Contemplating Soul with Earl Grey

IMG_6353Sometimes it takes a gradual revisiting of complex concepts to understand the most obvious things in life and oftentimes, the revisiting in itself creates the momentum of familiarity that causes you to finally have an “aha” moment about something which may have escaped you on all prior visits. Or maybe, we just come to understand things in finality when the timing is right and we are finally ready to receive the information. This has been my course of discovering and understanding the shape-shifting, life-impacting operations of the soul.

According to Deepak Chopra in his book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, “A soul is the observer who interprets and makes choices based on karma, it is also a confluence of relationships, out of which emerge contexts and meaning that creates experience.”

What this means is that any given moment our soul is operating from a conglomeration of things: our past actions both energetically and physically, our current intentions, our moment to moment interactions and what we decide to fill them with, our hopes, dreams and desires, and anything else that is stuck in the amoebic soup of our lives. Once conscious of this, we become aware of the importance of what we fill it with and become armed with the knowledge that we can indeed create our lives going forward with a directed content towards what we really want. It requires an accountability once we know this, that we are indeed the products of ourselves and that we can blame no other thing, event or person for the course our life takes. Every thought, word and deed going forward then becomes something to choose with sacred discernment and an astute awareness of the present. The more we begin to act out our lives from the crux point of every forward moment, the more we are able to listen to that quiet voice inside of us and turn off the endless chatter that worries about yesterday, tomorrow, outcome or guarantee and we may succumb to the flow. We become a part of the primordial fluid of our own existence and steer it like the captain of a well-oiled boat.

This creates a beautiful microscopic field around all of our decisions. Our choices become crystal-clear gems made with utmost care and we become accustomed to joy, pleasure and fulfillment because we understand we are the carvers of our own experience. In the beginning, we may spend a lot of time clearing out old muck by setting straight any errant paths we may be on due to old traumas, negativity, misguided words or conflicts in relationships, but once we clear out those things, we become a blank slate of pure potentiality.

This trickles down to everything we do, say, consume, participate in and surround ourselves with. When it comes to food, it means being aware of what your body wants to eat, hungers for and why, what it naturally needs as fuel, and what comforts you most in times of emotional highs and lows. It’s not about extreme dieting or gluttonous overeating; nor is it about numbly self-medicating with sugar or becoming blindly addicted to butter and fat. It’s about knowing what’s in your food, being conscious of what you ingest and how it makes you feel, tweaking your intake to represent a balance of what you need for nutrition and what you need that fortifies your pleasure zones and about fine tuning what moderation means to you. It’s about creating your consumption patterns based on the things you learn along the way by listening to your body tell you what it enjoys and what makes it sick. We have all the information inside of us like a quivering gauge if only we would learn to dial closely into our own souls.

Every morning when I wake, the first thing I do is put on the water for tea. When I am feeling optimistic about a productive day ahead, I tend to reach for a citrusy vanilla rooibos. When I am feeling the effects of a rich-food weekend overload, I reach for a stark yerba mate or a rice or genmaicha blend deep with branches and twig essence. When I am feeling the need to alert my mind and body and shake it up a bit, I opt for gingko biloba varieties spiked with mint or ginger. When I am feeling the lull of a lazy Sunday I enter the day slowly with a potent chamomile. But for most all of the other days, when I wake up with a smile on my face and the willingness to slowly flow into the great unknown absent of a to do list but just the desire to see where the day might take me, I choose my favorite comfort brew of husky Earl Grey – which like a favorite pair of flannel pajamas and winter boots, never fails to lift my spirits just right.

IMG_6354Of late, I have gotten used to the idea of special little sandwiches to accompany my tea – also changing per the mood of my soul and a treasure hunt through the refrigerator to see which version might call to me on any given morning. Recently, my favorite creation is a slice of toasted 7 grain bread, halved and then sprinkled on one side with quality, crumbled blue cheese, a dollop of Armenian rose butter and studded with tiny, earthy filberts. Sipping my tea and taking my rich, indulgent little bites becomes a morning meditation—a self-created pocket of space from which I may ponder ideas as large as the soul.

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