Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

Did you know that 12 November is Chicken Soup for the Soul Day? It is a day for exploring deep-rooted emotional issues and searching for inspiration to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Chicken soup is regarded as a cure all and there is indeed some science behind this. But in this context is a metaphor to spend some time to sooth your soul and address those things that trouble you.

While this holiday is connected to the brand that publishes inspirational books and other media, nonetheless spending some time to work on your wellbeing is always a good idea. The Chicken Soup For the Soul franchise was started in the early 1990s by two life coaches, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.

It’s a good idea to take stock from time to time and work out what makes you happy and fulfilled as well as what stresses you or makes you feel unhappy. Contentment and happiness can be elusive, especially with the distractions and pressure of modern life. Perhaps there are changes to your life you have been putting off. Or a new project or hobby you have been wanting to start.

One way to look at happiness is that it’s all about having you needs fulfilled. So you can either change your needs to meet what your life fulfils or you change your life to fulfil your needs. Changing your needs to meet your life is a tenet of Buddhism which teaches that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that this suffering ceases when desire ceases. Now that is certainly something to think about, but let’s try the other way.

I have written in the past about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is a useful model to think about this.  He talks about physical needs (food, water, shelter, etc.), security needs (health, employment, accommodation, etc.), social needs (belonging, family, love, friendship, etc.), self-esteem needs (achievement and respect of others) and finally self-actualisation needs (creativity, self-expression, etc.). As John Muir (Scottish-born American naturalist and environmental philosopher) put it, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”.

In my experience necessary changes usually falling into one of these areas. So take some time to think about how you can feed your soul a little metaphorical chicken soup.

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