Something I’ve heard before is, “I get the Worthy part but what do you mean Soil?” I thought I would go into that a bit today.
Soil - it’s you as a person, you as a soul, a spirit, a person with emotions, thoughts and feelings. How do you care for those parts of you, your soil?
There are so many ways that you can care for yourself physically, right? Exercise, having a healthy diet, drinking lots of water. Physical health can be easier to talk about because it is what we can see. Our emotional, mental and spiritual health cannot always be seen and therefore can be overlooked. So how can we practice intentionally caring for our soil?
I don’t have the answer for you. I do however have some things that I have practiced and/or learned along the way that perhaps you would find helpful.
- Identify your support system
- Identify your emotions
- Identify your values
You may have noticed each one starts with “identify” and that is because we often move quickly and don’t really realize or reflect on what is prompting those actions/movements. So let’s go through each one.
Identify Your Support System
I chose to place this as #1 because confronting your emotions and/or values may bring things up; you may find it helpful talking to someone about those things so knowing who you can go to is significant.
When I was around 13 my dad once told me “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Some context to this story, dad told me this after I had left a church service to use the restroom and he felt I was gone too long - little did he know something had just not (AT ALL) sat well in my stomach.
Back to the saying, in wanting to tend to my soil, I have found it so important to take inventory of who is speaking into my life, who am I surrounding myself with and calling “friends.” Who am I confiding in and what is typically the response I get? We all grow and change, therefore it is OKAY and normal if the people that we used to go to are just not the right fit anymore. Good questions to ask yourself are: when I go to my support system are they hearing me? Are they leaning into what I am saying? Are they jumping straight to giving advice or providing a solution to my “problem,” are they jumping to validate that what I did is fine, “as long as I am happy,” or opposite jumping to shaming me, even if they don’t mean to necessarily.
We can all grow in our communication and if your support system is open to feedback and hearing what you may find more helpful, that’s great. Those conversations may be uncomfortable but growth and increased connection can come from it. However, if you’ve tried providing feedback and they are just not being open to hearing what you need in times of trouble, then perhaps it’s time to look for other people that could be a healthier support system.
Friendships, mentorship, counseling, these are great ways to tend to our soil. In times of trouble our support systems are often what helps us move forward. A big part of tending to your soil is knowing who can tend to it, when you can’t.
Identifying Your Emotions
“Do what feels right”
“Go with your gut feeling”
“As long as you’re happy”
These are just a few phrases I’ve heard over time, it’s no secret we rely heavily on how we feel, our emotions. Learning how to identify what it is we’re feeling then, is all the more important.
Feeling happy is so important, yet there are times where I have to make tough decisions, where I have to be okay with not feeling happy or comfortable and actually feel the discomfort. There are times when pain is so heavy and I want to run away from that feeling, but as David Kessler says, “what you don’t feel, you don’t heal.” We live in a world where it is so easy to numb through social media, shopping, marathoning netflix, hulu, you name it, then there are alcohol and drugs, etc. A soil that numbs long term is not a healthy soil.
Through my own experiences I have found that I can tend to my soil in the best way when I am real with how I am feeling. That means naming and sitting with my feelings (not wanting to move past them quickly); that means voicing my feelings instead of neglecting and suppressing them; that means being okay with not feeling happy all the time.
The more I can practice identifying my emotions the more I am able to truly see what my soil needs…do I need alone time? Do I need to talk to someone? Do I need to apologize even though it feels uncomfortable? Do I need to forgive? Do I need to make time for something that refills my cup? Do I need to re-organize my priorities?
Identify Your Values
This one may be a surprise. Your values are those things that intrinsically drive you to believe what is okay and what is not okay. However, with current culture sometimes we move based on emotions and not so much reflection of what we truly believe. Your values tend to go back to how you were raised, what you were taught to hold as important, some of which was explicit - like being told “this is a family value”- and others were picked up implicitly, like unspoken messages.
It is good to take inventory of your values because there are things that perhaps have changed, as in you don’t value the things you once did or there could be things that you didn’t hold as a value but now you do. We are humans, we evolve, we learn, we change and so can our values. When we are clear on what our values are, we are better at prioritizing our social life, our schedules, our eating habits, our life.
Are you living true to your values? Reflecting on this can alleviate so much heaviness in our hearts. I’ve been told that once someone took inventory of their values, their friendship circle changed, their support system looked different and they felt more at peace.
Tending to your soil is not just getting a manicure, going shopping, or having that cafecito. Tending to your soil can be as simple as those things, however it can also look like taking a deeper dive into yourself and getting to know who is speaking into your life, naming and sitting with your feelings, and taking inventory of whether you are living to your values.
Does this make sense or is it a skeptical outlook, you tell me.