Got Soul?

by Belinda Munoz on October 8, 2009

soul

Have you ever experienced something so powerful, so poignant, so awe-eliciting that you couldn’t help but be moved to tears?

  • A really great speech?
  • A beautiful celebration?
  • A magnificent sunset?
  • A baby’s birth?  (I still well up when I think back to the day my son was born)

Ahh, don’t we live for those moments…

Music such as Ravel’s “Bolero” or Mavis Staples’ voice, a really uplifting movie such as Life Is Beautiful, or a profoundly heartfelt expression of gratitude can give us these goose bumps moments.

Moments that are way beyond cerebral.

Moments that have an intangible element you can’t quite define or google or fact-check.

Why don’t we have more of these moments?  Tough question.  The temptation is to say, if we had more of them, they wouldn’t be so special.  Maybe, though as a sucker for positivity, I’m leaning “no” on that one.

Where do they come from?  Easier question.  Though, first, let’s take a stab at where they don’t come from.  I doubt they come from:

  • department stores, boutiques, estate sales, antique stores
  • a bottle of wine
  • a video game

So, what is the source of these special, tug-at-your-heartstrings moments?  My stab-in-the-dark hunch is, they come from within.  Call it “soul”, or “spirit”, or whatever you like.  My bold-faced intuition says it resides within us.

What is soul?  It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room. ~Ray Charles

It’s the difference between interest and burning desire, dabbling and committing, great and extraordinary, doing and living, talking the talk and walking the walk.

It’s what makes something magical.  And we could all use a little magic once in a while, couldn’t we?

I’m not sure if this is making sense to you…

But if you’ve ever had moments when you were filled with overwhelming joy, that you felt your soul stirring, that your eyes were welling up with tears, that you didn’t realize you were shaking or grinning from ear to ear, then I want to hear from you.

Because I suspect that you have that gift.  The real stuff.  Not the fake stuff.  The gift that powers those can’t-be-bought moments.

And I’m betting that gift that you possess is the stuff that makes the world go round…

You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out. ~Martha Graham

Image by PostcardsFromHome

{ 2 trackbacks }

Round ‘em up! « Serendipity Cupcake
October 24, 2009 at 2:52 am
Healthy Ways to Feed the Starving Soul — the halfway point
September 8, 2010 at 12:43 am

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeffrey Tang October 8, 2009 at 6:53 am

Beautiful post, Belinda.

At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, here’s one of my “soul” moments: A few years ago, when my girlfriend and I were still doing the long-distance thing, she came down to visit during her spring break. We had a great time together, but that made the leaving all the harder.

The “soul” moment was this: about half an hour after I dropped her off at the airport, she called to say that her flight had been cancelled, and that the next available flight wasn’t for another 3 hours. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was amazing for us in that moment. Just a little more time together. It was bittersweet and happy and wonderful.

I don’t know if that fits entirely with your post, Belinda, but I thought I’d share …

Oh, and I’m willing to bet some people might disagree with you on that bottle of wine 🙂

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2 Belinda Munoz October 8, 2009 at 8:05 am

Jeffrey, love always counts among the shake-your-core moments. I’m so glad this post resonated with you. We can’t ignore the sweet intangibles, as easy as it is to get caught up in every minutiae that goes with living — they’re at the core of our being; the meaning to our existence. (hey, I know a thing or two about cheesy.)

Yup, you might be right about the bottle of wine…

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3 Ben Leon Guerrero October 8, 2009 at 8:59 am

Oh My Dearest Belinda,

Again you are occupying my early mornings. This is a different and interesting post. I have had several moments like these in my long (compared to yours!) life, where the unexplained comes together and causes one to breathe deeply and ponder the cosmic. As you know, here on Guam sometimes all you have to do is drive around the island to get that feeling, since, if you believe, there are taotaomona everywhere. For me it is strongest near Inarajan, where I believe I once had (to use the english word) a visitation. One thing I would add to your message is the level of soul of indigenous cultures, which you did not mention at all, maybe because it is so familiar and close to you. We people of the land are always in touch with this you’re talking about.

I will continue to read and share this and watch closely for your next writings, always and with affection and the utmost respect.

Ben

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4 Bob Bessette October 8, 2009 at 9:31 am

Hi Belinda,
I am a theater fan, especially musicals. I have had the great fortune of seeing the musical Rent performed by the original artists, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal, in Boston and on Broadway. There is one song called “What you own” where they both sing together toward the end of the show. When that song is being performed I want to freeze the emotion in time because I know that I probably will never see them again in these roles singing this song. This is definitely one of those moments you are referring to. By the way, I know that they are touring and it’s in SAN FRANCISCO now until the 18th! Belinda, you must go!

Best,
Bob

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5 Justin- AlittleBetter.net October 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

“You don’t have a soul, you have a body; you are a soul.”~C.S. Lewis

There are some cases when a video game can bring tears, but its not the video game itself. Its the thoughtfulness put into a gift or a goal achieved.

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6 Fr. Michael October 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

I’ve had so many of those moments, and I believe we can and even should have them every day. At our core, we are spiritual beings and these moments really prove that we’re spiritual, that we have a soul.

Here’s a moment: I’m involved in campus ministry at a local college. One day I was in the sandwich line in the cafeteria and I noticed a visually impaired student who was clearly having a difficult time finding his way around. Another student approach him and asked, “can I help you?” It was such a simple moment and a simple gesture, but it deeply moved me. At that moment, the helplessness of one person connected with the kindness of another. Unexpectedly, I got choked up.

I wrote a meditation on my blog that I believe relates to your great post Belinda.
http://liveholiness.com/2009/09/16/have-you-noticed/

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7 Patty - Why Not Start Now? October 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Hi Belinda – These soulful moments make life worth living, in my opinion. I think you’re talking about the ability to be moved. Maybe we don’t have the moments as often as we’d like because we close ourselves down to being moved, we get all hard-edged, we think we have to armor ourselves to get through life. And lately there’s a high value placed on snark and sarcasm, which for me are the antithesis of soul. I don’t know, just a ramble. But I’m glad I discovered your blog – love the title of it and your writing!

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8 Liberty October 8, 2009 at 10:00 pm

My nephew does give me one of those awe moments. Just remembering how he interacts, talks, and laughs….gives me that great feeling.

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9 Belinda Munoz October 8, 2009 at 11:35 pm

@Ben, thanks, as always, for reading and for your thoughtful comment. Your loyalty means a lot to me. Interesting point you make about indigenous cultures.

@Bob, thanks for the tip! Theater can definitely bring on those other-worldly moments.

@Justin, that’s a great quote! And thanks for setting me straight on moments relating to video games.

@Fr. Michael, thanks for sharing a moment. It reminds me of a slightly similar one I witnessed this past weekend: a car was stalled on a busy freeway during rush hour. A huge truck came and parked right next to the little stalled car and the truck driver helped push the stalled car. It caused a bit of congestion but somehow, magically, not a single driver honked or displayed road rage of any kind. I was moved to tears!

@Patty, I completely agree — two thumbs down for snark! Thanks for stopping by; you’re welcome anytime.

@Liberty, I know, I know…

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10 Malo October 9, 2009 at 9:37 pm

I agree with you and Fr. Michael. Witnessing simple acts of kindness can move me to tears. Watching a parent’s love to his/her child also makes me cry, there’s nothing so pure and selfless. Stories of unsung heroes, a good homily, soulful prayers, church songs, bible passages, all tug at my heart.

I agree with Liberty, just the thought of my nephew happy makes me smile.

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11 shmabes October 10, 2009 at 8:47 am

The most recent moment was learning that a certain little boy requests a song that I wrote to fall asleep to. This is a song that was produced by his father; has his God Father playing guitar on; and that his uncle shot the video for…and now I’m writing to his mother to tell her how it much it fills my heart! Talk about full circle.

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12 Meghashyam Chirravoori October 11, 2009 at 4:27 am

I was getting late for the airport. I didn’t have a flight but I was going to see my friend’s off as they boarded a connecting flight. I had just lost my cell phone. And it was raining heavily.

There are 3 wheelers in mumbai. Think of it like a cab. Since it was raining heavily that day, most 3 wheelers refused to take me to the airport.

I felt like I would never get to the airport. I felt it had been a bad day.

Suddenly a 3 wheeler stopped before me. it had a middle aged woman in it. Are you going to the airport? – she asked. I hopped in with her.

Do you want to make a call, she asked me. I used her phone to call friends. I looked at her and thanked the powers that exist.

When we were near the airport, she had to go a different way, and she would get late too if we went my way. Morover she had got into the 3 wheeler first.

“No, let us go your way”, she said. I will manage.

We went to my destination. As I unboarded and took out my purse to pay, she said – “For one day, let me pay. I will pay for the trip. Please go, your friends must be waiting.”

I was touched. More than touched. This had happened in a city, where, I had heard people didn’t care about each other. I knew otherwise.

Thank you for the post, Belinda. 🙂

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13 Mama Zen October 11, 2009 at 6:47 am

Music. It’s almost always music.

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14 Jai kai - SharingSuccess.TV October 11, 2009 at 10:44 am

I have had some great memorable moments drinking a bottle of wine. Perhaps it wasn’t the wine, but really being in the present moment with some incredible people. It’s funny because i really don’t remember the dialogues that took place, only the location and the wine. I believe it depends on what your passion is and if you can really be present with whatever is, these moments will come. I use to have a huge passion for wine – as a bartender for a 5 star restaurant in the Cayman Islands but now, other things touch my soul.

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15 Patrick @ unwrapyourmind.com October 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Belinda, these precious moments are what really counts in this life. And yes they make up less than 1% of time but are so much more valuable, uplifting and empowering than the other 99%. It could be for me looking at an inspiring movie, looking my loved one deep into the eyes, listening to some great music or even enjoying an awesome scenery.

You are so right – it is in those small things, that we neglect and overlook so easily, because we think of our appointments or other thinks.

Maybe a good question for the evening is “What fascinated me today and touched my heart very deeply?”

Thank you.

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16 Belinda Munoz October 12, 2009 at 10:26 pm

@Malo, funny you bring up parental love. Something I had no idea how deep it runs until I became one.

@Schmabes, reading your comment gave me one of those moments. Thx for circling back — all in the family, I guess.

@Meghashyam, what a great story! Kindness can be so powerful especially when unexpected. Many thanks for sharing and for stopping by.

@ Mama Zen, I agree — really powerful music can stir my soul. Thanks for the visit.

@Patrick, thanks for leaving a comment and for sharing thoughts from your “unwrapped mind”! I really like that question you pose — if we asked this question of ourselves everyday, perhaps we’d all be just a tad happier…

@Jai Kai, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I too am a wine fan — something about the chemistry of the alcohol, great food and great company can make you lose yourself in the moment, but then it’s not always so easy to remember the details!

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17 Tom Bruein October 13, 2009 at 11:03 am

Very thought provoking Belinda. In a way though, I think these moments come from outside ourselves rather than from within. That may seem like a strange comment, but here’s what I mean. All of the special moments we encounter have one thing in common: they take us outside of ourselves. Our focus shifts momentarily, from OUR concerns, desires, plans, history and future, and they bring us into this moment, now.
Whether it may be the glowing hues of a sunset splashed across a mountain range, a butterfly landing on a child’s hand, or the unexpected kindness from strangers, each stops the chatter in our head temporarily. We stop thinking about ourselves and really “see” what is unfolding before us.
Maybe that’s why these moments seem fleeting or infrequent. Our mind has a tendency to concern itself, nonstop, with what happened earlier in the day and what’s going to happen next. As a result we miss a great deal of what’s happening right now — until something comes along to capture our attention.
While a tragedy can do that too, we don’t label that beautiful or awe-inspiring. So maybe that’s where the distinction of a soulful moment comes in. Perhaps it is when something inside of us is permitted to connect deeply with something outside of us. Is the longing to connect with something outside of ourselves so strong that when it is momentarily satisfied we well up with tears? Maybe that’s how we know when something has touched our soul.

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18 Belinda Munoz October 14, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Hi Tom, thank you so much for visiting and for your thought provoking comment. I think you might like this post by Fr. Michael called Have You Noticed?

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19 Sol October 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Many times have I experienced being teary- eyed while watching something or someone. It may be during my commute, while I am walking, a TV episode -just a particular moment of very touching relationship – a worm creeping on the petals of my newly acquired rose plant . . . But they are fleeting moments I cannot describe. I know I felt it and it had given me a kind of joy, almost a “foretaste of heaven” or close to that.

You are an especially gifted writer, I wish you the best, and I pray that as you try to reach others in a most positive way you may be abundantly blessed with good health and fortune – so you could fulfill your dreams.

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20 SamB February 13, 2010 at 4:35 pm

New here,

I’m just browsing sites for the children of Haiti.

I’m doing my part for a non-profit group that devotes themselves to
building an oppurunity for the children in haiti. If anyone wants to donate then do so here:

Donate to Haiti or Help Haiti

They provide children in Haiti books and teach them.

Please check them out, they’re legit.

It would be great if you could help

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21 Hotel Bewertung February 16, 2010 at 5:35 am

I observed your web publication on yahoo and know a couple of of your posts. Excellent work out!

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22 Offbeat Woman October 24, 2010 at 9:51 am

Hi Belinda, I just want to say how beautiful your writing ‘soul’ is…I nearly said ‘style’ but I think that ‘soul’ is more apt! I have had some luminous moments in my life where I have felt the presence of a ‘Holy Spirit’ that can only be the Soul. Such experiences make the world stop in its tracks and make life worth living when the going gets tough! Thank you for this superb post!

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23 laura bold December 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

totally agree with you on the Holy Ghost! With out “him” I have no joy from little free things….I am glad to know you are a sister of Christ as I am….We all are, but many do not know how to let them in……..

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24 Quinn December 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Hi Belinda,

Just came across your blog, thanks for this post. I must say I used to feel these moments, or these lack of moments where time blends and becomes still. I haven’t felt this or anything near joy in a long time. No more of the soul, or the spark that used to fuel me. I’m glad to hear of all these stories above where people are sharing their experiences, giving me hope that when I dig into whatever has happened to me, maybe I’ll find that light that can fill a room once again.

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25 laura bold December 14, 2012 at 8:40 am

I am thinking that I have a moment everyday, My Soul moves me to new places in life all the time. I have been blessed with many things that have not gone the way I wanted them to go, but able to see that the path my soul took was the better path…..I did not reach this Nirvana over night or on my Own………….this the Holy Ghost that takes a hold of me and changes my course. I am blessed to have been able to learn on of the Great Secrets of God, letting Go and letting God! (this is a hard task, and I have to work on it everyday of my life on this Earth) but the “free rewards” are soooooo worth it.

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