Questions of the Soul – Part 1

Are you a wanderer with questions?

Questions of the soulAre you constantly looking to others to answer your questions and truths? Do you rely on influences outside of yourself to determine and define your place in this existence? Are you lost in your soul’s journey and not quite sure how to make it home?

This topic has been coming up lately when speaking with friends and family. There are so many options and paths in life that we can choose to answer our questions, how do we choose which one to take? Is there even a right one? If we choose this one or that one, are we afraid that we will miss out on our soul purpose or that one thing we were created to do? Have we only been created for one thing? You can see the questions can continue and it’s layers and layers deep without any answers. Where in the hell do we start when we have no clue where we will end?

So, where do we go? Let’s talk a little about the outside influences we experience on a day to day basis. Let’s be honest, each one deserves at least a blog on its own, actually hundreds or thousands, but we’ll speak briefly about each one.

Outside Influences

Self-help/personal development industry

So it got me thinking. With the booming self-help industry representing personal development $10billion per year in the U.S. alone (source) it’s not surprising that we are all looking for assistance with our questions in this area, but because of this massive industry, we are getting more and more confused about our options and what is that “right” path. Remember when I talked about trendy meditation? That idea that we have to go somewhere to find something within ourselves. This too has added to the confusion of knowing where we need to head in our life.

Trust me, I personally support this industry. I have been on a self-development journey since watching  The Secret in December 2013. I was awakened to the idea that there is more to life than the way I was living. On this continued journey I have read and listened to many thought leaders like Brene Brown, Wayne DyerEckhart Tolle, Michael A. SingerGabby Bernstein to name a few.

My personal favorite is Derek Rydall who’s focus is “Find Your Passion. Live Your Purpose. Make and Impact” and has invented the term Law of Emergence where everything that we ever need is already inside of us and we need to allow it to emerge and live through us. I love his approach because he reminds us that it is all inside ourselves, that we do not need to go outside to find our self, something that is often practiced by people who are looking for more!


We are a product of our environment. From the moment of conception (and possibly prior to that depending on your beliefs), we have downloaded many truths, experiences, beliefs, and emotions. Do you remember playing the 100 questions game? You were thirsty for knowledge and you trusted those that were closest to you for answers.

We learn language, beliefs, mannerisms, judgments from those people that are close to us. Children are sponges, sucking in all that surrounds them. They mirror our actions and our words from a very young age and also gain “absolute truth” because of the inherent trust that they put in to their parents. It’s not an earned trust, it is a natural trust and one that isn’t always in the best interest of the child.

Religion and/or Communities

Coming in close to family is religion and/or communities. Many people use religions or gospels on their quest in finding their path or their meaning of living. They are either born into it or seek it out and there are countless principles taught through religious practice. I personally spent 18 years of my life learning and practicing one religion. I knew I personally needed to experience this in my lifetime to gather certain principles and understand the value of community. It served me well and I am grateful for this time.

Social media and the internet

Yes, I’m going here! Keeping up with the Jones’ was bad enough 40-50 years Digital Media influences ago, enter in the digital age where everyone’s life is on display and everyone (including myself) can have an opinion about anything. We consciously and unconsciously download information constantly from multiple sources, people and companies telling you how to think, what to buy, how to life, how to raise your children and “oh by the way” check out how this person is doing it, don’t you want to be like them? Oh boy! I could go on and on about this one!

Again, each category could and will be expanded on in the future; however, these brief descriptions can at lease allow discussions to occur.

So what’s next?

With all of these outside influences hitting us from so many angles, where do we go? How do we know who is right, what’s a fad, what’s here to stay? Would it surprise you to hear there truly is an answer to these difficult questions?

Stay tuned for Part 2 as we explore the simple concept of coming home!

Coming home

Is meditation the latest trend?

As I took a quick survey about why people don’t meditate, it got my mind wondering…are people viewing meditation simply as the latest trend; one more thing that we HAVE to do? If we don’t do it “correct” then we won’t get anything out of it?

Is meditation trendy?Then I ran across this article and wondered if rather than meditation being trendy, maybe it’s more that we are band-aiding the mindless society we have created? Are these trendy pop-up boutiques the answer or does it make more sense to teach the basics as well as the benefits of meditation…those that date back to ancient times.

So what does it mean to meditate?

We talked briefly about it over yonder but we can also get Wikipedia’s take:

Meditation is a practice where an individual operates or trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.

What does that mean? Let’s get more simple:

It is simply:

  • being present in the moment
  • being present with your mind
  • being present with your thoughts
  • being present with your environment

All of the above without judgement. It is not something you do, it is something that you are. So think about this? If you taught yourself to be present in your daily actions, can you see the decrease in stress, anxiety, pain? It’s not about being present 100%, it’s about practicing being present so we are calm when it’s needed.

Am I against these businesses mentioned above? Absolutely not! I think it’s a great way to bring people together and give people the tools to develop their own practice. I also believe in the power of group meditation and the expansive energy it creates. I do, however, worry that it’s creating a co-dependent environment where people think that they have to go somewhere to DO meditation.

Use these facilities as a tool, just as you would a guided meditation on the internet, but continue to develop your own way of being through practice. Remember, meditation isn’t about physically doing something…it is about being in the moment.


Mindfulness versus Meditation

This is definitely a question that is commonly asked and quite frankly interchanged often in our culture. I know I have been guilty of this as well!

Let’s break it down simply…because I’m all about simple!


Being mindful is simply taking a moment to acknowledge and appreciate where you are in a particular moment. It’s about observing your breath, observing your surroundings, observing your body, and the hardest one – observing your thoughts, particularly without judgment. Mindfulness is the first initial step in working toward your own personal meditation practice.


Meditation is the state of being, an intentional practice that focuses inwardly to one’s mind and spirit. The Buddhist Center refers to it as, “a means to transforming the mind.” People often confuse meditation with an actual act, something that you do; however, that is not correct. Over time, your meditation practice will develop effortlessly and you will find that the activities that you do throughout the day will now be done with more ease and awareness.

Both mindfulness and meditation allows us to get off auto-pilot living and create a more intentional, grounded life. Begin with simple mindfulness of a mundane act. Be fully present in the act discouraging all distractions. Then, take the next step into meditation and practice simply being in the moment.