Hey Soul Parent

by Lance Ekum on · 24 comments

Daddy and Me
Creative Commons License photo credit: fauxto_digit

"The human soul is God's treasury, out of which he coins unspeakable riches." ~ Henry Ward Beecher


What is that, anyway?

The dictionary defines soul as the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.


As I think about this, I'm drawn to a time many years ago.  Just an ordinary day, and I was out cutting the lawn.  Nothing at all special about this day…and everything special about this day.

And isn't every day like that.  Days filled with the seemingly ordinary (…no matter how truly ordinary or not we see our lives).  A cup of coffee in the morning.  Wearing that favorite pair of shoes.  Conversation with a loved one.  Playing with your kids.  Bedtime rituals.  Sleep.

Don't get me wrong – I am all for new experiences, for living life to its fullest, to feeling fully alive.  And much of these "living life to the fullest" moments might feel anything but ordinary.

Within all of that, though, the ordinary moments of our day.

…I was just out cutting the lawn.  The sun shining, on a typical summer day.

And in a moment, I just felt this deep connection to the Universe, to God, to something beyond.  It was as if everything was brighter, that the sky surrounded me with its presence, that the earth was alive with newness. 

It's a feeling that is hard to fully describe.  In that instant, in those moments…I felt that connection to a deeper part of me…to a deeper part of this world.


This moment, in the seemingly very ordinary of my day….  Not something I was seeing with my eyes, and yet I was.  Not something I was hearing with my ears, and yet I was. 

That connection to something deeper within you, the voice that speaks if you quiet yourself and listen.

Soul.  It's within us all.

I've just finished reading a book – Soul to Soul Parenting, by Annie Burnside

Annie has written about her spiritual journey, and how she continues that journey today with her husband and their three children.  Just like any other family – the Burnside family has moments where kids argue, where parents become stressed, where daily life causes moments that are challenging.


Except that Annie and her family have built opportunities into their days to more fully connect to soul. 

…in the ordinary of their days.

This is a wonderful book, with practical ideas to more fully reach, teach, and love from a soul level. 

…from that place where we truly DO feel connected to a deeper part of our own being…of the world around us.

As I let these words from Annie soak more deeply into my soul, I am drawn to my own family.  Are there ways that I can be more fully connected to my soul?  Are there ways that the ordinary of my day can be more fully infused with a deeper sense of my being?  And, how am I helping my children to more fully connect to the soul of their being?

Annie's book will give you actionable ideas on ways to do this, for YOUR family.  That's what is so great about this – there are a number of easy to do things that will bring that connection more deeply into being. 

If you're looking for ways to more fully connect with your children, or children that are a part of your life in some way – Soul to Soul Parenting is so worth reading.

And as you go forth in your day today, may you know that there is extraordinary in the normal-ness of your day.

Soak it in.  Soak in the beauty of this day, the beauty of being alive, the beauty of getting to do all that this day brings!

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea DeBell - britetalk December 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

Hi Lance! You inspired me to read this book. I just checked online at my public library system but they didn’t have it. I’m gonna have to take a look at the bookstore. I’m always looking to new ways to create deeper connections and this sounds like a great approach.
Thanks for this fantastic tip. Loving blessings!
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Lance December 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm

It really IS a wonderful book!!

The concepts and ideas that Annie shares – it’s really about finding what feels right for you, and then trying it out.

Love to you always…


Dandy December 10, 2010 at 11:03 am

This is nice Lance! There is something extrodinary in the ordinary. We are all miracles. We are enriched with blessings! Thanks Lance!

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Lance December 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Yes, we are miracles…each one of us!! And when we let that concept just soak into our being, I really believe that it lifts us up to a deeper connection not only with ourselves, but also with the world around us. And that’s a wonderful thing…


Chris Edgar December 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hi Lance — the experience you’ve described around finding something incredible in the seemingly familiar — that’s similar to how I’ve experienced my growth as a person. I’ll keep doing the same thing over and over — keep meeting with the group of men I get together with on a weekly basis, for instance — until suddenly I realize that something is different. There’s so much occurring beneath the surface of our linear way of thinking, and maybe it can never be fully understood — but that makes it an adventure.


Lance December 10, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Those subtle things that are taking place…and then…we “see” it! A very neat experience…and an adventure so worth traveling…


Emergefit December 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm

The book sounds good, though I’m honestly not sure I will read it — my reading pile grows larger and my time smaller; funny how that works.

One of my favorite ice-breaker questions dining with a new friend, or new groups of friends is to ask,

“Is the soul in the body, or is the body in the soul…?”

Always evokes wonderful conversations, and contemplations.

Yes, just a moment — an ordinary moment…


Lance December 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Honesty – I appreciate that very much.

Okay, and I’ve been thinking about your question…
My first thought is that the soul is in the body, that it’s a part of our being. And as such, it’s within…within us.
What if, though. What if, our soul is our complete being – all the parts?

I still lean very much toward the soul in the body…although your question is really making me think deeply about this.

Good, good stuff, my friend.


J.D. Meier December 10, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Some days and some moments just feel so good.

I always feel a deeper connection whenever I’m on the beaten path of the timeless connected fabric of commonality … common purpose or common values or common needs or common rituals or common trials and tribulations.

It’s funny … the instant I saw “soul”, Lady Marmalade started playing in my head.
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Lance December 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm

The word “common” reminds me very much of just how truly connected we are. And that…reaches into my soul…


Stacey December 11, 2010 at 8:14 am

Hi Lance, I know I’m a bit biased because Annie lives down the street from me and I’m helping her spread the word about her fabulous book, but Annie’s contagious energy and her soulful ideas in her book have truly been life changing for my family. My children look forward to our weekly soul meetings and thrive when we are all mindfully connecting with each other soul to soul.



Lance December 11, 2010 at 9:55 pm

YOU…are lucky!! (to be so close to Annie!!)

And how awesome – how these ideas, and your interactions with Annie – how deeply good they have been for your family.

Stacey, know too, that I believe your in such a good place with you, and with your family. It’s an honor to call you friend…


Tess The Bold Life December 11, 2010 at 8:49 am

Hi Lance,
We used to spend the time we were in the car together connecting when our children were growing up. With technology today I think many soulful moments are lost because family memebers are texting, watching videos, listening to their iPods constantly when they’re physically with one another. I often wonder if everything lost in those moments are worth what we’ve gained.

We also made Sundays sacred by declaring them “family days.” No friends, phone calls to friends etc was allowed. This didn’t make life at the Marshalls perfect. What it did allow was uninterrupted connection. Yeah for the new book! I’m sure things like this are addressed.
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Lance December 11, 2010 at 10:04 pm

So, a funny (or maybe not so funny!) story. We were going out to dinner tonight. I’m conversing with my wife, and with my youngest son. And then I say something to my oldest son, and there’s just silence. Finally Cameron tells me that he’s listening to his ipod. So…I know all too well the challenges…

Good for you, making Sunday’s a day for your family…and for the connections that brought…


Jody - Fit at 53 December 11, 2010 at 11:24 am

Sounds like a great read Lance. I can let my stepchildren know about it since they have the little ones now.

The question of soul.. a complex & interesting one… many ways to look at it….. I like the way you describe it: something deeper within you, the voice that speaks if you quiet yourself and listen.
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Lance December 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Thanks for passing the info on – it really is a great book, and with actionable things to try.

Soul…definitely something that can be slightly different for each of us…as it truly is something very personal…


Evita December 11, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hi Lance

I cannot tell you how much the idea of conscious parenting resonates with me and bless Annie for putting together this book to bring more awareness to more parents, and more families.

Honestly, as I look back now, as I reflect on my life, as I listen to the lives of some of the clients, or people I help, whether in groups or one on one…. so much, so much – how much, I don’t know the exact number, and it varies for all – but anyway, most of any pains, and challenges that we have to overcome as adults, are rooted from our child hood and how our parents treated us, raised us,…. conditionally loved us…..

We need awake and aware parents, to truly love without conditions, and to let their children embrace the magnificent beings that they are in all moments…..

Thank you for sharing this!
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Lance December 11, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Annie really does speak from a place of consciousness in her family interactions. And what is so great, also – is how real she is. I felt that very much as I read this book, how she openly shared moments that were both good, and were challenging – within her own family. And through it all, how connecting at a deeper soul level, there is so much good in all of it.

Your words remind me of a poem – “A Child Learns What He Lives” – which speaks exactly to this thought you’ve shared, and how our upbringing plays into our own adult lives. I do believe we can change these behaviors, although I also believe that this, very much, takes diligent effort (are we willing to put that effort forth????) (the answer is: I hope we are…although I know, too, that this just doesn’t always happen).

Evita, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts…


Amy MacLeod December 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm

A great description of soul, Lance…not an easy definition to create. Far better than the dictionary! 🙂
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Lance December 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Thank you!! That dictionary version feels rather antiseptic, if you ask me…

And soul…it’s really something very personal to each of us…


Joe Wilner December 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm


Such a poetic and inspirational anecdote. It truly is powerful to have these God moments. It’s something that I wish I focused on much more in my life. Connecting with my soul through work as well as play. Your post helped me to remember how important it is to be still and connect with the omnipresence around me. These moments really can come from anywhere, it’s just a matter connecting and getting outside of ourselves.
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Lance December 12, 2010 at 5:15 am

No matter what our life journey has been, what we have is now. And it’s all good. So, as you go forth, know that – should you choose to more fully connect to your own spiritual being – there is much good in that. And for me, too – as I go forth – and as I choose how deeply to connect – it’s all part of that amazing journey of our lives.

Joe, thanks for being here, and for sharing so openly…


Aileen December 12, 2010 at 11:51 pm


What a wonderful celebration of the divinity within the ordinary.

“This moment, in the seemingly very ordinary of my day…. Not something I was seeing with my eyes, and yet I was. Not something I was hearing with my ears, and yet I was. That connection to something deeper within you, the voice that speaks if you quiet yourself and listen.”

I love those soulful moments that occur in what could be mundane, but becomes something more.

I didn’t know about this book, now it’s on my must read list. Glad you wrote about it and introduced me to it.

Hope this week, this month, this holiday season is filled with soulful moments for you and your family!


Lance December 13, 2010 at 5:14 am

Mmm…those moments that reach into our soul…when we least expect it. Such deeply good moments…

This book by Annie is really such a good book to read, especially if making that deeper soul connection is something of meaning to you (…and I know that it is for you…).

And you too, dear friend…may you experience moments of deep to the soul connections…in the beauty of your days…


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