets and the world wakes up around me. I find myself a witness in the moment but also a willing participant, alive and grateful for the opportunity at hand.

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