From: “The Four-fold Way: walking the paths of the warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary” – by Angeles Arriene:
The four universal healing salves.
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.
When did YOU stop dancing? Did I ever start…dancing? My grandparent’s generation danced – they made it a point to dance – square dances, dances to live music at our small-town bar, wedding dances, anniversary dances. There was celebration, joy, happiness…and, of course, dancing. Not everyone was great at it but they did it anyway! There was no one recording or taking selfies. They were simply dancing – fully immersed in the energy of the party.
Oh, the singing! I remember singing (and dancing for that matter) into a hairbrush microphone to Rick Springfield, Shaun Cassidy (his poster adorning the wall), Journey, etc. I sang my heart out in those days and for a lot of my life (in the car, in the shower) but a few years ago, I even stopped listening to music in the car because sometimes the radio just seems like more noise and I’d rather have quiet. I still put on music sometimes, when I clean, but not often enough and I don’t belt out the tunes unless we happen to be at a concert, once a year, at most. This is first on the list because you must have the music to have the dance.
I still love stories – now I use Audible in the car – and have someone read to me while I drive because I tell myself I don’t have time to read. I don’t make time to read. Why? I have no idea because I love to read! I cried – even into adulthood – at the stories and mourned at the loss of characters who’d become my friends. Who am I to not make time to read? My soul loves books, and that is what is important.
Ah, comfort in the sweet territory of silence… I so enjoy silence, but it’s often punctuated by a text notification, a phone call, or social media. True silence (silence even in my head) only seems to happen when I meditate or when we’re out for a hike. Where else can you cultivate silence, and take comfort in it? We may find it in walks, daydreaming, or while drinking coffee to start the day.
It’s true that there is much in the world to be disheartened and dispirited about. Instead of giving into it – join me in dancing, singing, storytelling (or reading stories), and sitting in our comfortable silence. If you need help getting the energy and enthusiasm to do so – come see us as Omaha Integrative Care – we have just the gentle nudge you need!