Set Out Some Soul-Time

Written by: Jorinde Berben
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In my post on my religous journey (read it here), I talked about some of the advantages of being part of an organized religion. One of the main advantages to me, and one I didn’t specifically list in the post, is that church (or the mosque, or synagoge, or…) provides a set time, once a week at least, in which you nurture the soul.

We know very well how to take care of our bodies. We make time to exercise (or know we should), we know which foods are healthy and that a good night sleep is essential to our wellbeing. But when it comes to taking care of our minds and souls, we’re less organized.

We’ve kind of started viewing this ‘soul’-thing as an old-fashioned idea that no longer really applies. Is there even such a thing as a soul? Isn’t it all just chemicals in the brain? And what consequence do these kinds of matters really have anymore?

Well, quite a lot, actually. Among these matters of the soul are: What does it mean to be a good person? How do we deal with the adversities of life? And what can we really expect from ourselves and others?
These aren’t simple questions to answer, but they are an essential part of our lives. Whether we deal with them or not, try to find answers, partially depends on our personality, but also largely depends on our environment.

If you’re not part of a religious group, or don’t attend services of any kind (there are yoga classes, for example, where these matters come up as well), then there are personal practices you can take on. Some people join circles, others find time to meditate on these questions on a regular basis. You could read books on philosophy or listen to podcasts. I recently picked up an ancient practice that I’d already long forgotten about: I say a short prayer every evening before going to sleep.

My prayer usually consists of asking God or the Universe to protect those I love, to keep them safe and healthy. I ask that those who suffer may find peace. I might ask for the strength to keep up with my day to day responsibilities (which can be overwhelming at times), or for the ability to be there for those who need me. My prayer always ends in an expression of overflowing gratitude for the blessings I’ve received. I realise that, despite the challenges I run into, I’m incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by the people I know, to be healthy and financially stable.

This prayer allows me to put things in perspective, and enter the night with a peaceful mind. Maybe you might give it a try.

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