The Art of Strengths Coaching

S is for Stimulation And Solace For The Soul

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How do you stimulate your soul? How do you, when appropriate, find solace for the soul?

Some activities may, of course, satisfy both needs. Doing these things may increase your strength to give to other people. Let’s explore these themes, starting with stimulation.

People need to nourish the deepest part of their being. Here are some ways that individuals say they make this happen.

I stimulate my soul by:

Counting my blessings … Working in the garden … Walking for an hour each day … Listening to music … Doing creative work.

Encouraging people … Being with kindred spirits … Being with my animals … Creating beautiful things … Studying success.

People sometimes nourish their souls by giving. They may love to nurture plants, animals or other human beings. Giving to other people can lead to them experiencing what is called The Helper’s High.

Piero Ferrucci believes that beauty can nourish the soul. Beauty is more than an extra, says Piero, it is a basic necessity in life. Writing in Beauty and The Soul, he explained:

All of us, in one way or another, seek beauty. We know it brings happiness and wellbeing.

Some manage to see the inner beauty of people: generosity, intelligence, honesty. It is a beauty less evident, but deeper and more lasting.

Beauty, then, brings us back to the here and now. In the presence of beauty it is harder to be distracted.  

To follow the way of beauty means to live in a state of mindfulness that does not admit distraction or escape.

We are here with our whole being. This is our kairos, as it was called in ancient Greece: The moment of opportunity, the timeless instant when revelation comes.

People also love to do soul work, rather than just salary work. Pursing our labours of love engages our whole being and can bring a sense of satisfaction.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things that stimulate your soul.

Describe the specific things that sometimes result from doing things that stimulate the soul.

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People sometimes need to give solace to the soul. Different people do this in different ways.

Some may spend time in their version of a sanctuary. They may sleep, walk, read, talk with friends, play music, pursue spiritual paths or meditate. They relax, reflect and rejuvenate the soul.

Some pursue activities that provide a sense of purpose. They may spend time gardening, painting, running, cooking, writing or whatever. They find that doing such satisfying work helps to re-stabilise their soul.

Some do practical things that can bring a sense of peace. Here is an example from my own life.

Several years ago the calm of the countryside where we live was interrupted by noise pollution. Polite requests to the perpetrators were unsuccessful, so we looked for another solution.

Opting for the sound of water, we saved enough to put a waterfall in the garden. The falling water overcame the other noise, which has since disappeared. The pond also attracted wildlife that has brought other riches to the area.

Piero Ferrucci, who works as a psychotherapist, has written about the power of beauty and kindness. He believes that both can nurture the soul.

Beauty is the perfect medicine, says Piero. Here is an excerpt from his thoughts on this topic. You can discover more via the following link.

http://www.pieroferrucci.it/kinder.html

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The experience of beauty itself is freeing, nourishing, uplifting, and transforming.

I am talking about the beauty we may find in a great variety of contexts: in nature, at a concert, at an exhibition.  

Also in everyday situations: we may find beauty in the reflections of the sun on a piece of metal, or in the shape of a fallen leaf, or in the pitter-patter of the rain.  

Most important, there is such a thing as inner beauty: for example, the beauty of intelligence, of caring and generosity, of vivaciousness and humour.

The experience of beauty makes us open, spontaneous, empathic. In such a state we are more drawn to altruistic attitudes and behaviour.

Much of my time as a psychotherapist is devoted to helping people to treat themselves better. 

They need, for instance, solitude and silence, or nature, or time for play, or greater appreciation from others, and the chance to express themselves.  

And they need beauty. If it remains unfulfilled, we feel uncomfortable.

As we know, the moment we are satisfied and our needs, including the deeper ones, are met, we feel at peace and are better disposed to the world.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking to the future, how can you stimulate and, when appropriate, provide solace for the soul?

What may be the benefits – both for you and for others? You may, for example, find even more strength to help other people.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do in the future to stimulate and, when appropriate, provide solace for the soul.

Describe the specific benefits of doing these things – both for you and for other people.

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