When someone says, “tell me about yourself,” we typically respond with a myriad of basic quantifiers and signifiers that attest to our achievements and the roles we take on in our relationships and within our communities. We reply with an age, a job title, an alma mater, we say that we are a “wife” or a “husband,” a “parent” or a “child.” We are a member of this, a lover of that, we come from this or that city or country.
We assign ourselves these labels because they enable us to quickly determine and assert our place and function in the world around us. These are the ways in which we identify and associate ourselves in our physical form — the ways in which we perceive ourselves or desire to be perceived by others.
But who we are is more than simply what we are — it is also how we are. And by exploring who we are on a soul level — on an energetic level — we have a more clear understanding of the how. We are able to see ourselves more lucidly, more completely, and we feel our place and function in the world with greater depth, purpose and potency.
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to begin soul work is to start with exploring soul essence.
Remember that the soul is energy — that we are eternal energetic bodies inhabiting temporal physical bodies. Even quantum physics has shown that on our most fundamental, subatomic level, we are but spinning vortices of energy; That we exist in a state of vibration, and like an energetic signature, we emit our own distinct frequency into the energetic sea of consciousness around us that is the Universe.
The soul itself is a unique reflection of the Universe that incarnates into physical form in order to have a unique experience. This experience, or rather, collection and combination of experiences accrued throughout the soul’s incarnation, help the soul to grow and evolve, and thus, the Universe as a whole continues to grow and evolve.
So what is soul essence?
Like the color palette of a beautiful painting, soul essence is the unique blend of energy that constitutes the ways in which the soul wants to be expressed and how it wants to experience its incarnation. If the soul is a song, the soul’s essence is the special arrangement of notes and harmonies that give the song it’s own original and characteristically evocative sound.
To live authentically and in alignment with your soul essence, then, is to grow and evolve as an intrinsic and integral part of the Universe:
- You cultivate a deeper awareness of how you operate — and how you best operate — in the world, because you understand how you are inspired, how you are motivated, how your natural disposition feels , and how you express and offer your special gifts and personal genius.
- You develop a stronger sense of your values because you understand what resonates with you at the core of your being. Consequently, you are able to make better decisions for yourself that will mirror and echo what is true to you and what you stand for.
- You discover a grander meaning and purpose to your life because you understand how your experiences foster your spiritual expansion, and what new opportunities to seek that will best promote your continued growth.
- You feel more harmony within yourself and unity in your environment because by living authentically and in alignment with your soul, you step into the flow of the Universe and begin to effortlessly participate in the co-creative synergy that weaves it all together.
HOW TO EXPLORE SOUL ESSENCE
This is the method I created and used as a starting point for exploring my own soul essence:
Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, creating two separate columns on either side of the page.
On the left, write a list of some of the things that remind you of who you are. Try not to give this too much thought or filter what comes to mind, simply jot down the things that seem to resonate with you on a visceral level.
If you have some trouble, consider the different seasons of the year, geographic locations or types of landscapes, things in nature, weather, animals, colors, music, smells, foods, activities, etc. To be clear, this isn’t meant to be a list of things you just really like, but rather things that you feel instinctively or intuitively drawn to.
Stop when it feels natural, then on the right side, try to think of one or two words that describe what each of the things on your list means to you or makes you feel.
These are the energies that make up your soul essence — the things that you soul desires to experience and understand in this lifetime.
Here is what my list looked like:
Keep in mind there is no one universal meaning or feeling — what thunder feels like to me, for example, may be completely different from what thunder feels like for you. Trust and follow where these words lead you in your heart.
Again, this is just a starting off point. But for now, I would love to hear what you come up with and invite you to share your lists (or a portion of your lists) below — I am always inspired by your comments!