Have You Ever Been to Dead Soulsville?
5 Steps to Rediscovering Your Soul
“Do you ever just not know who you are or what you want and all of a sudden you just don’t feel anything?”
~Alex Levy, ‘The Morning Show’
Whoa. Rewind. Those words could have come out of my mouth. They’ve certainly been buried in me for a long time. In fact, they’ve gotten quite comfortable there. Kind of like those old throw blankets on a chair…. just hanging there, ready if they’re ever needed.
But those words were also living in someone else and out they came. It didn’t matter to me that they came from a fictional character on TV. I was completely engrossed. Jennifer Aniston‘s character, Alex, in a rare vulnerable moment, was finally breaking down. She was about to publicly announce her divorce, her work life was a shit-show, and she didn’t know who her true friends were or who she could trust.
Do you ever just not know who you are or what you want and all of a sudden you just don’t feel anything?
I thought I knew who I was.
I thought I knew what I wanted.
And then it occurred to me I was living my life on autopilot.
Go to work, pick up the kids from school, take them to their violin lesson, hockey practice, dance class, stop at the grocery store for a cooked roaster chicken and a bag of microwave rice because I’m too tired to cook and my brain simply can’t spit out an idea for dinner, clean the dishes, help the kids finish their homework (most times by giving them the answers just so it could be done), have a brief moment of me-time before bed which then somehow sends an alert to my husband’s hormone radar. Seriously? NOW you pay attention to me?!?
Little by little, day by day, I convinced myself I was happy. I convinced myself I was doing the right thing. I convinced myself I was just being a baby and acting entitled. On occasion, I would call my mom to vent hoping for a bit of empathy, or at least some validation. “Suck it up, life is not perfect. You have 3 beautiful kids, a husband who loves you, and you can pay your bills. What more do you want?” would often be her response.
So back I went to being the dutiful wife, the dutiful mom, the dutiful employee. Back I went to the self-help books, the meditations, the fake smile, and the nightly glass of wine before, during, and after dinner. Back I went to ignoring the cries of my soul.
“….and all of a sudden you just don’t feel anything.”
Then came divorce. Then came an illness. Then came the loss of my job. Well, that’ll teach me to ignore me!
But you know what? I came to be grateful all of this happened. Because I learned it was not happening TO me, it was happening FOR me.
My soul was lost, and this was the Universe letting me know. And an acupuncturist and a physical therapist let me know. Two people who both knew me very well. One said she saw a barbed wire around my soul. And the other told me my soul felt dead. Wow.
I finally broke down in tears. Tears of fear, wondering if I’d ever get it back and tears of relief, that someone finally saw what was happening in me.
And where do you go when your soul is dead?? To psychics and mediums, of course! Actually, on the road to Dead Souls Town, I stopped many times along the way to ‘fill-up’ … on hope. And whether it was a misguided, disillusioned hope, it didn’t matter because I was desperate for ANY kind of hope. But I’m telling you, some of them were spot on.
I came to learn that my soul could not soar when someone else was controlling my wings. And those wings flew away with my spirit. Ironically it took me learning how to surrender to help me find my wings again. It’s something my mom tried teaching me before she died. I had thought surrendering was just giving in and giving up. But to truly surrender is to give it to a Higher being. I chose to give it to God.
5 Steps to Rediscovering Your Soul
- SURRENDER: what you think you need and give it to God, or whatever spiritual Source you believe in. Talk to your spirit guides… and be specific. The more detail, the better! And if you have a timeline, don’t. Trust that it will happen when the time is perfectly right.
Action Step: Make a “Give it to God” box (used Kleenex box, cardboard box, or shoebox.) Write down what you want. Write down what’s bothering you. Whatever you want to see happen, put it out in the Universe! Or, just have conversations with God or your Angel Posse, they’re always listening!
- SUBCONSCIOUS THOUGHTS: Our core belief system is ‘programmed’ into our brain between birth and the age of 7-ish. 5/6th of our thoughts come from the subconscious. Only 1/6th of our thoughts are conscious thoughts where we have the ability to accept or reject them. Our beliefs generate feelings. Our feelings lead to our actions. So, ask yourself: what was programmed into my subconscious that gave me beliefs/thoughts that are not serving me? These thoughts happen automatically. But once you become aware of them and maybe even discover what caused them to be programmed into your brain, you can make conscious changes to reprogram the subconscious mind.
Action Step: Go back to your childhood and think of an event that may have affected your subconscious mind. For me, it was when I was 4 years old. My parents were fighting, my Dad was never home, and my little sister was born. Suddenly I’m no longer the ‘baby’ of the family (Hello, middle-child syndrome!) I felt alone and I had to fight for attention and love from my Dad. Fast forward to several failed relationships because I chose men I had to fight for their attention and love. Finding the genesis of any patterns in your life may help you break them! This is what worked for me, something called the Lifeline Technique, developed by Dr. Darren Weissman. https://thelifelinecenter.com/the-lifeline-technique/
- SING: Music has the power to heal, to change a mood, to give you a good cry, or to lift your spirit. When I was going through my biggest ‘storm,’ I would often listen to the Christian station in my car. It had a way to not only bring me peace but to bring me messages. One was so powerful it changed my life.
Action Step: Find songs that give you what you need whether it’s peace, a good cry, or a memory that brings a smile to your face. Make a playlist and have it handy.
- SWEAT: For many of us, exercise is hard. And I don’t mean physically. If we haven’t gotten into an exercise routine of some kind, it’s very challenging to stay active. I didn’t exercise until I was in my mid 20’s. My boyfriend at the time pissed me off when he mentioned I was gaining weight so instead of joining a gym, I joined a karate school. 😉 It was one of the best decisions of my life. It taught me perseverance, mental strength, confidence, and GRIT. All traits I was lacking at that age, so it really shaped who I became. Not to mention it kept me in phenomenal shape!
Action Step: Find an exercise that will help you develop or strengthen traits you would like to see in yourself. I NEVER thought I was cut out for karate — but ended up with a black belt! At the very least, find something to make you sweat because it’s the best way to release stress AND toxins! And if you just need a quick pick me up, crank up a favorite song and DANCE!
- GO SOLO: Get your wings back. You deserve some me-time. Listen to me……. IT IS NOT SELFISH! We have been programmed (especially women) to put everyone else first. Fortunately, there seems to be a shift in thinking, and we are seeing self-care tips all over social media. So take care of you. You shouldn’t have to ‘answer’ to anyone when deciding to take care of yourself. It’s your body, it’s your sanity. You deserve it!
Action Step: Plan a girl’s weekend, or just a weekend for YOU. If you can’t pull off a weekend, do a full day. If it’s impossible to get away — meditate. When I needed solo time, I told the kids it was time for mommy to meditate. They KNEW that was my time. No interruptions allowed. I took 15-20 minutes to shut down. Find a place to listen to YOU. Get in tune with who you are, or who you used to be. Remember her. See her. Be her.