You know that feeling when you’re in a crowded room and yet you feel desperately alone? Or when you have a conversation and it all feels just a little bit meaningless and shallow? Perhaps you have an intuitive sense that something is missing from your life, but you’re not sure what? You’ve ticked all of life’s boxes—career, family, friends, fun, fitness, and health. Yet inside of you, there remains a deep longing for something more.
This is what I describe as “soul sickness.” We have lost our much-needed anchors of community, elders, shared values, commitments, and a faith in that which is “bigger than us.” When nothing has meaning, purpose, or depth, it’s a recipe for a lonely and fearful existence.
So, what can we do about this? Well first of all, it’s important to show yourself some compassion. Most of us wrestle with soul sickness at some point in our lives. It also doesn’t mean you have to give away all your worldly goods and go live in a nunnery (unless you want to, of course)! There is another way: a middle ground, which allows us to enjoy the abundance of modern living, while staying connected to the deeper dimensions of life.
Here’s a few “ingredients” for the antidote to our collective soul sickness:
1. Seek out deeper connections with other like-hearted souls.
2. Bring more ritual into your life and make the everyday sacred.
3. Reconnect with your wonder and awe at the many miracles of life itself.
4. Establish a meditation or prayer practice that moves you beyond the egoic mind.
5. Slow down to allow your intuitive wisdom to be heard and guide you.
6. Spend time in solitude and nature, reconnecting with Mother Earth.
7. Gratitude practices are fundamental for soul-full living.
8. Find ways to love and serve within your community.
9. Allow your soul to speak through creative expression—sing, dance, paint, draw, write, or sculpt. Take your pick.
10. Connect with your ancestors, honor them, and allow them to guide you.
11. Remember that everyone needs an elder to hold their hand. Find yours.
Through incorporating some of these into your everyday life, you will gradually clear away the debris covering over your own soul. In time you will rekindle your faith in the bigger picture of life and begin to feel full from within. Love itself will be your guide.