Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

What Feeds Your Soul?

Several people have asked me about my choice to bow out of social media. I thought I would offer some reflections about this decision in the context of the broader question of what feeds our souls.

I got on Facebook initially because I wanted to monitor my kids’ accounts. Over the years, I gradually increased my activity to communicate with family and friends, and to expand my online community of fellow bloggers, spiritual writers, and martial artists. Last summer, as I was working on my second book, people advised me to extend my social media reach into Instagram and Twitter, as a way to promote the book when it came out. So I did. And initially it was fun. I made some new connections with some very interesting folks and enjoyed the exchanges.

However, as last year drew to a close, I became more aware of energy – what was nourishing my spirit with energy, and what was draining energy. And I deepened my willingness to trust my inner guidance. And that brought my attention to social media.

My engagement with social media often seemed somewhat superficial and self-serving, perhaps because of my mixed motives. True, there were genuine connections which I valued, and meaningful conversations that would not have happened without social media. But there were also all the distracting ads, and all the “likes” that became an end in themselves, and of course the ongoing social media controversies in the news.

Still, it was hard to think of stepping away, so I did a trial run of staying off social media for the month of January. Yes, there were things I missed. The number of interactions I had with others certainly plummeted. But the quality of non-social media interactions was enhanced. It felt good. My inner guidance was leading me towards something else. So at the end of the trial month, I bowed out indefinitely.

My new book will be out in a couple of weeks. My writing friends just shake their heads at my counter-conventional-wisdom move. They are not impressed when I joke about my word of mouth marketing plan. I encourage them, if they like the book, to promote it on their social media – ha! And write those Amazon reviews!

I have no fundamental objection to social media or those who enjoy it, and I make no apology for the parts I enjoyed myself. Ultimately, it is a personal choice about what feeds your soul and what doesn’t. I trust my inner wisdom, even though I don’t always understand it. If I am guided to bow out of a broader online presence at this time, then it must be because that will open up space in my life for whatever is unfolding. We’ll see what happens. It’s all good.

What about you? What feeds your soul and perhaps wants more space in your life? What is draining energy that you could release or step away from?

6 thoughts on “What Feeds Your Soul?”

  1. I shared your thoughts on my Facebook account. While I understand the irony of doing so, your explanation of your decision should be widely disseminated. I gave up using Facebook to promote my blog and books over a year ago. Like you, I was conflicted over my motivation., Now, I simply use it for friends and interesting groups.

    1. Thank you, Bob. I appreciate your support in widening the discussion. I’ll be interested to see how folks respond on your FB account. You’ll have to let me know since I won’t see it — ha! By the way, I definitely miss you and Betty on FB — we’ll have to share news some other way.

  2. I think so many of us don’t trust our inner guidance system for several reasons, one being that it is drowned out by things that’s on social media. I actually do think social media can be a wonderful tool, but it can also be an energy drain or convert energy in a way that may not be healthy.

    As to the question, what feeds your soul, my initial thought is that too many of us don’t do enough of the things that does feed the soul. I will miss seeing you on social media, but I am glad we connected and that we can stay connected through emails. Wishing you lots of success with your book, and there are definitely lots of success stories with word of mouth marketing. 🙂

    1. That’s an interesting observation, Tracy, about our inner guidance being drowned out by social media. It can also be drowned out by our thinking, analytic brains, which want everything to be rational and make sense. Inner guidance is sometimes neither.

      I agree that social media can be very useful, for social as well as professional reasons. Many businesses depend on social media. And for many people, especially during the pandemic, social media has been a way to stay in touch with family and friends.

      Your observation that many of us don’t do enough to feed our souls made me feel a little sad. Sometimes we are so burdened by all the things we think we are obligated to do, that we pay little attention to feeding our souls with energy. When I taught and wrote about happiness, one of the things I realized early on was that many of us won’t give ourselves permission to be happy for various reasons. The same might be true for doing more of what enriches our spirits.

      I’m glad we connected too, and that we are maintaining our connection through our websites and email. Just read your current newsletter — I’m twisting! And thanks for the encouragement about my word of mouth marketing plan. I think the people who will enjoy the book will find their way to it. We’ll see.

  3. Hi Galen! How’s it feel? I imagine the freedom of letting go of social media can be quite liberating especially when your guidance is doing the encouraging. Every now and then I get a message from my inner guidance to limit my time on Social Media and that seems to make it work for me. As far as what feeds my soul I’d have to say that it is spending time with the people I love and care about, spending time in nature, traveling to new and interesting places and learning things that inspire my curiosity. I’m truly grateful at this time in my life to be able to do that as much as I can. ~Kathy

    1. It feels a bit old school! I just had a very nice email exchange with a cousin that I had previously been in communication with only through social media. The emails felt more private, and there was more depth to the conversation than private messaging or brief social media comments allow. It was nice. At the same time, I realized that I missed her more frequent photos and newsy posts.

      So it’s a mixed bag. But overall, it is as you suspect quite liberating. I would say that there is an expanding energy, but not a lateral expansion — more like an expansion going deeper.

      Thanks for sharing what feeds your soul. Like you, I am fed by spending time with people I care about and who care about me. And I treasure my time in the forest at my cabin. I’m also fed by time in solitude. I am glad you enjoy traveling, because I really enjoy your travel posts and photos! But then I enjoy all your posts. Thanks for commenting, Kathy.

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