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Debra Lynn Dadd

What Soulful Living Is To Me
by Debra Lynn Dadd

To me, the soul is the center, it is the heart of all things, from which my physical life emanates.

As I have become more aware as a being of spirit, I see spirit as the soul of all life. Living beings of all forms are made up of both spirit and matter. Matter without spirit is not "alive"; spirit without matter does not exist in the wonderful physical universe of the senses.

Home Safe Home by Debra Lynn Dadd

So I experience my everyday life from the viewpoint of a spirit being living in the world of physical, biological Earth. As spirit, I am a self-determined creator. I choose to create my physical life according to the laws that renew and sustain all life. Just as if I wanted to bake a cake, I follow the recipe that results in a delicious cake.

In our modern American culture, we are focused more on our existence in the physical than on our spiritual nature, which is the soul of our lives. Because of this, we make all our decisions from physical considerations instead of spiritual. The spirit holds all the values that make life joyous. The body wants only to survive itself. Our nature as spiritual beings is to create. It is our joy to bring life into being. In times past, we humans spent our time creating the stuff of our daily lives--growing food, baking bread, weaving clothes. All life was supported by local ecosystems. Natural resources were made into useful life-enhancing products by the people who lived in those ecosystems just as a bird builds its nest from materials at hand. This is a soulful life to me.

After just over a hundred years of industrialization, today we have lost our role as creators, our skills of creation, and our connection to the source in nature of the materials of our daily lives. As a species, we have forfeited our self-determinism to survive and are now dependent on multinational corporations to create our world.

Though my work thus far has been as a consumer advocate specializing in health and environmental issues, as I become more aware as a spirit, my viewpoint is changing. I am moving beyond acting as a consumer in my daily life, To consume is to destroy or expend by use, to use up, or to spend wastefully. I'm not suggesting that we all become self-sufficient. But there is a difference between consumerism and commerce. Commerce is about an interchange of ideas, opinions, or sentiments and the exchange or buying and selling of goods. We can certainly have commerce without being consumers, in a way that is soulful, as we all work together to provide for all and sustain the Earth as well.

Consumerism arises from the need to fill an internal emptiness with something. The only antidote I know is spirit. My experience is that when one becomes spiritually aware, that emptiness is filled, and one can then act in the world as a creative healing force instead of a voracious vacuum.

What makes my life soulful is being aware of myself as a spiritual being and reclaiming my abilities to be a self-determined creator in all areas of my life. This is not a selfish thing, for being self-determined includes allowing others their own self-determinism as well, and co-creating with others for the common good. It is about honoring spirit in all the world. This morning I was out in my garden picking tangerines. The tree is covered with these sweet, juicy fruits. I had such a joyful feeling that I had so many more than I could possibly need or even use. I began to think about how I could give them away to people who would appreciate them. This is one aspect of the soulful life--to experience so much abundance that we can outflow to others without any lack for ourselves. Wouldn't that be a wonderful world? Everybody experiencing so much fullness of love and life that we were all looking to give to each other?

I've learned that our own intention is stronger than any condition in life. We can create our own lives and the world in any way we choose. We do have the power in our own hands and hearts to make the world a better place.

© Copyright 2002 Debra Lynn Dadd. All Rights Reserved. 

Debra Lynn Dadd has been writing about the effects of our consumer choices on our health and the environment for nearly twenty years. Her current book is Home Safe Home (Tarcher/Putnam, 1997). She is a regular contributor to Natural Home magazine.




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