Soul Health

(Taken from Chapter 1 of Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living)

All the evolution we know of proceeds from the vague to the definite. ~ Charles Sanders Peirce

Numerous studies illustrate the importance of spiritual and religious beliefs in recovering from various health problems. But little is written concerning how our soul interacts with—or inspires—our well-being to create overall wholeness. Even less is written about our soul’s most natural state—its evolution.

In working with thousands of clients and workshop attendees, I have come to believe that there is a complex interplay between our overall well-being and the inspiration of our soul. This interplay represents the interaction between our ways of dealing with the human condition (the everyday struggles we encounter and our reactions to them) and our deepest and wisest core. Without an understanding of this complex interplay, not only do our human lives remain unbalanced, but our souls simply cannot fully evolve.

Unlike general wellness models, the Soul Health Model emphasizes the complex and key interplay between our human condition and our soul, not just a basic approach to life balance. Because our soul’s evolution is dependent on both our life balance and a conscious awareness of our soul’s influence, it is the combination of these forces that is unique to this model.

10 Oct pic

In the Soul Health Model, the soul is depicted as the life force within an ever-evolving tree. Much like the growth of an actual tree, which depends on sunlight, clean water, and air, our soul’s evolution depends on the health of the elements available to it and only thrives when the essentials of our existence are balanced and fulfilled. In the model, these elements represent the various aspects of our human condition—the health of our everyday life. Therefore, in order for an individual’s soul to reach unimpeded growth, the individual must consciously maintain this healthy balance. This is not an easy feat given how persistently the issues of daily life get in the way. When we are overwhelmed, it is less and less likely that we will hear our soul. However, it is through physical, emotional, and other forms of dis-ease or lack of contentedness that our soul attempts to get our attention—to inspire us—in order to bring us back into balance and restore a sense of overall wholeness. Only then can our soul continue to evolve.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at,, or

The “Contraction” and “Expansion” of Evolution

When it comes to soul health, it is necessary for us to experience times in our lives when we both contract and expand. What does this mean? Essentially, it means that there are times when pulling back to evaluate, rest, or recharge are more important to our evolution than the times when we perceive ourselves to be growing and expanding. The truth is, both contraction and expansion are necessary processes in our evolution. While we might avoid or resist either process, it is important to embrace the ebb and flow as a necessary part of our growth.

As many of you know, 2015 was a particularly challenging Sick Tree aka SoulAyear for me. The long-term illnesses and loss of both my mother and a 16 year-old dog, multiple unexpected car and home expenses, a very busy work/travel schedule, stressful family dynamics, and health concerns of my own left my own “tree” feeling rather wilty. Although I take pride in self-care, regardless of what I did, I just couldn’t muster my typical amount of energy to do much more than see clients, go home, and sit on the couch with my pups. I was spent.

I “measure” my energy in percentages, and early this year, I estimated that I was functioning at less than 25% of my typical energy level. My tank was pretty much empty. In order to “fill up”, I set upon practicing what I preach about Soul Health by cutting back most activity, canceling classes and workshops, minimizing any extra commotion, and basically pulling back on anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary to get by. Anyone who knows me also knows that I don’t like to slow down. However, I had no choice but to “contract” in order to assure a future “expansion”.

fall-newsletterBeing a travel junkie, I scheduled a long weekend at the beach, took another extended weekend away at a retreat center, and planned a trip to several national parks in July with my best friend, knowing that visiting majestic sights is one of my most effective medicines. Sure enough, by August I was feeling much more like myself. Another important healing “salve” for me is to learn something new. So, throughout the summer,
I also underwent some further training that will enable me to provide many more healing and educational opportunities for others. I just returned from another soul-nourishing workshop that left me feeling much more integrated, excited to launch some new services, and much, MUCH clearer about what I will be doing in the near future.

The moral of the story? My forced “contraction” was exactly what I needed for my evolution. If my energy hadn’t been so low, and had I not heeded my typical words of healing wisdom, not only would I not have acquired my newfound clarity, but I also wouldn’t have the energy it will take in order to implement the plan that has formed over the last year. Contracting from the world helped me heal and restore so that I could expand and grow.

Although I don’t like to think about cutting a tree to look at it’s rings for signs of growth, they do clearly show that contraction and expansion are necessary parts of life. The thinnest rings indicate times of slower growth and stagnation, while the wider rings illustrate what happens when it is time to thrive and develop. Like my own reduction in activity, trees need these times of seeming stagnation in order to store up energy for the next seasonal expansion.

Fall is a natural time of contraction, one when many people pull back from typical activity to reflect and recharge for new growth in the spring. The season provides the opportunity to re-evaluate where your growth has taken you and also where you want to be in another year. Make use of this beautiful and symbolic season so that you, too, can embrace the ebb and flow of your evolution.

Social Health: Soul to Soul Relations

(Taken from Chapter 5 of Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. ~~ George Bernard Shaw

09 Sept picHumans are pack animals—we are meant to be with people. No matter how “independent” we think we are, we still depend on those around us for at least some things, and we obviously wouldn’t have been brought into the world without the help of others. In most cases we could not survive, let alone thrive without the help of parents or other caregivers, teachers, friends, neighbors, pets, and others. What makes the world go around is our connection with others and the sense of community we receive through these interactions.

All of our relationships can have a direct impact on soul healthIf I were to guess, I’d say nearly 90 percent of people come to therapy because of their relationships with others in their lives. Depression, anxiety, grief, adjustment, low self-esteem, job stress, body image, weight-related concerns, physical injuries, traumatic events, anger management, abuse, and even some ongoing physical health concerns can be attributed to either present-day interactions with others or to the ideas, values, or beliefs we were taught as children.

The social branch of soul health encompasses all the relationships we have in our lives. This chapter discusses the many types of connections we have with other people, not only those close to us, but also others we may see less frequently—store clerks, dry cleaners, mail carriers, receptionists, pharmacists, manicurists, massage therapists, hair stylists, and even coffee baristas. Many people, including me, also consider pets and other animals to be significant contributors to our overall social health. No matter how connected we are to those who appear regularly in our lives, they are all part of our personal flock.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at,, or

Physical Health—From Basic Needs to Body Language

(Taken from Chapter 3 of Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.  You have a body.  ~ C.S. Lewis

07 July picHealth is a deeply personal thing. From the common cold to chronic illness, every physical ailment has an impact on how we experience the human condition. Any indication that we are not well threatens the quality or duration of our existence, and, more seriously, it affects the core of our being—our soul. Our health is multidimensional; it involves each and every aspect of our lives, which, cannot help but suffer along with the body. When we are ill, we often feel down emotionally. Our relationships suffer, and in some cases we lose them. Our jobs may be jeopardized, we neglect our surroundings, struggle to find or maintain inner peace (which may go out the window altogether), lose sexual interest, perhaps lose money as well, and certainly are not in the right frame of mind for good fun and leisure.

In 1955, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit priest and philosopher, wrote in Le Phénomène Humain (The Human Phenomenon) that “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” And there is nothing more human than our physical bodies. They may be finished evolving, but they are necessary to the soul’s continued evolution.

People spend an inordinate amount of money each year not only on health and physical fitness products, but on beauty products as well, which demonstrates the value they place on the state and appearance of their bodies. However, this focus on the physical body often ignores other aspects of overall well-being. This chapter explains the complex effects that our physical health can have on all branches of our vitality and illustrates how our body’s health reflects the health of our soul.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at,, or

Sacred Finance

(Taken from Chapter 9 of Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

Man cannot be satisfied by wealth. ~~ Katha Upanishad

There is nothing sacred about money itself—sacredness lies in the meaning we ascribe to it. Often it is in having less, not more, that we build the platform on which our souls can grow.

08 Aug picIn his book , Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein outlines the history of money as well as the influence money has had on our overall sense of separation from ourselves, each other, and the world at large. Eisenstein writes about how communities of the world have become fractured by getting lost in concepts of money, and points out how money, rather than an inner life, has become the focal point for most people. He emphasizes that both the meaning and power of money have morphed into ends in their own right rather than the means of supplementing growth and consciousness.

Another author, Lynne Twist, provides a philosophical view of money through the eyes of both the rich and the poor. Her book, The Soul of Money, offers a broad view concerning ideas about scarcity, prosperity, abundance, and success. She interviews everyone from Mother Teresa, who dedicated her life to aiding the poor,  to others who are vastly wealthy. In her work as a global fundraiser, she has woven her experiences into her writing and captured the essence of everyone’s longing for financial security.

Both books offer views that can be helpful in developing your own financial well-being and applying it to soul health.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at,, or

Joyful Soul

(Taken from Chapter 12 of Soul Health:  Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. ~ Norman Cousins

06 June picI have long lost track of how many people have entered my psychotherapy office bringing with them their sorrows, but leaving behind any sense of joy. They have lost their enjoyment and feel as if their zest for life has completely disappeared. When asked, few can say what used to make them smile, let alone remember the last time they really laughed. When I ask what they do for fun, the all-too-common answer is “nothing.” Certainly, when people are anxious, depressed, grief-stricken, stressed, or in any other state of turmoil, their experiences of joy are rare. But reacquainting with what brings them joy is guaranteed to free them from the gravity of any challenging circumstance or situation.

Our soul is nothing without joy. Without joy we are void of all light that reminds us why we live. In times when the human condition has us in its darkened grip, our experience of joy is less tangible, and so is our connection with our soul. We cannot see as clearly how to make decisions that suit our wisest ally, and we often go further off track rather than closer to our inner wisdom. Consequently, it’s not unusual for people who are distressed to report that they no longer know who they are, as their despair further disconnects them from their soul.

Our sense of joy—or lack of one—, thus, serves as another measure of our soul health. Our sense of joy is much like the pilot light for our inner ally—as long as it is lit we are still experiencing at least some pleasure in life and are able to tolerate the darker sides of the human condition. However, when that light is dim or snuffed out, nothing seems to matter—not even oneself. Therefore, awareness of what brings us joy is of utmost importance to our overall health. Essayist Logan Smith notes, “If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.” Indeed, our souls do define us; and if we don’t listen to them, we will never find our way back home to this inner ally. More tragic is the risk of losing who we really are.

Joy stems both from the fun and leisure we create06 June pic2 in our lives and from the meaning we place on the activities we choose for recreation. Individual recreational needs may differ as widely as the people on the planet do. What we all have in common, though, is that fun and leisure not only buffers the unpleasant aspects of our human condition, but also fortifies or feeds the soul.

The recreational branch of soul health relates to both the fun and the leisure we allow, invite, or create in our lives. There is a difference between the two, though. We experience fun through “acting playfully”—reacting in a light-hearted, humorous, or jesting manner —at home, work, or social situations. Leisure time, however, allows us to find respite from our responsibilities—personal and professional—which usually represent the heavier aspects of our human condition. Both fun and leisure are necessary in fortifying our soul and promoting its evolution.

Unfortunately, most people don’t make or take time for fun and leisure. In a 2010 survey, an online travel agency found that only 38 percent of Americans use all of the vacation time they were allotted. This may not be surprising, given the standards for long hours of work in this country; however, the physical and emotional cost may outweigh the praise we get for the long hours worked. In fact, there is often a direct impact on physical health when people don’t take time to relax. One researcher found that people who don’t take time to slow down from daily life may find it harder to relax in the future since the neural pathways that produce feelings of calm and peacefulness become weaker, making it increasingly more difficult to shift to less stressful states of being. This demonstrates that our bodies are indeed restored when we are at rest or at play—and that this is necessary in sustaining our well-being.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at,, or


Intellectual/Occupational Health: Conscious Cognitions

(Taken from Chapter 7 of Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

The soul becomes dyed by the color of its thoughts. ~~ Marcus Aurelius

05 May picThe human species is known for its brain. It is the central processing unit that most defines us as human, and yet it eludes its researchers’ full understanding. Scientists remain both baffled and amazed by not only its inherent capabilities, but also by its power of adaptation. Although some species exhibit certain levels of conscious thought, we hold the bar for advanced cognitive processing.

Our ability to think is essential in the work force. According to the American Time Use Survey, U.S. citizens spend more time working (8.6 hours) than they do sleeping (7.6 hours). Work occupies nearly 60 percent of our waking hours, though many spend much longer hours at their jobs. Clearly, if one is unsatisfied, overwhelmed, or simply bored with their work, their soul health will inevitably suffer.

Life presents many other opportunities to think, solve problems, and reflect on ideas, actions, and beliefs. Students, retired people, stay-at-home parents, avid readers, volunteers, and those who explore creative or artistic talents also pursue mentally stimulating activities to enhance soul health.

Our intellectual and occupational health includes our pursuit of creating and maintaining an intellectually stimulating life— it is our human quest for knowledge and skill. Although for many this does, in fact, include a job or career, this branch of health also describes our ability to develop or maintain a strong cognitive capacity. Our intellectual health depends on mental stimulation, a curiosity and drive to learn, a willingness and ability to engage in effective and conscious thought processing, intellectual clarity and adaptability, the insight necessary to integrate our perceptions of the world, the assimilation of new concepts, exercise and maintenance of memory, and the ability to reason between right and wrong. Simply put, whether we are mentally over-stimulated or bored to tears, our level of intellectual health can affect our overall experience of soul health.

What do you do to enhance your cognitive abilities? 05 May pic2What keeps you sharp? What challenges your brain? What dulls it? When are you the most curious or interested in something? When are you the most bored? What helps you to think clearly? And what serves to distract you? How does creativity affect your life?

While knowledge is the ultimate human quest, we must also remember that knowledge also allows our souls to evolve. As we expand our minds-learn and grow as human beings- our souls expand as well. This is especially true within the context of consciousness—and even more so when we become “radical” in its pursuit. Those who become increasingly conscious about how they are living their lives open themselves to the greatest opportunities for evolution. This 3-D method of living— the ability to recognize a depth of meaning beyond what is right in front of you — allows the human condition to become our classroom.  In other words, we can learn to be more conscious about how we can best learn! Thus, our soul’s quest for growth depends greatly on how we consciously use our brains to evolve.

For more information, take a look at my recent video which shares more about the importance of “conscious cognitions”.