What do you do when you are out of sorts? Everyone has days that sometimes turn into weeks and can, unfortunately, lead to a persistent bad mood and, in time, can turn into a chronic mood disorder or depressive disorder. You know that feeling of being too tight in your own skin, everything annoys you, the TV is too loud, and that dumb guy on the TOYOTA commercial makes you want to throw your bag of M&M’s through the TV? Your friends invite you out, and you find an excuse, your partner asks what’s wrong, and you blow them off because you seek refuge in the comfort of your bed, couch, and those M&M’s. And darn, it is Halloween’s fault because the candy is everywhere, on sale, and no one trick or treats anymore.
Your inner critic has created a cloud of inertia and immobility, and that negative cycle has taken you hostage again. What to do? Soul-Tend.
Soul Tending is the art of slowing down and turning inward. Think about the above examples as weeds and overgrowth in your garden. Overgrowth results from inattention to the details of little things that need your attention. It is not the M&M’s that you need, but that little unattended part of yourself. You know, the voice that you keep ignoring? That voice says, “that hurt my feelings, or second guess your decisions with, why did I do that.” Inattention is a result of ignoring the little weedy thoughts and feelings. Most of us are guilty of choosing to ignore the little things because we think they are not important.
Let’s start with the truth. You are important. You are the most important person in your life because if you don’t tend to yourself, your critic will continue to override your positive energy. All of us can lead better lives by soul tending, especially tending to that which ails us.
How do we turn inward? When we turn off TVs and the dryer hum, our thoughts become loud, and by habit, we drown those loud thoughts by turning to outside distractions. It will take mental discipline to turn down the volume of our loud thoughts and focus inside.
Making conscious decisions is the first step to soul tending.
Journaling is a primary key to sorting and sifting through the chatter in your head. Dialogue journaling helps you connect to disconnected parts of yourself so that you can discover what really ails you. Here is an exercise to help you. More exercises like this one will be shared in Soul Tending Zoom Workshop on November 12th
Exercise: Time Apart in a Quiet Place
Make it a date with yourself and plan for it. Imagine which part of yourself needs your attention. For instance, if your inner five-year-old needs you, then you will need crayons, pictures, a glue stick, & maybe some bubbles.
If your teenage part needs your attention, you might need a favorite song from your teenage era.m
Perhaps a young mother part of you or your sixty-year-old self needs to do some grief work.
Identifying what part of you needs some soul-tending prior to your date with yourself is important. Next, decide how long your date is going to be. I suggest at least 3 hrs so that you have uninterrupted writing, reflecting, and inner meditation time. Consider music, candles or incense, journal and art supplies, and a sense of place. You could even make it a weekend pilgrimage at an air BnB somewhere. Making time for yourself is a necessary soul-tending tool!
November 12, 11:0O a.m.-12:30 p.m. (MST)
Soul Tending: Building Awareness, Focus, and Creativity
The Wintry Part of Our Minds…bleak, cold, and dark spaces in our soul where we carry old wounds from painful encounters that prevent our transformation. We must find ways to burn to the ground and sit with ashes and then go on anew from there.
Soul Tending is a rich way of looking at how to transform that which ails you. Soul-tending is archetypal work using stories, writing prompts, art, movement, music, and other resources that stimulate our senses to activate our soul toward transforming movement.
This workshop offers a new story, The Nubian Woman, which I am very excited about sharing.
This story is a story of initiation rooted in our need to belong and be part of a community that supports and loves us. That need to belong often renders us alone, lost, and feeling exiled.
Healing our regrets from feeling tricked and betrayed because we just wanted to feel a part of the greater community and not marginalized can often cost us dearly.
This story, along with the Wizard of Oz and The Miller’s Daughter, points out that we can not heal alone in a vacuum but that we need to journey to unfamiliar places, whether they be rivers, forests, or the Emerald City. It is the journey (the Pilgrimage) that sets the opportunity for transformation. Each story also points out that we must do our work, sit in our ashes…face, and heal our wounds ourselves. No one can do that inner work for us, but we need allies on the way!
We will learn more about rivers, precious objects, the use of our voice, and our connection to the Divine within us.