This is a question we too often forget to ask ourselves. With all the rushing back and forth, the simply trying to live life, we neglect to ask ourselves what inspires joy in our hearts.

It’s a good exercise because it helps ground us. We are all human and we all have to do daily things that are an inconvenience or an unwanted necessity. But that doesn’t mean we should forget to be happy or neglect our passions.

My soul is alive every day I am on the trail (any trail) hiking. It’s alive when I’m making new connections, creating art, and starting new projects. It’s when I’m on the road with my fiancé making new discoveries or immersed in a good book.

To me, a soul alive looks like moving forward — like doing, not thinking. It’s not getting hung up on the past or future and it’s not stagnating. It’s the productive, passionate act of defining myself.

For Write Yourself Alive, day 11, I wrote about when I feel my soul most alive:

When Was Your Soul Last Alive?

When was your soul last alive?
In the early morning daze
or the rushing of putting your
life together for one more revolution
on this skipping record you call life?
Is it in the blank stare of a desk
bound screen that you find yourself?
Was your soul alive in the still,
silent night following the shouts
and sharp words, or in the quiet
monotony that comes when you’re
surrounded by all those people lost
in themselves?
Or — and I ask this with the hope
that your heart will fill with the
passion to move forward and find joy —
was it in the endless sound of your feet
crunching on ice and twigs you found
yourself?
Was it not in the dull trap of comfort
that your soul was singing, but in
the fear and uncertainty you felt with
rolling wheels beneath your body?
With the smell of unfamiliar cities
and untamed pine surrounding you?
Is it in those moments you break away
from life and actually live?
Is it then you feel your soul swell
and rise?
What, then, is holding you back from
breaking away and living your soul
alive? What is holding you back from
living every day fresh and new?

Now, I ask you, when was your soul last alive?