Feed the Soil

Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit. Unknown

Such profound wisdom…
I was moved to share this quote after reading a recent review of my newest book ‘Soul Messenger: A True Story that Transcends the Space Between Life and Death’. The review stung a little bit- the reviewer lamented that there were ‘thought provoking stories’ but ‘no stand alone tips or tricks for the grieving.’
Soul Messenger is largely based on my 25 years of doing end of life and grief related therapy. Over the course of my career, the number of broken and vulnerable people who have walked through my office door is staggering. Many of them have been looking not just for ‘tips and tricks’ but for a hands down miracle- a magic elixir to to drink…. a secret technique to try, a dangling carrot dripping with spiritual advice to take them step by step into the heart of healing.
…. but as many who have walked through my door have learned… behind the shingle that reads Annette Childs, PhD- there is no elixir, no magic technique, and no dangling carrot.
Truth is, nine times out of ten I have nothing very sparkly in my bag of tricks…. Soul growth is hard work. It is lonely and can feel futile…. and there are plenty of deserts to walk through on the way to that proverbial sea of tranquility that we all search for.
Back to today’s quote…. which is essentially about dirt…. I come from a family of farmers- my DNA is brimming with wisdom on how to feed the soil… literally. I used to think it was a cruel joke that I could not even manage to keep a house plant alive let alone a crop of something…. until I realized that I was simply built for a different kind of cultivation…. I do know how to feed the soil- just like my ancestors did, its just a different kind of soil…. I am good at helping people dig through the dirt life delivers — and finding what is nourishing and can bring growth, and what must be removed and cleared away. I am patient and I will wait with my clients- sometimes years- for a seedling to sprout…. (If it sounds a little bit like watching grass grow, sometimes it is….) It is hard, tedious, slow, often achingly difficult work. This is soul growth…. and it entails the kind of work that more often than not makes you feel like you are getting your ass kicked rather than ascending to the top of a high mountain.

That reviewer was right… there are no quick tips and not a single fancy trick in Soul Messenger…. because it was written for those who want to feed the soil and not so much those who come to grab the fruit… and that’s ok <3