Sarah Lysne: The joy of soulful living

Published 6:25 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

I don’t know a lot about this topic yet, but I will share what I have learned so far.

To me soulful living means being honest and sincere about your beliefs and passionate and deliberate about the way you choose to live. It means being open to the possibility of feeling sad, exhausted,or embarrassed, but also feeling fully alive.

When we put our heart and soul into caring about something or someone beyond ourselves, we have found a way to nurture our souls and connect to others and the world around us. The downside is when we choose to live soulfully our emotions might be closer to the surface. We may begin to open our hearts at the risk of experiencing heartache.  The story below will explain why I believe it is worth the risk.

About 10 years ago I started to sing in residential care facilities with my good friend, the late Shirley Cahill, accompanying me on piano.   It was always fun to spend time with Shirley, but I also enjoyed getting to know the residents that attended our musical programs.  I enjoyed it so much that I eventually found a part-time job as Visitation Coordinator at a church.  I visited church members who were unable to attend church.  I met an entire population of Austin residents unknown to me. Many of them seldom left their homes unless they had a doctors appointment.  I had about 50 church members to contact as often as I could throughout the year.  During the seven years I was at the church, the people I visited became very special to me. 

The visits I had with each one of them filled my soul. Loss and heartache became an unfortunate consequence of my love and concern for these people, but my life has been enriched by each one of them. I will always be grateful to them for the impact they have had on my life just by being themselves.

If we are fortunate we may find many ways to nurture our souls, but as I mentioned, the road to discôvering how to nuture our souls may not be easy, so is it worth the effort?

Join me in my next column as I explain why I believe the answer is YES!