Most of the conversations I’ve had around Druidry lately seem to be based around ideas of service, and what we can give. However, there is a balance to strike, because no one can give endlessly without having something flowing back towards them, as well. Some service is innately rewarding, which makes it a lot easier to sustain, but some of it isn’t. The woes of the world are many, and can be totally overwhelming. The more attention you pay to all the things that need your energy, love and compassion, the more risk you take of burning yourself out, heart and mind. There is so much wrong, so much that needs to be done, and the enormity of that can paralyse a person.
In order to be able to participate in the world, we need to take care of ourselves, too. Feeding your own soul means taking time to do the things that keep you together and inspired. It’s about looking after your heart so you do not get bruised into numb incapacity.
What feeds you? What fills your heart with joy and gives you peace and a sense of wonder? What is it that reminds you of all the reasons to keep slogging away against the hard stuff? It’s well worth knowing what’s on your list.
For me, contact with the natural world is a must, and I normally get that by walking. I am fed by contact with other people’s creativity – pretty much any form. The more soulful the creation, the more benefit I derive from it. One of the reasons I don’t like plastic disposable entertainment much is that I do not find it nourishing or sustaining. The intellectual buzz of learning and sharing ideas, the company of good friends, the comfort of bed, the simple pleasures of good food and wine…
While money will facilitate a good deal, as an end in itself it does nothing for me. It has to be a good book, a good film, a good conversation. I’ve grown fussy, because giving over a few hours to something that, in nutritional terms is a bit like licking candy of a dry turd, just doesn’t appeal. I’m too aware of all the other things that need my time and attention to be comfortable throwing away hours on that which is a flimsy surface with nothing underneath, or worse than nothing…. I don’t like the candy enough to be willing to tolerate the turd.
There’s no one true way here. Whatever feeds your soul, for whatever reasons and in whatever way, is the thing you need. No one else has to like it or get it, for it to be true. If your soul food is sadistic or destructive, I have no idea what you do, and I’m pretty sure there are people who can only feed themselves on the pain and misery of others. But for the rest of us, watch out for the candy covered turds. They turn up in bright packages handed over by people who will say ‘you must have this’. Only your own soul food can nourish you, and only you can figure out what that is.