Last week I attended my daughters year 6 school information night. There was the normal important information about curriculum, communication and expectations (it was 8.30pm, so I must confess I was partly listening, having sat through this before with my elder daughter) but then a surprising point which woke me up. Instantly. Her teacher asked,
Does your daughter have a soul spark?
This took me somewhat by surprise, as it felt so different to the previous teaching curriculum points, and yet, what could be more important? Which led me to think, not just what is her soul spark but what is mine?
What is my soul spark?
I like to keep definitions simple. So for me, a soul spark are those things that bring you great joy. I also think there are 2 types:
1. Transformational soul sparks: these are often triggered by inspiration, an event or a new experience and within moments you feel a great rush of excitement deep within, and you see new possibilities. Often these soul sparks fan into new directions, and lead to great changes in your life. While these are intense, for most people they don't happen too frequently. For this reason, they are highly memorable!
2. Nourishing soul sparks: these soul sparks are often things you love and enjoy everyday or often. They simmer along, sustaining you day in and out. These are talked about less - as I guess they don't have the intense drama and excitement of a transformational soul spark, but in many ways they are more important, as these are the little moments which make you smile and bring you little kisses of daily joy. They keep you going.
The 2 types of soul sparks remind me of love relationships. Falling in love is intense, exciting, exhilarating and can lead to great changes in your life. Yet over time, the original spark turns into something deeper and gentler - it is the day to day things, and willingness to share and consider the other - to consider them equally to yourself that nourishes love in the long term. Which makes what may be seem as mundane even more valuable when you think of it. Someone who puts out the garbage every week so you don't have to is demonstrating deep love - there is definitely nothing exciting or exhilarating about it, and yet they do it selflessly.
So what is my soul spark?
At tis time in my life, I feel I have many blessings, and my soul sparks can still become fires. For example, I am passionate about being part of Thought Leaders Business School - and the incredible people in that community, They constantly fan my flames. (https://thoughtleaders.com.au/)
During COVID-19 lockdown I rediscovered the joy of reading. I have always been an avid reader, but busyness of life meant I let it drift on and off (for about a decade!). My love for reading didn't change, yet my habit did, and it became more of a holiday event. Now rekindled, the joy for me of reading constantly sparks my soul, and I order about 4 books online every month. (I still love holding a physical book!) Reading every night keeps those sparks flying, and it spills into greater reflection, thoughtfulness, insight and creativity every day.
Another soul spark is going up to our "haven" at Pearl Beach which is about a 90 minute drive. It's my happy place, and just going there with my family and friends, and enjoying the natural beauty of the beach, walks and nature brings such joy in my soul. It's a place to relax and be together - while enjoying a glass of wine and a game of pool!
So I can definitely see I have both transformative and nourishing soul sparks. As the saying goes - the more the better!
Yet on reflection, I think there is a greater point here. Whether you are in year 6 aged 11 like my daughter Roxy, or my ripe age of 48, the important thing is do you currently have a soul spark? Is there something new bringing transformation and change, or a slow burning ember - something you enjoy over time? Soul sparks help us experience and appreciate the beauty of life, and when times are tough - hold on. Which is exactly the rationale given by my daughters year 6 teacher. - she will need this as an anchor when life throws her challenges.
Soul sparks not only give you joy, but resilience.
So what soul sparks are currently firing or do you have kindling? Please share - I would love to be inspired with your soul sparks, and hopefully this article will spark some more of your own!