“Your soul is the power and core of who you are. Feed it well.” Anonymous
As I think about all of my students who will be graduating today, my hope is each student feels fulfilled by what is feeding their soul.
“Personal fulfillment is the continual journey of self-discovery and contentment with your position in life.” - Kyle Seagraves
As we faced challenging times due to a pause in our normal school year, it may feel that we did not achieve all that we had hoped to, or did we?
Would if we choose to look through the lens of how we are fulfilled versus what we have missed or what we have accomplished?
Our light might actually be more full than we think. Maybe it is more about finding out who we are and how we are connected to the world.
We tend to know what we need and typically when we know what we need – we go find it! In the case of students it might be graduation, a new job, an internship, you name it.
Our students are currently in a state of expressing resiliency during an unprecedented time - a time in history when graduation might not look the same, awkward video conferencing, postponement of internships, or the dwindling job market.
What happens between all the feelings of missing out or receiving achievements?
What about the moments in life that truly fulfill us?
Some happen quickly and we are fed well and are satisfied. Other times may seem slow and it may feel like progress isn’t taking place for a long period of time.
Is it the achievement that truly nourishes our soul or what we learn about ourself during the journey and how we connect with others in between the achievement?
I can remember my graduation day at Elon College (University now – I was part of the last class to graduate Elon College). In the fall of 1998 I transferred to Elon to study leisure sport management after graduating from Germanna Community College in Virginia. I spent two and half years at Elon taking courses and the spring of 2001 I left campus to serve as a campus recreation intern at UNC Asheville. I was away from campus the majority of that spring before graduation. While I was away in Asheville there were times when I felt as though I was missing out on something. I wasn’t involved in my student organization any longer, friends were at parties without me and I wasn’t going to campus events.
During that time I was feeding my soul I was learning and building new connections for what I love helping others and giving back - that fulfills my light. And nineteen years later I can say the same thing still feeds my soul, helping others and giving back.
Full circle, I am in my eighth year as a faculty member at Elon University (formerly known as Elon College.) Starting June 1, I will begin to serve as Department Chair for Sport Management (the academic program that I graduated from in 2001). I am excited for the opportunity to serve and even more excited for how the role will give me time to feed my soul by helping others and giving back.
From my time as a graduating senior
to now as a faculty member, I continue to learn more about what feeds my soul and what drains my soul. It is not all the accolades, awards, opportunities that I receive. It is what happens in between receiving any acknowledgement where the true fulfillment happens.
Students, some years (days) you will be moving fast like the hare and other years (days) you will feel as though you are traveling like the turtle. Enjoy right where you find yourself.
I can remember in my early twenties I would focus so much on what I wasn’t accomplishing or thought I was getting behind instead of sometimes enjoy where I was in the moment.
To all the graduating seniors out there, you know what you need so go for it and remember sometimes it’s not about how fast you get there...keep moving and be in the moment.
Ask yourself, what feeds my soul? Go get more of that, feed your light what it needs.
Give your light the fulfillment it deserves.