Did you know that soul food is a southern american cuisine? Nor did I until I did a quick internet search. Interesting but that’s not what I’m talking about.

Too much serious

Does your life have too much routine, responsibility and structure? Are you working too hard and pushing ahead?

Do that for too long and one day you wake up feeling flat. You feel tired. You are stranded in the desert.

You may need your beauty sleep but sometimes you need to dance all night. That’s what your soul needs.

We all need soul food

We all need to feed our souls. What we want and need may vary but soul food is what you love, for no reason. As with physical food, our tastes are our own.

What do you love? What makes you happy? What small simple things feel like an indulgence for your heart and soul?

Food for your creative animal

The creative animal lives on soul food. We all create whether we think of it that way or not.  Creativity gives you new eyes and new ideas. It also finds the fun. When you’re stuck, creativity will pull you out of the mud.

If you work as a creator you rely strongly on this animal already. Entrepreneurs use it widely too but we all need it. Even if you work with spreadsheets, your creativity may suggest a better way to present information.

When it’s time

The creative animal doesn’t like to be chained to the grindstone for too long. When life feels flat and routine, bone-dry, parched and mean, you are overdue for some soul food.

My soul food example

I woke up feeling “blah” the other day. Instead of bolting myself to my desk,  I went for a walk and got lost in the twisted streets nearby. I took photos: a towering tree stump against the blue sky, a candy-pink bubble swing, light glaring off a steel drinking fountain.

It took half an hour but I came back filled-up and happy. I found what was beautiful and interesting. It was good soul food.

Souls like interesting

Interesting can be more important than perfect.

In Costa Rica I shared a shuttle bus with tourists on a short holiday.  For hours they debated hotels, then they moved again next morning.

I stayed at La Botella de Leche (The Bottle of Milk). The walls were painted with a black and white cow print. The House of All Things Bovine. It still makes me grin.

What is your soul food?

We all have different loves and likes. What are yours?

  • What do you love, for no reason?
  • What makes you smile?
  • What do you find stupidly funny (even if it’s not)?
  • What do you wish you had time for? Could you do it for 20 minutes this week?
  • What did you like messing around with for hours as a kid?
  • What makes you light up?

Maybe you like tinkering with cars or electronics, cooking up a storm, or baking choc chip cookies. You might secretly like poetry or heavy metal or 80’s power ballads or Motown. You may love trivia or archaic languages. Maybe you want to hug trees, adopt puppies or read science books. Do it.

A little of what you fancy

Do a little of what you fancy. If you don’t, your soul will drag your feet like a toddler who refuses to budge. You may even lie face down on the footpath and scream. Probably not but it might come to that.

Let yourself slow down and explore. Stop and smell the flowers, pat the dog, dismantle the clock radio, make choc chip cookies and just eat them.

Give yourself some soul food. Sneak it in like a guilty midnight snack if you need to.