I’ve been a soul coach for a long time, helping people find ways to express the beauty and brilliance of their core creative energy. In the interview I did with Leo, he created a space in which I was able to describe the essential elements of this process, which can be a big journey, and often a challenging one.
We spoke about how learning to live from our soul asks a lot of us; as it nourishes, transforms and blesses us deeply. Expressing ourselves from soul or essence is a spontaneous, intuitive process that brings us into full aliveness. Leo is someone who is attuned to this way of being, and he invited me into it during our interview.
Finding the work that our soul wants us to do can be quite the journey! Such work whispers quietly inside, and yet if we are focussed on what the outer world wants from us then we might miss what’s being said within.
Often people excel at something, get praised for doing it, and then make it their career. This can be rewarding in some ways, but the work itself might not fulfill us at a deeper level. How do we find the work that we were born to do?
In this interview and audio package, Shayla Wright and Leo Sofer explore the three stages of the journey of soul work. In their conversation they discuss…
- Finding your soul work
- Addressing the parts of us that slam on the brakes
- Expressing yourself in a way that creates community around your work
Inspired by their conversation, Leo then tells an Intuitive Story, exploring in mythological language the territory they traversed.
The story that Leo tells here, the one that emerged from our interview, vividly transmits the feeling of this essential energy, and the process of embodying it. The story is multi-levelled-it offers the listener great encouragement, practical wisdom, and passionate vision. It asks us to listen to it again and again, so that we awaken our courage and deep commitment, and receive the support we need for the full expression of our soul.
I believe that the world has never needed this kind of deep alignment with our soul, more than it does right now. May this conversation and this story bring you heart, and move your forward on your journey of evolution and awakening.
Stories allow us to drop deeper into a dreaming space, to explore our deepest questions in a non-rational way. Our soul listens to the stories we hear, and will resonate with those that speak to our own truth. Listening to stories is thus another way to discern what our soul is calling us to do in the world.
Leo Sofer has been telling stories since 1989 and has developed Intuitive Storytelling as a way of accessing our inherent wisdom and expressing it in story form. He has worked with thousands of people over the last 28 years, telling stories and leading trainings in Intuitive Storytelling.
His website, Stories of the Journey Home, is an invitation to discover both the stories your soul wants to hear, and stories your soul has been waiting to tell.
Leo’s stories offer a delicious way to reconnect with what matters most in our lives. They seem to arise out of the mystical heart of humanity, gently and kindly tapping our yearning for truth and leading us, with good humour, straight to the heart of our spiritual questions.]
Danica Shoan Ankele, Program Director,
You will also receive more of Leo’s free stories, and insights about storytelling and the spiritual journey, through Stories of the Journey Home, his regular newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Want to read more? Here is the article that Leo wrote about his conversation with Shayla, and the story he then told.
The hunger for true elders
Some years ago I met a true elder. The sort of person whose years have taken them closer to the essence of their own being.
I’ve been hungry to know people like this since I was a teenager and woke up to the spiritual yearning inside. They seemed in painfully short supply, but whenever I would discover one, they would meet that hunger in me, which seems to be for some kind of reassurance: to see living proof that it’s possible to even take this journey to wholeness and find fulfilment. We all need that kind of reassurance. I wish there were more spiritual elders in our culture.
Anyway, the elder I’m talking about here is Shayla Wright, whom I met while studying spiritual entrepreneurship with Mark Silver at Heart of Business. We did some partner work, and then were put in an ongoing support group together, and I quickly recognised that here was one of those elders whose presence feeds the people around her, whose words have an anchor deep inside, and for whom being out of integrity is no longer an option.
I hadn’t spoken with Shayla for some years, but she’d been sending me some appreciative comments about the podcasts I’d been making, wherein I interview someone doing beautiful work in the world and then tell a story in response to our conversation. I felt the impulse to get in touch and invite her to such a conversation. She responded quickly with a “Yes”.
I just listened back to that conversation yesterday, walking my dog in frozen woodland near my home in Devon, and dropping deeper and deeper into the enquiry we made.
The journey of expressing one’s soul work
We spoke about the journey of finding the work that we are here to do. The real work that our soul is calling us to do, not the work that we might have found ourselves in through necessity, or simply because we were good at it. We spoke of three stages in this journey.
1. Finding your soul work
Often our soul work calls to us in symbols and signs, by means of intuition, or just a heart-knowing we might feel when doing a task: a “yes!” that is compelling and unmistakable.
2. Addressing the parts of us that slam on the brakes
Shayla spoke about the parts of us that do not want the heightened visibility that this work might entail. These parts are immature, fearful and have the power to derail our progress. So, instead of focussing only on the light and beauty of our soul calling, we also need to notice where we are getting tripped up, and turn our gaze on those younger aspects of us. That work is integrating, earthy and grounding.
3. Expressing yourself in a way that creates community around your work
The act of expressing our soul-calling is a tender one. Even after the work of stage 2, above, that tenderness doesn’t necessarily go away. Because of this it’s vital that we find a sense of human community and support around this expression: people who love the work we do and will cheer us on as we continue this courageous exploration of what spirit wants from us.
The more transparently we can show up as we do this work, the more others will feel able to respond to what we do with support. This stage brings the first two stages together: the soul calling and the “humanness” arrive in community, and can thrive there, nourished by the witnessing we all need from each other.
Even when it’s arduous, the journey is always worth it
By now in my walk, my dog and I were beside bright sunlit fields of frosted grass. Listening to the conversation had taken me to a place of deep connection, stillness and wondering.
“And now” I heard myself saying, “I will tell a story that reflects these themes, and addresses these questions.”
I didn’t get to listen to that story until later that evening, driving through the darkness to pick my wife up from the train station. I had forgotten it (as I do all my stories after a few days) so was listening to it freshly as I drove. It told of a man whose hands burn with a soul-fire, itching impatiently whenever they are set to a task that is not his soul-calling. He finds his way through a magical journey to not merely a full expression of that calling, but a complete transformation of his consciousness.
I burst into tears several times on the motorway, listening to that story. The journey, this whole life indeed, can be so arduous at times. But the goal is so worth it.
I created an audio program from the conversation that I had with Shayla, and the story I told. It’s a little over an hour long, so you might want to put it on your phone and, as I did, take the dog for a walk. Or listen on your commute. Or make yourself a cup of tea and get comfortable. I hope these words from a true elder, and the mythological reflection that follows, will nourish you as much as they did me.
With best wishes, Leo.
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