To venture the soul; to really feel, to nurture (yourself and others), to believe, to laugh to be awe-filled.
This is what will nourish us. This is what will ultimately provide us with the satisfaction we crave.
When a friend shared this image on his Instagram a few weeks ago I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The poetic composition deeply moved me. Melodramatic perhaps, but this little tree really got into my bones.
That wash of milky light fractured by a kaleidoscopic lens flare is reminiscent of a common effect in vintage Polaroid photography, and one which holds an intoxicating allure for me. Modern day digital imagery may have all the bells, whistles and filters to capture that ‘perfect’ vapid selfie, but the way Polaroid film can effortlessly extract the delicate beauty found in everyday scenes results in a treasure trove of happy accidents for Polaroid enthusiasts.
The Power of Imagery
[blockquote align=”right” author=””]So unassuming – so seemingly raw and innocent, but powerful in both its magnificence and fragility[/blockquote]This image is so unassuming – so seemingly raw and innocent, but powerful in both its magnificence and fragility. Just out of reach of the tree’s bony pinch sits a little fluffy heart-shaped cloud. All innocence and purity, softness and light. The powerful juxtaposition of the tree’s hard, spiny digits trying to grab this ethereal fluffball is striking. Ever since I first saw this image I have been toying with the cerebral putty it gifted me. This beautifully beguiling image has been rhythmically bellowing the confetti in my brain – scattering and resettling, scattering and resettling.
The interpretation is subjective of course, but I can’t help but think of how perfectly this scene shines a spotlight upon modern life. That bare fruitless tree, rooted so deeply to the pursuit of progress (irony personified), reaching ever upwards and outwards looking for something which is so transient. Our ambitious tree doesn’t quite yet understand that it is forever earthbound, eternally anchored to the ground; it’s sole source of nourishment, protection and support. The cloud is a constant tease, edging ever further as it rides the winds of change. Moving higher, moving further, dissipating. The more the tree stretches, vainly reaching out to try and grasp that little cloud, the more the stretching depletes its lifeforce and the less energy it will have to bear fruit or blossom. And so it goes on…
The tree will never catch the elusive fluffy cloud, and it will never provide that source of fulfilment and nourishment it so craves.
What is Soulventure?
[blockquote align=”right” author=””]All too often we strive upwards and onwards in the pursuit of progress, forgetting to pay heed to that which nourishes our souls[/blockquote]All too often we strive upwards and onwards in the pursuit of progress, forgetting to pay heed to that which nourishes us. We neglect our emotional health and nurturing our soul comes a shoddy second (or third or fourth) behind work, success, fiscal achievement and all the other clouds disguised as hearts which will never truly fulfil us.
We must stop chasing that elusive cloud and instead give careful attention to our roots.
Soulventuring can be found in that moment you step out into a crystal winter morning with air so crisp you could snap a bit off and slurp on it’s fresh sweetness. Your cheeks flush pink as you take a deep breath, smiling wryly to yourself at the twinkling white lawn in front of you, utterly captivated by the flawless blanket of snow rendering everything clean and pure. Beauty reflected back at you. Wonderment.
And for that fleeting moment before your phone beeps again, and your brow re-furrows, and your car refuses tostartandyourTwitterhasbeenhackedandyourcoffeeismadewrong for the TENTH. Time. This. Week… in that flash of a moment you are a child again and everything is easy. That flash of pleasure and innocence, awe and clarity. When everything appears simple and all is once again right with the world.
Why don’t we grasp at the innocence and wonderment, try to reach for it with our bony fingers? Clasp that moment to our hearts and never let go of the feelings which fill our souls?
The Whir of Modern Life
When i’m spinning 300 plates with only enough sticks to keep 10 in the air, I know only too well that real life is a force you cannot ignore. I’m definitely a dreamer, but I’m not that much of a fantasist to think that real life counts for nothing. But why don’t we chase those feelings which nourish us? Why don’t we indulge and seek out the pleasures which satiate our spirits? Why don’t we mute the discordant whirs of daily life, just for a moment, and listen for blissful harmonious silence, sit and absorb those heart-stirring views, and seek out moments which truly fill up our soul?
So what is soulventure? This is what will ultimately provide us with the satisfaction we crave, and is what we should grasp at with our ever-hungry spindly branches which are not yet heavy with fruit.
Nourish Your Soul
Reach for the cloud of course, but instead of being all-consumed by the elusive, shape-shifting cloud, look for the precious peepholes within the tightly-bound fabric of our busy lives, for this is where we will see clarity, become nourished, and feel that surge of well-being and contentment which completes us.