Tell us about a deep soul connection that you’ve experienced. We know that our experience of life for the greater part is subconscious. We are only conscious of a small part of who we really are. The soul through our intuitive thinking allows us to be conscious while showing us how to be a human being in relationship to the natural world. Our first realization must be that all of us have connections at business, personal and spiritual levels throughout our lives, and no relationship is really insignificant. 

An instant life-changing and the deepest soul connection that I have ever experienced began with the birth of my two daughters, between 1980 and 1985. My feelings at that moment were just "out of this world". I was amazed, flabbergasted, delighted, ecstatic, happy and tremendously thankful to the Lord. I felt every emotion under the sun, much more than my happy flying days at the Air Force College or the subsequent “jetting” across continents on banking and investment business. I felt complete euphoria both times as I held my daughters in my arms and whispered a prayer in their little soft ears. My heart cried out to the Lord in humbleness as I savoured my girls in my arms, just so emotional and just so in awe of them. There was instant bonding, profound unconditional love and a deep soul connection from day one, and which continues to this day. For me those five years were truly a deep soul connection experience and very formative.

What was one of the most soul-opening moments of your life? Every day of our lives we face "moments of truth" through our interaction with others. Such moments help to define us and shape us by giving others an opportunity to either form or change their impression of us. In so doing these moments can either create moments of magic or moments of misery. The moments I am talking about here have nothing to do with a marriage, divorce, lost relationship, or a soul mismatch. For me without doubt they range from understanding the teachings of the prophets, the great writers, benevolent leaders, mystics and philosophers both past and present, all of whom have provided meaning to my sense of inner happiness. So if John Keats suggests that our “soul is a work in progress” with all its “opposites and dualities” then my defining purpose in life is set to complete it, or as Thomas Moore puts it, “The whole world and all of life are nothing but the raw materials for soul-making”, then I shall constantly and continually strive to learn from every moment I encounter, given that my most soul-opening moments in life come from one-on-one interpersonal communication with various people that I come across on daily basis. I have gone through a 360 circle in life from being an international banker to an insolvency advisor helping the poor and struggling decent souls get rid of their debt burden that destroys all forms of relationships. The thousands of thank you letters and tearful hugs are the most soul-opening moments of my everyday life. 

When do you feel your most soulful? The entire Universe is continuously resonating with a vibrant energy of life, so it’s natural for a thankful heart to commune with God. Down on my knees in spiritual ecstasy, embracing solitude and silence, teaches me how to be humble and strong, which is the most "soulful experience" for me. Communicating with Nature helps to remind me of who I am at deeper level and what my place and purpose in the Universe is. The resonance I create for myself through both spoken and unspoken words and the power of positive thinking and affirmations all attract like-experiences and make me feel most soulful. 

Where in the world have you felt the most in touch with your own soul? Given that souls feed on inspiration, the two places which are special to me and inspire creativity and gratitude in me are the Benelux Nations, particularly Luxembourg which is nestled cozily between Belgium, France and Germany in Europe, and Banff in Alberta, Canada. These are also places where my daughters grew up. Connecting with people anywhere, enjoying, celebrating and loving people without any assumptions and judgments is what makes me feel most in touch with my own soul.

Who is one of the most soulful people you have ever known? By definition soulful people are creative people who have the ability to lift us, to touch us on mental and emotional level and bring out the best in us. Further, some soul mates are there for a lifetime while others are only for as long as our soul journey needs them. In everyday life there are always opportunities to honor both separateness and togetherness. The reality of life is such that not all soul mates are meant to be our intimate partners. 

In this context and without doubt the most soulful people in my life have been first and foremost my parents, my teachers, my peers, my friends, and my teachers. Only a soulful person has the power to attract a soul mate. Air Commodore Harry Catchpole, my Principal and Commandant at the Air Force School, was one such person who displayed semblance of the traits that make pedagogues great. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E) in 1968, and in 1979, he was awarded C.B.E. for long and meritorious service in the cause of education. Truly he was a great person, a great educationist and a philanthropist who dedicated his life to the service of humanity. Catchpole was the most generous benefactor of many institutions he had been associated with. He donated  hundreds of thousands to different institutions including Ipswich School, Suffolk, U.K., Cadet College Hasan Abdal in Pakistan Prince of Wales' Royal Indian Military College, Dehra Dun in India and Abbottabad Public School & College and to Pakistan Air Force College, Sargodha, my alma mater. The following saying is very appropriate for this soulful man:

Great Men and Great Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops."

Today he lies buried in the grounds of the Pakistan Army Cadet College Hasan Abdal, near the renowned Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Kakul - Pakistan Army’s equivalent of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).

If Ralph Waldo Emerson is correct in saying that "Men are what mothers made them", then the most shaping soulful person has got to be my mother! Mothers are the first real love of our lives and write a significant portion of our love map. My mother was influential in personal outlook, positive, cheerful and confident, and a truly inspiring soul who helped me to determine to a large extent how I feel about myself, how I relate to other women in my life, and why education was an important factor in ensuring future success.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalm 127:4-5, NIV). A father's powerful influence on sons has been told long before our modern sociological psychological studies. My father was a spiritual and soulful man very involved and caring father who helped shape my emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual and cognitive growth.

What qualities do you feel a soulful relationship has? The first determinant of a soulful relationship is the mindset towards a relationship. To me a soulful relationship has to be inspirational and transformational, and both of these have to move in unison and synchronicity. The gravitation towards another soul is not always easy to explain; it is an instant chemistry, a meeting of mind, the heart, the body and soul on the highest levels. Sustainable Soulful relationships give and respect personal space while bringing out the best in the partner through shared passions, visions and dreams. Soulful relationship knows and completely understands that where there is potential for the greatest love there is also the potential for the greatest pain. Soul mate relationships include both love and pain associated with intimacy. Soulful relationship recognizes the uniqueness of each individual involved in relationship which must compliment and compromise at times rather than compete, compare, and control all the time. Soulful relationship must recognize as well that neither individual is perfect or ever will be. Soulful relationship recognizes the fact that (a) we are fundamentally interconnected even though we may be independent souls; (b) that we are interdependent on each other at a higher consciousness; and (c) no relationship is insignificant in our lives. In a healthy soulful relationship there has to be separation of the illusion from reality while showing us that all of us are reflection of each other, tiny parts of the cosmic plan.

“To be a soulful person means to go against all the pervasive, prove-yourself values of our culture and instead treasure what is unique and internal and valuable in yourself and your own personal evolution”. —Jean Shinoda Bolen

What do you feel your soul’s purpose is? The function of the Soul is to guide and direct the body and mind consciousness, the ego, into a path of life that allows for the spirit to best express itself. Spirit prompts and propels the Soul as to the direction it needs to take. The natural impelling drive of the Soul is towards change, movement and growth in tune with the Spirit's desire. My soul has two purposes – external and internal. The external driving purpose of my soul is to try and help free others from their negative feelings and attitudes so they can live their life fully. The internal purpose of my soul is to guide me towards inner peace and acceptance to sustain me through all the changes and transformation, and above all to inspire me to be a human first and foremost.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? First, thanks for featuring me as a Man of Soul in "Soulmate Experience". Second, your book, The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships, is truly magical, inspirational and transformational. It is filled with sound advice about love, inspiration, and promise of an intimate soul-mate relationship that many will find useful, practical and easy to translate into their own lives. Clearly, the belief in soul mates (romantic destiny) is pervasive.  The majority of people hold tight to the idea of romantic destiny as compared to relationship growth.

All challenges build character and as we journey through life, life itself teaches us very valuable lessons. There comes a point in time when we forget who we truly are, and often fail to create and sustain a relationship on emotional, intellectual, sexual, and spiritual levels. Your inspirational insight addresses these in a superb easy manner, and makes each of us feel more loving and compassionate toward ourselves, and thus more connected to those around us. Thanks to your painstaking research, the next time we talk of finding a soul-mate, we will take a look at the person or people we are closest too. They could well be are our soul mates in life’s journey.

Syed Hussain is an International Banker, Strategic Management Consultant, and a Financial Intelligence Analyst with interest in International Relations and History. He is a freelance writer for Newsvine and writes under his pen-name of Tojonasmann on subjects of Change, Culture, Love, Romance, Self-Improvement, and War. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter (@syedn_hussain).

Thank you for reading this inspiring interview! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships (in paperbackebook, and audio), 52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love and Overcoming Jealousy