Your soul is not only your true nature, it is your true place in nature.
We’re all born to occupy, serve, and nurture our place within the ecosystem of the universe.
But tragically, in the 21st century, our species has come to perceive existence as something to consume and use, rather than to truly forge a relationship with and appreciate.
Finding your Soul Place, while an unusual and largely forgotten avenue of self-discovery, can help us reconnect with the living earth, and therefore ourselves.
Table of contents
- Lessons From the Magical Australian Outback
- What is a Soul Place?
- What We Can Learn From Indigenous Cultures
- Examples of Collective Soul Places
- How to Find Your Soul Place
- 11 Signs You’ve Found Your Soul Place
- Do I Have to Find My Soul Place to Be at Peace?
- Your Soul Is Not Only Yours; It’s Also Part of the World’s Soul
Lessons From the Magical Australian Outback
A few years ago I had an experience in the Australian outback.
On a walk, I found a beautiful stone lodged into the earth. After picking it up and admiring it for a bit, I put it back down and continued walking.
The Aboriginal man that was with me laughed, shook his head in disbelief, and exclaimed, “It’s strange! Usually, white man always wanna own everything he sees and touches.”
I pondered his words and realized that something (a stone in this case) only retains its beauty and value when in its own setting.
Away from the Outback, the sand dunes, and the sun, the stone simply becomes a “thing” to be hoarded and left to gather dust on a bookshelf.
Just like this rock, we too have places and spaces that most resonate and ‘fit’ us.
And when we’re put in foreign settings that don’t match our energy or essence, we inevitably feel out of place.
What is a Soul Place?
The concept of having a special ‘Soul Place’ in this world is not new.
We see mentions of this fascinating concept from ancient shamanic cultures who believed in power places to modern psychologists such as Bill Plotkin.
In essence, a Soul Place (or power place) is a special site or spot where we experience unique feelings of belonging, empowerment, expansion, and energetic rejuvenation.
We all have at least one Soul Place in this world.
As I mentioned before, many eco-centered cultures knew of Soul Places. The Australian aborigines, for instance, believe that each person has one place in the natural world where they most belong – a place that is as much part of us as we are part of it.
In finding that place, we also find and reconnect with the soul within us.
What We Can Learn From Indigenous Cultures
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you– David Wagoner (Lost, Traveling Light)
are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
and you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
you are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
where you are. You must let it find you.
Indigenous cultures and shamans have known for thousands of years that there are special places in nature that have a sacred personal connection to us.
Unlike our modern ecologically disconnected cultures, their awareness of the Spirit realm allowed them to create ceremonies that were specifically aimed at initiating them into spiritual maturity through nature-based practices.
Here in Australia for example, the aborigines have a cultural tradition called the “Walkabout.”
A walkabout occurs when an aboriginal youth wanders through the bush completely alone for weeks, sometimes months. As the youth wanders, they avoid all human interaction, going in search of a place they feel at home.
Another example can be found within the indigenous people of the Sahara, the Tuareg.
Saharan women who are pregnant occasionally wander into the nearby desert with the intention of finding – or being found by – a sacred site.
This sacred site would then be the place for birthing their child.
While this rite of passage sounds terrifying to the Western mind, these women report not feeling alone or scared because they feel a great depth of relationship and bone-deep kinship with the land.
Examples of Collective Soul Places
While a Soul Place might sound personal, it isn’t. Soul Places can also be shared by collective groups of people.
Examples of collective Soul Places include Bear Butte in Wyoming and Uluru in Australia.
There are also human-made power places such as the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the megalithic temple of Stonehenge, and the mind-boggling subterranean passageways at Chavín de Huantar.
Soul Places can also be formed through religious and spiritual beliefs. Majestic examples include the Great Mosque of Mecca, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Golden Temple, and the Shrine of Baháʼu’lláh.
How to Find Your Soul Place
Most shamans have special places in nature that hold personal significance to them. These places might be locations where they enter the Spirit realm, or places where they first experienced their callings or spirit guides.
However, as exotic and mysterious as a Soul Place might sound, it doesn’t have to be.
Soul Places can be simple, humble, local, and even largely unknown (or ignored) to others.
Your Power/Soul Place, for instance, could be a local park, hidden creek, or back-alley bookstore.
Your Soul Place could be near an ocean or woodland, or a childhood home filled with memories.
Your Soul Place could even be the restaurant where your partner proposed to you or a chapel you happened to stumble into on one rainy day.
Our power places can be virtually anywhere!
So how do you find your power place?
The most important thing to look out for is a place that allows you to experience deep emotions.
Pay attention to any place that feels intimate or divine to you; a place that allows you to experience timeless moments of beauty and hyper-awareness.
These holy places will facilitate your ability to go inwards and touch something deeper. You may experience moments of awe, gratitude, joy, and interconnectedness with life.
Whatever the case, your Soul Place will be a whimsical friend of your soul.
11 Signs You’ve Found Your Soul Place
Many people wonder how to identify a Soul Place. Is it a space where you feel cozy, like a nook of your house? Do you have any mystical experiences?
Here are some signs that may help you to confirm that you’ve found your Soul Place:
- If it’s a new place, you’ll feel a sense of familiarity.
- Colors may look brighter, almost like a surrealist painting (this happened to me in my first encounter with my Soul Place).
- You’ll feel a greater sense of inner and outer harmony.
- You might intuitively sense that “you’re finally home and can rest now.”
- You can tune into the interconnectedness of life.
- A sense of awe, wonder, peace, and joy bubbles up inside of you.
- You’ll feel inspired and have spontaneous creative thoughts/ideas.
- You’ll feel a sense of freedom.
- You’ll feel introspective and contemplative.
- You’ll feel recharged and energized.
- You feel expanded, less centered in the ego, and more connected with your deeper essence.
Sometimes our Soul Places can also be imagined places within our minds.
If you’ve ever entered altered states of consciousness and pierced the veil of reality, you’ll realize that there’s no distinction between each of the different layers of reality.
In other words, the places within our minds exist in the world just as much as the places within the world exist within our minds.
Do I Have to Find My Soul Place to Be at Peace?
No. You don’t have to find your Soul Place to be at peace.
The whole point of the spiritual awakening journey is to live from your inner Home, no matter where you are.
When our inner peace is based on an external condition (which can be taken away), then we suffer.
So the point of finding your Soul Place isn’t to reach a promised land or escape your current life. Instead, your Soul Place is a doorway to accessing:
- spiritual guidance and direction,
- spiritual healing,
- conscious expansion, and
It’s important to mention this misconception about one’s Soul Place because many people use this pursuit to avoid developing qualities of present-moment mindfulness.
When we learn to live in the moment, any place can eventually become our Soul Place.
As sufi mystic Rumi once wrote,
Today, wherever you stand,– Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
Be the soul of that place.
Your Soul Is Not Only Yours; It’s Also Part of the World’s Soul
Your soul is IN and OF the world, like a ripple in a river, a wave in the ocean, or a twig on a tree.
The human mind tends to fragment existence. But the closer we look, the more we see how interconnected everything is – and how connected to It All we are.
The reality is that we are an integral part of the Whole, just as much as a mountain, tree, whale, or cloud is.
The human Soul and the world Soul (or ‘Anima Mundi’) are inextricably entwined.
As such, mystical experiences of belonging aren’t divorced from the world around us. We don’t have to ‘ascend’ or leave this body and planet. On the contrary, Home is rooted in this physical reality!
The world’s greatest souls all found their sacred places: Moses on Mount Sinai, Jesus in the desert, Muhammad in a cave outside Mecca, and Buddha under the bodhi tree.
Your place of power is more than a sanctuary.
It is a place (or many different places) in the universe where you feel at home – it is a doorway into greater self-awareness, internal evolution, clarity, awe, and joy.
Where is your Soul Place? Let me know in the comments.