A lot has transpired in the world over the past couple of weeks. Rapper/Community Advocate Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in his neighborhood which left our culture and the Hip Hop world in complete disarray. There’s a lot to be said about his demise, the impact/legacy his life will have on our society and Hip Hop going forward, and how we can play our part in this paradigm shift - but right now we desperately need to fill up on some SOUL FOOD. There are so many things sucking the life out of us at this moment. News reports, social media posts, and a whole lot of chatter has us going in various directions mentally. We all need to take a step back and fill up.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about feeding yourself constantly. With all that’s going on and all there is to come, I want to hone in on that topic and share some things that I believe are good TO and FOR your soul. I’m sure a lot of you may do some (if not all) of these things already. - you just probably don’t refer to it as “feeding your soul.” But anything that feels good to you and doesn’t hurt you or anyone in the process is feeding your soul. Get into my tips below.
Laugh and hold a good conversation with a loved one - There’s nothing like kicking your feet up and reminiscing with a friend about the crazy things you guys used to do in the past, or sharing your dreams with a person who has your best interest at heart, or laughing until your stomach hurts with a family member. Moments like these reboot your love meter and give you the release you so desperately need every now and then.
Read or listen to some inspiring words - You don’t have to open a book to read some inspiring words (although I recommend you do). Now days you can google a certain motivational topic or click on your YouTube app to hear some inspiring words. This has everything to do with monitoring what you monitor. You have to watch what you are letting seep into your psyche. The more you ingest empowering information, the more soulFULL you will be.
Give out flowers - No you don’t have to go to the plant store to do this one. I’m referring to speaking words of beauty to your loved ones or strangers. If you feel someone is doing a good job, let them know you’re proud. You think that guy has on some cool shoes? Tell him! You like her hair? Compliment her! The world can be so harsh, and your words and gestures can help heal it. Giving out flowers metaphorically is gratifying and therapeutic. Putting beautiful phrases and words in the atmosphere creates some good energy which eventually comes back to you.
Look for the good in every situation - The Kirk Franklin song, Blessing in the Storm has a whole lot of truth to it. When you’re looking for the good and the blessing in every situation, you’ll find it. Sometimes the blessing is harder to find than other times, but it’s there. When you operate with this type of mentality, burdens won’t look the same as they did before - and as a result, your soul will eventually become lighter and lighter.
Breathe - In yoga class, the teacher always tells us to rely on our breath. When the poses become challenging, breathing helps us through them. This applies to life as well. Taking a second to breathe deeply throughout your day is calming and rejuvenating which puts you at ease; therefore, benefiting your soul. `
Eat a good meal AND some dessert - Don’t go overboard with food, but don’t deprive yourself either. Have a good meal and some dessert every now and then. We are often eating on the go and trying to fit a crappy meal in wherever we can. Every once in a while sit down and truly enjoy a full course meal. Then get under your comfortable blanket, turn on your favorite TV show, and savor that piece of chocolate cake. Life is short, treat yourself here and there - your soul definitely smiles when you do.
Watch a movie that makes you feel good - No horror movies or mind boggling dramas….watch a movie that makes you tingle inside like Love Jones or that makes you fall out on the floor laughing like Bad Boys (yup, I’m stuck in the 90’s). It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it 100 times already…souls love familiarity.
Jam out to some good music - Listen, a good Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, or Goodie Mob song will have me going to church! And don’t let some Frankie Beverly and Maze come on then I’m two-stepping all over my kitchen floor! You know that feeling you get when your jam comes on, and something compels you to close your eyes, tilt your head back, and let out a joyous groan? Yup, that’s your soul saying you’ve hit the spot! Whether it’s discovering new music or listening to that old faithful tune that you know pulls on your heart strings - you need it. Music gets us through hard times, helps us to celebrate happy times, and gives us hope for better days to come.
Connect with nature - There’s nothing like rocking in an antique chair on a relic porch. There’s something spiritual and invigorating about it. Currently I don’t have a porch, so the other day I sat outside on the steps of a building for 10 minutes. I let the sun cover my face as I smiled at people strolling by. When I got up from the steps to go to my next destination, I felt satisfied. Being out in nature refreshes your soul. Connecting with the natural elements puts you in a better mood and soothes your mind. You don’t have to spend hours outside, just take a brief walk or sit outside for a second when the weather permits. You’ll surely reap the benefits.
Give/Help someone - I once read a quote from Janelle Monáe that resonated with me. She said, “I’m a believer that the more I am giving, the happier I am, and the more beautiful my exterior will be.” Janelle ain’t lying ya’ll! Giving is medicine for the soul. It’s healing. To see someone’s face light up when you do an unexpected, good deed is an incredibly unmatched feeling. When you give, you’re not only benefiting that person or organization that you’re helping - you’re benefiting yourself as well.
When we feed our souls, the world and everyone around us will benefit. Stay soulFULL my people.
Peace and Blessings,
- Samjah Iman
Photo Credit: keithshoots.com