Soul homework came to me from my oldest daughter, dropping a little nugget about wishing to learn how to “manifest” one day. She might have heard about it as a TikTok trend during the pandemic? Or maybe she talked about it with a college roommate at a bar before this pandemic even started?
I tease because it was nothing deeper than that, lest you thought I flew to the desert and meditated on it for 48 hours in a yurt.
I called for a transformation and the act of manifesting interested me.
Why? Because last summer, my life had become chaotic and painful.
I wasn’t yet on my antidepressant (something I didn’t know that I desperately needed); I was still in full-blown hot flashy, bloated-ass perimenopause; I was getting daily horrifying migraines AND I was on a restrictive migraine-friendly diet; which meant I was bitchy because I was hungry.
And of course, there were the depressing daily current events of the glorious land we call the US of A.
I needed a fix.
So off to Amazon I went and typed in “manifest” and I plucked out the first book that popped up.
This book introduced the soul homework for me inadvertently.
The universe book led me to another book by revealing it within its pages.
I scribbled the name of the next book, The Magic Path of Intuition, by Florence Scovel Shinn, and instantly placed a hold at my local library.
Florence’s book then pointed me to another book, so I scribbled the next book down and held that one at the library. I should mention that the next book wasn’t Florence’s recommendation, but the person who wrote the Foreword of her book.
The point is, it doesn’t matter in what form the books come to you. It was this maze of books that were revealing themselves to me and building an experience that was extraordinary.
Each book was opening my mind to new and fascinating ways of reasoning. I wasn’t always complying with everything each book was teaching me, but I was hearing different views, growing into a stronger version of myself. I was facing my fears, challenging myself, and trying to broaden my manner of thinking.
I assumed I was open-minded before I started doing this soul homework; I was not. This has helped me to be more patient and to understand that we are all learning, and even as I compose this, some of you might not accept this process I am writing about.
And that is okay!
I have had several people message me to ask me how they could do this in their lives, so I thought it might be easier to write a post about it. I am including this in my book as part of a chapter on “unbecoming”; letting go of parts of yourself that you may have felt you had to be. Part of perimenopause is surrendering your period, a huge “unbecoming”, so it felt appropriate to include this journey in my book.
I conceived the term “soul homework” because my soul had become overwrought by the events that had been happening. I hadn’t heard the term before, I just made it up. It was homework for my soul; the best kind of homework.
Soul homework step 1- be open
Just be open to trying something different.
Soul homework step 2- get a notebook
This part of my soul homework is optional but has developed into my morning routine.
One of my friends told me about a therapist who talked about having a journal to “dump” (not write) all of her thoughts into each day. She called it her “withholding journal” because a lot of what we withhold can manifest as pain.
This is not the journaling where you want to look back someday to read your thoughts. This is getting rid of your thoughts.
Every day since November 1st, I have been scribbling thoughts from the past and present down in my spiral notebook. Some days I have four pages worth, others I have nothing. Some days, I write in the morning. Other days, I write throughout the day.
It’s like going to the bathroom for your thoughts, you let go of the waste. Get rid of what you don’t need.
You choose how to handle the pages when you’re done emptying your thoughts. You can either keep the notebook until it’s full or you can rip each page out when you’re done.
There are no rules.
See? The best kind of homework.
Soul homework step 3- find “the” book
Your book can be any book you choose it to be!
An excellent place to start is by choosing an area of your life you want to make a change.
The only recommendation I have is to use your local library as much as possible. I have used my local library for all of my books and have saved so much money in this process. I haven’t had to purchase one book doing all of this soul homework. I also know that most libraries are not charging fees and are extending the renewal times for books because of the pandemic, so this is the perfect time to check out library books!
You can use my recommendations here if you’d like to get yourself started. If you end up doing soul homework of your own, please come back and share your book suggestions and I will link to them within my page. I would love to start a soul homework book club if anyone would be interested.
Soul homework step 4-find a space
I would recommend setting up space in your home that is for your soul homework time. If you give yourself a space to do this work, you will make it a habit.
If you live in an apartment or a modest dwelling, I understand this isn’t workable. But if you don’t share a bedroom with someone, that might be a perfect space. If you share your bedroom, maybe use your side of the nightstand.
I am ballsy and use my entire living room.
This area is next to my desk but I love I am showing them that caring for yourself in this way is natural. Like, doesn’t everybody have a soul homework location in their home? 😉
Soul homework step 5- find the time
I am now four months into my soul homework. I do it one hour every day, seven days a week. It is the one part of my day that I look forward to the most. It’s like I am giving myself therapy each day; like yoga for my soul.
I wish this for all of you, which is why I am sharing it with you today. If I could bottle up how I am feeling right now and sell it, I wouldn’t. I would give it to you because I want all of us to feel this way. We’ve been feeling like shit for way too long.
Someone once said to me “must be nice to make time to do something like that” in reply to me making time for myself. I responded, “it is nice, thank you for noticing!”
Maybe your job is your self-care? Maybe watching Netflix for hours at a time is your self-care? Maybe spending time on social media is your self-care? Maybe shopping is your self-care? That is okay! Just own it. And maybe don’t make others feel bad for making time for themselves? When I left Facebook in August, I wanted to use the time I was scrolling my Facebook feed on something else. I now use that time doing my soul homework.
Whether you do the soul homework is not my business. But I hope you can take a little time for yourself each day.
I know you see this mantra in your feeds, but I am going to say it here too; you are important. We’ve all been through a tough year. We all deserve to show ourselves love each day in whatever form that looks like that is appropriate for you.