March 19, 2016

One Sure Way to Refuel our Spirit: This is What Soul Food Looks Like.

Yuliya Ginzburg/Unsplash

I needed to head for the ocean. There was fresh air out there that had to be breathed, and salt on stones that craved to be touched. My bones wanted filling by sunshine reflected off water and the green of a fir tree needle contrasting against a clear, blue sky.

I craved the feeling of free and longed for rejuvenation after these past winter months. The last 30 days of rain had nagged at my heart and kept me indoors. Coincidentally, the weather today had cleared. Good thing too—there had been enough storms.

As I got up for the day, I heard a noise from within.

“It is time for a break to serenity and ease,” she said.

But, how would I get there today, to that spot that had the magic to re-fill my bowl? It actually wasn’t all that easy at first to heed the message; to pack my wee day bag, fill my water bottle and grab my fold-up chair felt hard. My scheduling mind had many other agendas in tow.

But, when our soul needs food, it will let us know.

Things start to feel prickly, and disgruntled mornings happen too many times in a row. It confronts us somehow, our wily spirit, and it tries to direct us toward nourishment, if we are the least bit inclined to go.

There will be roadblocks, no doubt, when we attempt to place ourselves in the hands of our higher self. Our egos like struggle. Going for exactly what we need isn’t resistance-free, but often it is simpler than we know.

There it will be, that call again: “Remember me?”

It is this voice that told me, lately she hadn’t had enough. So I allowed her to manage me back to a quiet place, an empty beach with sea breeze teasing my hair and a gull swooping overhead to gossip about the weather.

Today I came here because I couldn’t get my breath in the city. I heard that inner tug pulling me, “come, come, come.”

I set my chair up on a bed of a thousand tiny pebbles, facing the sun in a spot where my feet could rest on a water-weathered log. I took a deep breath, wrapped my body in my big winter coat and blanket, sat down and exhaled. I began to unwind. The static of stress, thoughts and worries dripped out of me, and I felt languishingly heavy and warm.

As I stayed in that one spot, with the sunlight raining down and a salted rock in my hand, I thought, “I can do this. There is enough in me now to champion on.”

This place was all it took, and I was grateful for it.

Creating our dreams and then reaching for them is a courageous job and, sometimes, a tireless one. For graceful execution, I have found I need to know how to get to that extra bit of life-juice.

Trusting our internal wisdom to refuel our spark is something we can learn. It can be like a bright, packaged present we begin to unwrap, slowly, with cautious anticipation. But still the paper is peeled away, and we end up with a new prize—knowing how to listen to the calling that takes us closer to home.

So I slide deeper into my old fabric and beach chair, and with eyes closed I listen to the ocean lapping against the shore. I feel safe and refreshed. (Two words I had been searching for in town and unable to find.)

Even if it is just to an ocean, a meadow or the quiet corner of some bookstore or bedroom, we need to take a break from the leading of the mind. Tune into that note that comes straight from the heart, as she will take us to it, that place that we regularly miss but don’t seem to go.


Even if only for a moment, an hour or half a day, feed that precious soul.

Heeding our intuitive vibe is most often a gentle way to bring us back into flow.

For now, I require this green of trees, blue of skies and steely grey of ocean with the light of a sparkling sun, because this is where I was led for my fuel.

Let’s take them, those internal instructions, that tinkering and tampering within, and use them to bring us to our next soul food. For life is not always about pushing and achieving; often it is about finding somewhere, just here, to renew.


Relephant Read:

10 Minutes to Peace: A Daily Practice to Ease.


Author: Sarah Norrad

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Yuliya GInzburg/Unsplash


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Dianne Norrad Mar 21, 2016 3:51pm

thanks you Sarah

Pat Mar 20, 2016 11:04am

Thanks for this Soul Food and refueling our spirit. Love going on your journey with you. Your writing is so enjoyably descriptive.

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Sarah Norrad

Sarah Norrad was born a wild woman in the rural and rugged forests of the Nimpkish Valley, on Vancouver Island, BC. This is a place where the mountains, forests and rivers speak louder than the people. A transformational coach, certified yoga instructor, mindfulness and lay counsellor, and authoress, Sarah muses at the world through a lens steeped in mindfulness, adventure, and tenderness. Currently, she exploits the cracks in her own heart to write as a columnist at elephant journal, her busy brain to create content for others through her business and her keen spirit to sit as coach and counsellor, teaching powerful tools for success in all aspect of our lives, especially personal power. Please track down her offerings and her mindful self on elephant journal, her writer’s page or her personal Facebook, her website, Cowbird, Twitter and Instagram.