Today’s blog explores the midlife (for most anyway), journey of birthing the soul, becoming our true self, finding the unique gift within us which is our gift to the world and which gives us a sense of fulfillment, joy, meaning and purpose. And…apparently I’m not the only one writing about it.
My New Favorite Book
It is one thing to write the intimate details of one’s personal life in your own book (Returning - a woman’s midlife journey to herself), but it is completely unnerving to find the intimate details of your life written in SOMEBODY else’s book! This is what I discovered while reading Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin (it is an assigned reading for the PhD program I’m in). In his book, and he describes in detail the personal and spiritual journey that has consumed me for the past 12+ years and does so with uncanny accuracy. Bill nails the midlife spiritual quest so well in fact that I am almost offended by how ordinary and predictable my own spiritual journey really has been. I’m disappointed to learn that I’m not unique, neither am I special or gifted in the stages that have unfolded for me in this spiritual quest…in fact, I might even be called predictable. SIGH!
Birthing of our Soul
In Soulcraft, Bill Plotkin defines the soul as “the essence of our particular individuality which reflects our unique and deepest personal characteristics, the core and enduring qualities that define our personhood, the true self, the “real me. (p. 25)” Connecting with spirit, according to Bill, is the journey of ascent where we experience union, oneness, transcendence, where we find our connection with all that is, including God. The journey to the soul, he observes, is a journey of DESCENT……in finding our soul, we dive deep into the darkest, wildest, most natural, gritty, sometimes despicable and fearful parts of who we are so that we might find our core essence….the uniquely gifted magnificent and spectacular self….the gift that is uniquely ours and that we are called to be and share in the world. As Bill also observes, all are called to this journey, but few actually partake because the journey to the soul is messy, dirty, chaotic and unpredictable and it requires us to be shed of everything that stands opposed to the greatness we are called to bring into the world. This spiritual, soul-delving journey is anything but pretty, but the rewards are greater than we could ever possibly imagine.
Soulcrafting as Returning
In the deep work of birthing our soul, we are in essence Returning to our truest nature. And here is where Bill’s universe and mine collide. My latest book, Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself, is about just this – delving into the depths of our being to find the hidden gem. While my book is perhaps uniquely feminine, as Bill also observes, whether you are male or female, it is the feminine that we are called to unearth and embrace as we birth our soul. And while I’m tempted to target Returning specifically toward women, Bill reminds that if men are uncomfortable with the feminine experience (which I’m afraid men might be in reading my book), it is due to their fear of their own unintegrated feminine, wild self. HMMMMM So perhaps my book is more universal than I think and that the spiritual process of birthing the soul which includes: awakening, shattering illusions, acknowledging guides, redefining work and love, becoming comfortable with our longing and heeding our return, is not just for women ages 30-70 going through midlife, menopause or perimenopause, but for anyone who has the courage, strength and stamina to endure the trials in order that they might find their reward.
Thank you Bill for an amazing book and a fabulous guide for the most important journey of our lives – the journey to ourselves.
Authentic Freedom Ministries