For as long as can be remembered, humans have had a fascination with souls. It has deep roots in religion and philosophy, with countless people attempting to provide a reason for its, and our, existence. A lot of this fascination stems from trying to understand the circle of life and death. Having a soul makes us immortal. Embracing this fact allows us then to try to understand our reasons for existing in this physical form.
The soul is the true part of us. The ever-developing essence that shapes our lives and merges with the energies that surround us. It is housed within our body while we are alive and released at death.
But for what reason?
The search for this answer has been at the root of many a debate over the years. It has been the life work of brilliant minds throughout the ages.
Ultimately, your belief as to why we exist and the purpose of our being here will be deeply personal to you. This is your faith and you must decide what feels right to you. No one can tell you that you what you believe is wrong. However, if you are only beginning your study into this subject, then it’s useful to understand some of the main terminology and what it means.
In this article, we’ll look at several elements of souls. You can use the links below to skip to specific points in the article.
What is a Soul?
In basic terms, the soul is the immortal essence of a person’s being. It’s an important aspect of ‘self’ for many. Though we cannot see it, we can feel it and there are actions we take within our lives that aid or prevent the soul from evolving.
Your soul is your eternal self, while your body is just the vessel you have chosen for this specific lifetime. It is the body best suited for learning the lessons you’ve set out to in this lifetime. Reincarnation is a concept that’s accepted by over half of the world’s population, however, the reasons as to why vary greatly.
Some people view reincarnation as almost a punishment. An endless cycle that we are trying our best to break free from. Other people, myself included, believe that each incarnation is a gift. A chance to develop another part of yourself and experience life from a new angle.
Whatever your beliefs, the soul is an important aspect to many. Each religion describes it in some shape or form. What is commonly acknowledged is that the actions we choose in this lifetime, affect us even as we’ve passed over.
In some religions, bad actions can result in eternal damnation. However, certain religions, more modern spiritualists and new age believers prefer to think that even your bad actions can be lessons to learn from. If you deviate off your path, even if you don’t manage to achieve your purpose, you will have a chance to reflect on what went wrong and try to address these in your next incarnation.
What Happens to the Soul After Death?
The afterlife has been described in numerous amounts of ways. What can be agreed upon, by nearly all who are spiritual, is that your being doesn’t come to an end when this life does.
So what does happen?
Although it may be impossible to know for sure until we fully experience it ourselves, recent studies into this area have pointed to evidence that there are ‘Lives between lives’.
Some of the most interesting research was completed by Dr Michael Newton and what happens to people after they die. Through his hypnotherapy, he encountered what he termed a ‘life between life‘ where we go after passing.
Many of his patients experienced the same thing. Thousands of people saw themselves leaving their bodies and entering the spirit world. There, they were reunited with their soul groups and were able to reflect on the lives they had led.
They also saw themselves planning their next lives, choosing the bodies and situations they were going to be incarnated into. These choices were made based on the lessons they wanted to learn in that life and to help them achieve their life purpose.
Each of these lives would be intertwined with those of their soul groups, also known as soulmates, which we will look at in more detail.
It’s important to note that the journey of a soul isn’t an independent journey, our lives are intertwined with people we have shared lives with for thousands of years in some cases. It is also important to remember that there is no ‘failing’ in life. You’ll always be given the opportunity to get back on the right path. Even if you don’t manage it in this life, you’ll get more opportunities in the next.
Many people will be familiar with the term soulmates, but much less are aware that we are actually part of larger soul groups. These soul groups work in order to help us achieve our goals in this life and to evolve spiritually.
They are incredibly important and a lot of people find comfort in the fact that they are part of a group that is filled with unconditional love. In fact, in many documented near-death experiences, or life between life sessions (See Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Dr Michael Newton), participants have found it hard to adequately explain the sense of all-encompassing love, warmth and compassion they experience when reuniting with their soul groups.
What Exactly Are Soul Groups?
In essence, a soul group is a collection of infinite beings of consciousness, all with the purpose of aiding each other to reach higher levels of consciousness and enlightenment. The areas in which you need to focus on are worked out well in advance of your incarnation and you will all understand the roles you will play in each other’s lives, whether they be major or minor parts.
In our ethereal realms or spiritual homes, our soul groups comprise the beings who we learn and spend our time with. Analysing past lives and understanding the events that happened. Understanding the parts that we play and the values we need to work on going forward.
Choosing Your Path
As brushed upon, we choose our current incarnation for the purpose of addressing a certain element that is required to progress on to advanced levels of consciousness. Sometimes, it may take many lives to understand and successfully navigate this lesson.
There is never any admonishment, rather an acceptance that the wrong path was walked down and a refocusing as we move on to our next lives. As we try to learn these lessons, members of our soul groups will each play different parts in helping us to achieve them, and we will play a part in helping them to achieve theirs.
There are a number of ways in which this can take place and the level of connection you have to a member of a soul group will determine what part they will play in your life. See the article on Soulmates as mirrors for more information on this.
How Will I Know If Someone Is Part of My Soul Group?
Because there are many members of our soul group, our initial reaction to meeting members will depend on the strength of your connection. It can range from a nagging feeling that you’ve met this person before, to an instant jolt of recognition or coming home.
This isn’t to say that every meeting should be viewed with rose-tinted glasses. Quite often a member of our soul group is present to teach us an important or difficult lesson. It may be frustrating, intense, challenging and more. However, there will also be good moments as well as filled with love and laughter.
Never is it one or the other, rather a combination of emotions that may lean more to one side. However, if you can recognise that someone is a member of your soul group then you can begin focussing on the lesson it is that you are meant to learn, in order to attain a higher level of consciousness.
Types of Soulmates
Most of us are aware that we have soulmates in life, many times we have more than one. But did you know there are different types of soulmates? Encountering a soulmate involves a very strong connection factor. You will feel that ‘click’ instantly, whether it is romantic or not. If it is indeed romantic then there is an immediate sense of heightened attraction, you feel each others energy and it can feel all-encompassing.
We tend to have that experience in varying degrees when we meet all soulmates that enter our lives. What part that person plays in our life after however determines what type of Soulmate that person is to you. People often get karmic and companion soulmates confused, whereas there is a certainty when one meets their twin-flame. The Soul encounter experience will be higher than any other you will have experienced. However, until a person meets their twin soul, they will often refer to a romantic companion relationship as such, never having felt the emotions that come from meeting your twin-flame.
There will always be lessons involved with a soulmate. All soulmates are karmic, however not all karmic experiences with people, necessarily mean they are a soulmate. A soulmate highlights a part of you that needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. This is known as mirroring. After some of these journeys, soulmates will passways, some will stay in your life forever.
It is important to understand the type of relationships you are involved with. Karmic relationships are not necessarily always happy ones and the lesson here could be that you need to learn that you do not need to stay in this kind of environment, or around people that do not make you happy.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
I love this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert and it’s refreshing to see in the face of so many romanticised depictions of soulmates. Even though we have different types of soulmates in our lives, they all act as mirrors in their own way – they just reflect different aspects in order for us to learn and grow.
By understanding why certain people come into our lives, we are freely able to examine the areas which we are supposed to grow.
Below are the three types of soulmates that come into our lives and the kind of issues we can expect them to reflect back to us.
Karmic soulmates are common and you will encounter many of these in your lifetime. The purpose of Karmic Soulmates is to teach you
a minor lesson that helps you to spiritually evolve.
With these types of people, we notice small things about them that we don’t like – that feel wrong to us. Here lies the opportunity to really ask why that is? Why should someone’s behaviour affect me like that? Usually, it is representative of something which we need to focus on and that’s why it strikes a chord.
This might be along the lines of the karmic soulmate being too into money, too into appearances, being too domineering etc.
Let’s break these down to see how these reflect our own emotions. If a person is too into money, that can reflect materialism and requires you to look at your own life and see what you are prioritising. Are you too into collecting ‘Stuff’ rather than experiences? This could be a nudge to re-examine your priorities and make sure that you know what’s truly important in life.
It also works in the opposite way. If your boss, for example, is too domineering. this could be an opportunity for you to learn to stand up for yourself more. Often times when someone is too dominant, we react because it makes us feel helpless. As much as we hate confrontation, it is perfectly fine to say No. I don’t accept this and do not have to be on the receiving end of such behaviour.
Acknowledging that this behaviour is wrong allows us to take positive action and change the situation, completing a part of spiritual evolution.
Companion soulmates are there to help us learn deeper lessons or overcome more difficult challenges. For example, someone may have experienced an abusive childhood and their companion soulmate is trying to help them learn how to trust again. The relationship is two-sided, with each helping the other.
There is no give on one side, and take on the other. Companion soulmates each teach the other important lessons, sometimes taking a lifetime to complete. A companion reflects back that which we wish to see and helps us work towards it.
You will feel the shock of recognition strongly with a companion soulmate, and when we are not sharing life with our twin souls, we can often have happy and life-long romantic relationships with a companion soul. However, a strong relationship can still exist without being romantic by nature.
These are people you incarnate with often and people you would have previously agreed with to address big issues here on earth.
Our biggest mirror is our primary soulmate. Our Twin soul, Twin Flame, the other half of us…. whatever you like to call it. In fact, sometimes the meeting of this person is so intense and highlights so many aspects of our own psyche and being, that we can hardly bear to be around that person initially. It is a shock to the heart, mind and soul.
However, a mirror gives us the opportunity to really examine what is there and to work on the things that need to be addressed in order to be happy with our reflection once again. This is the same for your primary soul mate as it is for you.
Many people imagine that this is an easy relationship. Far from it. The highest form of connection also brings with it the learning of the most important lessons and intense feelings – that we are not used to at all. The twin flame acts as a mirror, reflecting all the qualities back at you that you might find difficult to face. In this regard, these relationships can be quite fiery, but not bad. You challenge each other in order to improve yourself and become the best versions of yourselves.
Once Primary Soulmates have become accustomed to the intensity of this relationship and understand their purposes in each other’s lives, then the relationship becomes less about ‘butting-heads’ and more about helping each other evolve to the highest of spiritual levels.
Identifying the Souls Purpose
Say Yes More
When it comes to self-sabotage, we can be absolute pros. Sometimes we’ve said no to something before we’ve even had a chance to process what it is we’re being asked.
Catch yourself when you’re doing it and try to understand why you are saying no to something new or different. Are you afraid to leave your comfort zone? Is it laziness? Are you scared you won’t be good at it and make a fool of yourself?
Life is about jumping at opportunities and taking the chance to learn something new. Very rarely are we good at something the first time we try it, what does that matter? If you enjoy it then keep doing it and eventually you will get better!
The main thing to note here is that often, we are presented with opportunities that will help us along the path we’re meant to be on. By saying no, you’re missing out on the chance to get on the right path and discovering your life’s purpose.
Choose the Path of Least Resistance
This has a lot to do with synchronicity. When we are doing something that we are meant to be doing, things seem to fall into place. We get a little luckier and further opportunities present themselves.
When we are on the wrong path, every little thing seems a bit harder. Nothing seems to go right and our go-to phrase seems to be “I am the least lucky person that ever existed!” It’s very frustrating and oftentimes you can’t wait to get to the end of whatever it is so that you never have to look at it again.
This is not to say that what you should be doing isn’t hard work. Hard work and effort will always be part of creating something worthwhile. However you shouldn’t be met with wall after wall, disaster after disaster.
Learn to develop your intuition on these things and understand the gifts and opportunities you are given. A good way to develop this is by looking at all the steps previously, you had to take to get here. Can you see the opportunities and reasons why things happened the way that they did?
Spotting these in your past will help you become attuned in the future and will allow you to identify the road you are supposed to be walking on.
Lead With Your Heart, Not Your Head
Sometimes, something will just feel right, this is the inner you knowing what you’re supposed to be pursuing. Learn to trust your intuition and gut instinct. We are in tune with what we are supposed to be doing, however most of the time we manage to think or talk ourselves out of it.
Your heart knows what it is you love doing, and if your head wasn’t so stubborn it would agree! Identify your passion, what would you happily spend your days doing for no money? Let your heart answer and you’ve identified your purpose.
You are meant to be spending your time on your greatest loves and passions. Find a way to turn this into a career. Even better, find a way to turn this into a career that helps people at the same time. Be creative with it and don’t let your head talk you out of it. There is always a way and, with synchronicity, once you’ve decided to walk down the path you’re meant to be on, things will become a lot easier for you to attain your dreams and live your purpose.
Nourishing the Soul
We know that exercising strengthens the body and learning strengthens the mind, but how do we strengthen the soul?
There are lots of activities that help to nourish the soul. Many of these involve making healthy choices that not only help us but help the people that surround us as well. This is key to feeding the soul, selfless acts of love and compassion.
Below are 8 ways you can nourish your soul. They don’t cost anything to do and with some practice, you can do most of these every day. You will begin to feel light like you are making a positive difference to the world and you’ll notice a new sense of happiness that you hadn’t experienced before.
Give them a go and be sure to let us know what you to nourish your soul.
Make it your mission to give at least one person a thoughtful compliment every day. By thoughtful, it has to be sincere, find something you generally like about someone and let them know it. Not only will you make that person happier, but you’ll also feel great that you took the time out to do it. Who knows, if you compliment a stranger, you might even make a new friend out of it!
Take A Trip By Yourself
It is good to be able to take a couple of days that you can solely spend with yourself, reconnecting and getting the complete rest you need. Going by yourself is empowering, you’ll get to do all the things that you want to do and it will push you into making conversations with people you might not have noticed if you were travelling with others.
Accepting yourself for who you are is empowering and allows you to live a full life without self-sabotage.
Look again at your own perceived ‘flaws.’ Are they really as bad as they think you are? If you’re really not happy about certain qualities, then actively try to work on them. For example, if you don’t like that you find it difficult to strike up a conversation with new people, then make it a goal to say something to at least one stranger every day – even if it’s just a smile and hello.
Whether it’s opening a door, carrying someone’s bags, giving food to someone who needs it; help someone every day. Even if it’s a small thing, this can make the world of difference to someone. Being compassionate and helping someone is to the soul, what exercise is to the body; you become stronger, healthier and you’ll receive a rush of happy emotions.
Getting a little bit of open-air and sunshine, even in the cold weather, can make a world of difference. Go for a walk or hike every day and enjoy drawing deep breathes of clean air into your lungs. Try to be as mindful of the experience as possible, aiming to see three things that you didn’t notice previously.
It is much easier to face the negatives in life when we are always aware of the goodness that fills it. Try practicing saying aloud or writing down at least 5 things you are grateful for every day. Focussing on all the things we are thankful for in our lives makes us soon forget the bad times and able to face them more easily when they do arise.
There is nothing better for the soul than helping others in need. Donate your time rather than money and get involved in projects that change others lives for the better. The more positive energy you put into the world, the more you’ll get back!
Meditation is a fantastic way to get in touch with your inner self and realign your self with your spiritual goals. Try to get into the habit of meditating every day. Not only is it essential for the soul, but it’s also beneficial to the mind and body as well.