“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?
Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experienced the loss of soul.
Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.”
~ The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionar
I came across this quote on facebook this week and it really hit home for me. I had just got back from a week long vacation in Mexico, expecting that I’d be ready to hit the ground running and make some great progress on my work projects after that restful week off. However, that is pretty much the opposite of what I felt like doing.
I was dragging myself through the days and my commitments, feeling like I was in a funk and totally not in the mood to move forward with my work. My creativity felt blocked and I couldn’t write or get anything done. But I really wanted to get stuff DONE, and was mad at myself for this mood. So Tuesday I was sure was the day to hit it hard, and wouldn’t you know I got a fever (seriously) and swollen glands and felt dead tired. It was time to admit defeat and go to bed.
I laid down and fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow, slept for over an hour, and then decided to do a bit of reading. I ended up reading poetry for the first time in ages, and even wrote a poem after that. A part of me lit up inside that I hadn’t felt since college. I felt like a new person.
There’s parts of my soul that need to be expressed and tended, and they just weren’t getting any attention at all. I can honestly say that while nothing moved forward in my business last week or on Tuesday, I chose the exact thing that I (and my business) needed to do that day.
I suspect you are in the same boat as me. Have you felt that feeling deep inside when you’re reading a story that takes you to a place you can see and feel and KNOW even though you’ve never been there before? Maybe it was when you were singing or listening to a song, so hauntingly beautiful it seemed to stop time? Or music seemed to compel you to just start moving your body- feeling the rhythm and energy moving inside you? Or most unusual of all- have you actually sat down in silence, and just soaked up the delicious stillness?
These are truly healing practices. But when is the last time you did one? I think my soul got woken up last week when I read a new book by my favorite author (Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.) After a taste of Barcelona’s crumbling mansions and mysterious, ghostly villians enchanting my heart yet again, I began to remember the magic of life.
We need to do these things like we need to eat and drink and sleep and play. It’s all important. This week, pick one of the things on the above list, and let yourself do that thing. Unplug the internet, turn off your phone, and have a soul filled day (or hour). Find that magic you haven’t seen in a while and feel your heart’s delight again.