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Eight keys to living a soulful life
Key 1: self-knowledge

So you want to live a soulful life. You want to grow, spiritually, and shine radiantly. Live from love, not fear.
They call it a spiritual life sometimes and that’s fine, as long as we don’t get all spiritual (read why not here).
My book Simply Spiritual (Eenvoudig Spiritueel), my illustrated guide to a meaningful and soulful life, was only ever published in Dutch and now disgracefully marked remaindered. So for all of you who missed this opportunity, I’m outlining my 8 keys in a series of blogposts. Your roadmap to wisdom.

We need to agree on one thing first: we don’t have a soul, we are souls, having a physical experience. This automatically means we are intimately connected to the Divine Source, the Big Mind, God, fill in woo of choice.
We forget and disconnect.
Fear (container of all our mishaps) takes over.
This, as far as I’m concerned is something we need to clarify first. All neurosis comes from the ego. Of course the ego doesn’t exist, in the sense that we can point at it in our bodies or remove it from anywhere. It’s those parts of our mind that construct stories about a separate self with an identity and a story. Our fear is based in that sense of being separate and believing that the death of the body means the death of that precious self (oh and by the way, the smallest insult or neglect is taken as a death threat).
So, when I say self-knowledge is (a) key, I don’t mean dissecting that precious self lower case, endlessly digging in its past, constructing stories around it and finding explanations for why it does what it does. How it operates, all comes down to the same thing: it believes in its own illusions. It needs to wake up from its dream.
The first step on your path to becoming a wise woman, is to see that constructed self for what it is. No need to despise, condemn or get rid of it. Just take it lightly. Breathe some space around it. Don’t fight it, but don’t allow it to be self-righteous and claim it’s ‘right’. Uproot its belief system, see through its motives.

Practice: Look in the mirror

Want to know what your ego believes about the world and its place in it? Look around – the world is your perfect mirror. What do you see mostly, arguing people or harmony? Beauty or sleaze? Chaos or order? Success or mishap?
Another great practise is to go out into nature and find a stone or branch to represent you. Now describe it in detail. What have you just described yourself as?

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