Mind and spirit overcoming fear,
Leading to productive activity,
Moving closer to meaningful work.

…more to life than meets the eye…

Theologian Richard McBrien says that the soul–and to find meaning from it– means we believe there is more to life than meets the eye. A pretty simple definition for one of the most powerful ideas in existence.

Mary Oliver helps us “apply” the soul to life challenges by describing its functions.

The Soul, by Mary Oliver

Nobody knows what the soul is.
It comes and goes like the wind over water.

But just as we can name the functions of the wind, so we can name some of the functions of the soul without presuming to penetrate its mystery.

The soul wants to keep us rooted in the ground of our own being, resisting the tendency of other faculties, like the intellect and ego, to uproot us from who we are.

The soul wants to keep us connected to the community in which we find life, for it understands that relationships are necessary if we are to thrive.

The soul wants to tell us the truth about ourselves, our world, and the relation between the two, whether that truth is easy or hard to hear.

The soul wants to give us life and wants us to pass that gift along, to become life-givers in a world that deals too much death.


Which parts of the poem speak to you and your transition? Look at specific ideas like “rooted in the ground of your own being” and “telling the truth about ourselves”, etc. How does the author help you see the relationship between your soul and the challenges you face? And the work you will accomplish to secure a great job.

Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., President of the Board and Executive DirectorThomas Bachhuber, Ed.D.
President of the Board and Executive Director for The Center for Life Transitions. Tom is responsible for overall Center leadership and strategy. His individual coaching/counseling as well as workshops and retreats focus on integrating leading career development ideas with spiritual exploration. Read more.