What is Mentoring the Life of the Soul?
The name evolved out of 26 years of gathering different healing modalities and studying with various mentors.
My work is mentoring. Mentoring the life of the soul. What I advocate is living a soul life. I listen, witness, and mentor. The soul life is the most neglected and dishonored resource we have in our lives. We have to bring the soul back to the center of our lives. I find that most people are suffering from feeling at odds with their soul life, and this is because the culture we live in is image based and not soul based. Most people don't feel a real sense of belonging in this culture. They feel like misfits, like they're living on the fringes. People need their souls to be welcomed. And what is the soul? There is no way to define what the soul is, but we know when we're in the presence of a soulful person or a soulful experience. Qualities of soul are authenticity, depth, dreams, suffering, deep relatedness, singing, dancing, storytelling, poetry, all the arts.
Mentoring the life of the soul means listening to and welcoming the wildness of the soul into our lives. It means seeing a crisis as a sacred crisis. It means honoring symptoms as the deepest desire of the soul. It means being devoted to what Plato called the "daimon". According to the Greeks, the daimon is believed to be the genius we are all born with. What would our lives be like if we were in service to what calls us most deeply? Our gift, our genius is the acorn that must become the oak tree. We all come to Earth with gifts. Mentoring the life of the soul means listening for the gift through dreams, symptoms, and relationship problems. One way to know what your gift is, is to ask yourself "What is the thing I cannot not do?"
When a man or woman is in service to their calling, their genius, life begins to fall into place. However, this may also mean we need to leave a marriage, a job or move to a new community. The daimon is not neutral, it wants what it wants. When we are true to the life of the soul, our relationships and our bodies get healthier. Life has more of a flow.
Whether I'm sitting with an individual client or a group, there are three things I look for as core to the life of the soul: purpose, passion and belonging.
Purpose is your gift.
Passion is your relationship to your desire, your fire.
When we are truly living in our gift with passion, we belong to our life.
Mentoring the life of the soul means embracing all aspects of our life. We welcome sadness, confusion, depression, stuckness, and grief, because these shadowy places carry tremendous gold inside of them. Our job is to access that gold. To do this, we welcome the darkest, most shameful parts of ourselves with kindness and mercy.
Mentoring the life of the soul honors beauty and the elements - fire, water, earth, nature, mineral, air. Honoring the elements means honoring the body. One of the most vital qualities of living a soul based life is living an embodied life. Everywhere we turn in our culture, life is abstracted and conceptualized. This keeps us in our heads and we become disconnected from our bodies. Mentoring the life of the soul celebrates the body as our sacred temple. Mindfulness is a way of quieting the mind and entering the deep wisdom of the body. An embodied life is a soul life.