“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”
Early in our marriage we put together a statement of our family values. It is the most important contract we’ve made in our time together. In fact, we still carry the laminated “first edition” with us.
More recently, we came across the Kurt Vonnegut quote included at the top of this post. The idea resonated with us because we realized that Mr. Vonnegut had beautifully captured the essence of our family values.
So we adopted the idea. Today, "growing our souls" is a super value. It is the foundation of every other value in our value bound life.
For us, growing our souls can be as simple as taking a walk when we experience nature with all our senses. But, growing our souls can also mean years of language learning so we can relate to people in their own culture.
With every decision, great and small, we are faced with constraints - financial limits, incomplete information, time, and energy. With values informing and constraining our choices, we can ask ourselves, “Will it grow our soul? How will we know it will grow our soul?”