Thursday, February 20, 2014
Soul loss is an issue of extreme soul imbalance that healers have attempted to treat for 100,000 years. Soul retrieval is the oldest profession, I'm sure it is. It seems to be part of the human condition, the comings and goings of the soul.
Even in modern medicine, soul retrieval is practiced. We don't call it that anymore. We call it psychotherapy and psychiatry. There was a period of time when soul retrieval was not a part of modern medicine. At that time, people suffering from soul imbalances were locked up. It was very cruel, but no one knew what else to do. God bless you Grandfathers Sigmund and Carl!
Of course people are still locked up and hospitalized all the time. The practice of psychiatry is absolutely necessary for some people. I am not against the miracle drugs that make it possible for these people to function and live their lives without so much suffering. I'm grateful relief is possible for people when they need that level of care.
The practice of psychiatry does not restore or balance the soul, it is a compensatory endeavor that helps people feel less haunted. I am all for it!
Psychotherapy is something I availed myself of often and for many years earlier in life. I wouldn't hesitate to go back to the couch if needed. Psychotherapy is a gradual and meticulous type of soul retrieval, a mindful type of soul retrieval. The process saved my life, more than once. I wish it was truly affordable and seen as proactive healthcare.
One of the reasons I love Chinese medicine is because it's a complete system. No matter what my symptoms may be, the acupuncture and herbs address soul imbalances as well as the physical imbalances. Chinese medicine is elegant, it surely is.
As a shaman, I am very interested in soul imbalances. I am a healer shaman, a kind of diplomat whose job it is to mediate between the seen and unseen, as best I can, to bring harmony to the body and soul of the person I am working with. There are shamans who go to the underworld to battle demons, or go head to head with sickness spirits. I honor these warrior shamans but it isn't what I do. I come in peace.
Hence I can't treat soul loss of a serious nature. I leave that to the warrior shamans, the psychiatrists, psychotherapists and acupuncturists. But I work with common, chronic types of minor soul imbalance all the time in individuals and families.
What is it with soul, that it's so ready to abandon us? I've been asking myself this question for many years. Naturally I have no answers. Many people have asked this question going back in time who knows how long. No one knows, but still, we wonder. I have a few theories, of course.
If you're feeling a little (or a lot) "off" but can't connect it to anything physical or external (like a situation at work, for instance), I suggest some soul balancing work. Acupuncture and therapy are excellent paths, but there are many ways to balance the soul. We always have, and still do need soul balancing. It's part of the condition of ensoulment.
May we be soulful, not haunted.
May we be peaceful and spacious.
May we be healthy.
May we love and be loved.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The light is increasing (in the northern hemisphere where I live) but winter is far from over. Spring is quickening underfoot but it's too early to see the signs of spring. February can be challenging because it's not yet time to get excited about spring, but if you're like me, you're sick of winter. It's a kind of limbo, or it can be.
February is an excellent time to feed the heart. Eat cherries (real cherries please, not those hideous red things that come out of a jar. Those things haven't been cherries in a very long time.) Drink red wine, not too much if you can keep from it. Eat chocolate - again, not too much or you'll spoil the heart health benefits by making yourself ill or giving yourself a headache. Less is more with wine and chocolate, and cherries, too, come to think of it. For those who put their faith into scientific studies, here's a link to a Cleveland Clinic page about chocolate and heart health. This link is to an article about red wine and heart health, from Yale/New Haven Hospital.
I'm not a great believer in studies, though I believe we have to try to understand. I'm not against studies. I'm more of a believer in common sense. My common sense tells me that people who eat a little bit of chocolate, who drink a glass of red wine with dinner, have a joie de vivre about them. It's the joy that feeds the heart if you ask me. The eating and drinking of cherries, chocolate and wine are symptoms that point to an inner light and liveliness.
In Chinese medicine, the pictograms for the organs show what the organ does, plus a mark that indicates the function is embodied. For instance, the character for liver is a mortar and pestle with the mark "embodied." The heart is the only organ whose pictogram does not include the mark of embodiment. The heart is the ground floor of something vast and unimaginable.
As such, feeding the heart is far more interesting than eating the right foods. As I often say, we humans are not chemistry sets. We're complicated.
You can feed your miraculous heart by taking a brisk walk on a sunny day, or dancing around to music you love. Being active is a very important aspect of heart health on every level. To feed the soul, the activity should be enjoyable. If you're just going through the motions of exercise, that might be good for the body, but it will not feed the soul.
The heart is nourished, as well, with beauty. Go look at beautiful paintings, listen to beautiful music or gaze at a beautiful landscape outside your window. The heart is the throne where the soul resides. Make the throne opulent by taking in beauty. This feeds the heart. Though no study has been published that "proves" it, common sense tells me that we are tender, soulful beings who need a lot more than a kale shake to be whole and happy.
Feed your heart by connecting with the love you feel for your nearests and dearests. Bring their faces into your heart and let the love wash through. You know what I'm talking about, yes?
February is a trudge, a drudge. For many of us on the eastern side of the U.S., winter has been harsh. Getting through February can drain body and soul. Feed your heart, people, ok? Breathe in and out of your heart, feel the unexplainable miracle of love moving in and out.
Do not take your magnificent heart for granted. Don't assume it's nothing more than a pump. Do not deprive your heart. Feed it generously, yes? I say yes. Thank you. Shalom.