If you’re a living breathing human, you’ve likely experienced feeling lost, stuck, or unfulfilled at some point in your life. It’s an inevitable part of the journey. Although it may feel incredibly uncomfortable and frustrating at the time, plot twist: it’s actually a good thing. This discomfort is like a wakeup call telling you that something in your life—perhaps it’s a relationship, a job, or something else—is not right. Soul searching is the prescribed solution in this situation.
“All soul searching begins with a deep desire for something more, almost like a craving or curiosity to know more, feel more, experience more, and have a deeper meaning in your life,” says life coach and manifestation teacher Laina Caltagirone. “Soul searching is the journey of learning what that ‘something more’ is.”
Thankfully, there are actionable things you can do to shift you back into a place of alignment and onto a life path that feels authentic and exciting. Keep reading to learn how your soul becomes “lost,” signs that you need soul searching, and tools and practices you can implement to help you gain clarity around what you truly desire.
What it means to “lose your soul” and why it happens
Before we dive into how to soul search, let’s back up a second and discuss what it means to “lose your soul” and why it happens in the first place. “To lose your soul means to experience disconnection with who you truly are, what you are here to do, the power available to you, and the path the universe has for you,” Caltagirone says.
Many things can cause you to feel disconnected from your soul’s purpose. Caltagirone says some reasons include settling, not going after new goals, ignoring your intuition, living your life for others, or making decisions based on what you feel you should do.
Signs you need to do some soul searching
Everyone’s journey is different, but Caltagirone says one big sign that you need some soul searching is that you’re constantly questioning your path and dreaming about alternative ones, like a lot.
Feelings of being stuck are also a sign. You may feel like you’re not growing or moving forward. Lack of joy, passion, excitement, or fulfillment is another sign. Or, it could just be that something in your life feels off. You feel like there is something more for you, but you’re not sure what that is yet.
6 ways to do soul searching
1. Take inventory
When embarking on a soul searching journey, the first thing Caltagirone recommends doing is taking stock of what’s working and what’s not working in your life. Get really honest here. She suggests accessing how you’re feeling in eight major areas: wellness, home, career, money, love, relationships, personal growth, and hobbies.
2. Ask for guidance
“Whether you believe in God, universe, source, whatever—there’s a higher power out there that is available and willing to help you,” Caltagirone says. “Ask for guidance.” You can put in the request, she adds, by saying something like: “Show me what I need to know and do to get back in touch with my soul and my highest path.” Then pay attention to what nuggets of wisdom come through. The advice may come from people, books, or random flashes of insights and symbols.
3. Make time for reflection
Spending time in solitude when soul searching is essential. It creates the time and space needed to ask yourself the deep questions and allow insight to emerge. Practices Caltagirone recommends for self-reflection include meditation to clear the mental clutter; prayer for asking for clarity, wisdom, or action steps; and journaling. Some journal prompts she suggests digging into include: What do I truly desire? What am I afraid of? How do I want to feel? If anything were possible, what would I do?
4. Enlist support
Although soul searching will require a lot of alone time for introspection, it’s not exclusively a solitary activity. It’s helpful to have people around you who can support you throughout your journey. “Connect with people who are on a similar path, who feel good to talk to, and who inspire you,” Caltagirone says.
5. Explore holistic healing practices
Whether you’re a holistic healing enthusiast who’s tried every modality under the sun or you’ve yet to dip your toes into the world of alternative wellness, this is the perfect time to explore different restorative practices to help you heal and reconnect with yourself. “Be open and try things like energy work, breathwork, sound bath meditations, reiki, chakra balancing, or any classes or workshops that interest you,” Caltagirone says.
6. Tap into your intuition
If you’ve been living out of alignment, chances are you’ve lost touch with flexing your intuition muscle that Caltagirone describes as “that deep inner knowing and wisdom that we all inherently have.” Reconnecting with your intuition is what ultimately will help you uncover what you truly want in life and lead you down the right path. Take this opportunity to learn how your intuition speaks to you and practice actually listening to the nudges.