Tag Archives: family

The Playground of the Soul

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

To share laughter is to connect with Soul. ~~ Alison Stormwolf

012Play is a great way to connect with others. Laughing and having fun not only helps us to bond more deeply with other people, but also to enter a deeper understanding and connection with our own soul. Laughter unlocks our resistance and releases inhibitions, thus opening us to close connections that might not arise without this mutual joy.

The soul craves connection. It wants to be understood, heard, and embraced by those who can appreciate and honor it—oneself, especially, but close family and friends as well. Only then can the soul itself play. It wants the freedom to revel in whatever elicits its joy, experiencing every aspect of fun and elation that life has to offer. However, as we all know, there are times when life could not offer less fun. Those are the times when a playful connection with our own soul and others’ is most distant, yet most vital.

Just like any playground, the human condition can create bumps and bruises amidst the fun and laughter. Yet even in the worst of times, it is often our ability to see the humor in our situation that allows us to muddle through it. Finding joy in the midst of darkness allows us to soften the impact of life’s challenges and open us to the possibilities that something good could come from our pain. The key is to understand yourself well enough to know when you need a good dose of fun, or when laughter will be your own best medicine.

Exercise

What is fun to you? Stop right now, and list ten things that you do or could do on a regular basis that would be fun. How difficult is it to create this list? Who do you have the most fun with in your life? How often do you spend time with these people? Who would you invite into your personal playground if you could?

What relaxes you? Stop, and list ten leisure 12 Dec pic2activities that you do on a regular basis. How difficult is it to create this list? Who do you relax with the most? How often do you take time to relax with those who make it easy for you to do so?

Answering these questions will help you to create your soul’s playground. By identifying what and who helps you strengthen your recreational branch of health, and by committing to doing what enhances it, you will give your soul reason to sing. You will also enhance its evolution.

No one can deny that they feel the most radiant and alive when they have had a good dose of pure fun. Our driven culture often dismisses and even denies how important simple joy is to our health, yet the lack of it drives many of our vices and unhealthy behaviors. The reality is, if we tuned into our inner joy more often—regardless of our daily struggles— our soul health would be much brighter. Instead, we keep losing sight of the inner light and are frantically searching for other ways to soothe our discomfort.

What do you need in order to commit to joy?

 

  (To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at          www.drkatherinetkelly.com, www.amazon.com, or www.barnesandnoble.com)

 

Family Relations and the Soul

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

Your soul is a dark forest. But the trees are of a particular species, they are genealogical trees. ~Marcel Proust

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A standard joke for many people is that they tolerate family holidays so that they can enjoy the rest of the year. Once we arrive in this world, we are generally stuck with the families into which we were born. In cases of neglect, abuse, or some other tragedy, this may not be the case. Whether we have a large or small family, one or more parents (including step-parents, adoptive parents, or foster parents), siblings (including step-siblings and half-siblings), grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins, the influence family has on us—both positive and negative—is lifelong. Research clearly indicates that a sense of a healthy family community not only extends our lifespan, but also contributes to better overall health and wellness.

Like many things in our evolving life, family structure has changed significantly over the last several decades. “Family” has come to mean different things to different people. The following list is a compilation of descriptions for family from several sociologists:

Nuclear Family—the previously traditional idea of family: husband, wife, and one or more                 biological or adopted children.

Single-Parent Family—one parent with one or more biological or adopted children.

Blended Family—a couple and one or more children from previous relationships.

Common Law—a couple who is not officially married but have lived together long enough to meet criteria for legal partnership; may or may not have children.

Childless Family—a married or unmarried couple without children.

Extended Family—includes, along with one or more parents and their children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and all other blood relatives; may or not live in the same household.

Gay Family—same-sex couples who may or may not have children, and may be legally married.

Because of our changing times, many people now have an even broader idea of what family means to them. Close friends, spiritual communities, and pets are now often considered part of a person’s family depending on how the individuals define the term for themselves.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at www.drkatherinetkelly.com, www.amazon.com, or www.barnesandnoble.com)

Friendships as a Reflection of Soul

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

A true friend is one soul in two bodies. ~~ Aristo

best-friend[1]No one can deny the power of a strong friendship except those who have never had one.  Everyone has different needs and comfort levels for the non-family relationships in their lives.  Research regarding the positive impact of friendships is extensive in the sociological literature.  Among other things, friends abate loneliness, enhance a sense of kinship, and help each other minimize both emotional and physical health.

In their book Rethinking Friendship, authors Liz Spencer and Ray Pahl describe the following types of friendly connections:

Associates—those who share common activities like hobbies and sports.

Useful Contacts—those who share information and advice whether for career or other           purposes.

Favor Friends—those who help each other in a functional, but not an emotional manner.

Fun Friends—those who socialize together but don’t offer deep emotional support.

Helpmates—friends who offer both favors and fun but little emotional support.

Comforters —similar to helpmates, but with some emotional support.

Confidantsthose who share personal information with each other but aren’t always in a position to offer practical help (i.e., if they live far away).

Soul matesthose who display all of the elements listed above.

Whether a person has one or all of these types of friendships, the evidence clearly shows that it is important to our soul health to cultivate relationships of this kind.  As previously noted, many people consider friends to be a vital part of their family network, which enhances your soul health.

 

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at www.drkatherinetkelly.com, www.amazon.com, or www.barnesandnoble.com)