It was the final session with a dear client, and we were doing a quick review of all the resources in her toolkit to ensure she was well-equipped for the journey ahead. Thought-dissolving tools? Check. Daily practice dialed in? Check.
Then I asked her about how she connects with and hears the voice of her soul. And she paused. That one kinda stumped her.
So I asked her to recall a time or instance in her life when she followed her heart, or a gut feeling, or an intuitive hunch that may have gone against what she “should” do or the advice or opinions of others, but was the absolute right decision for her.
She shared a time in undergrad when she decided to take a semester off. That decision did not make a lot of sense to anyone but her. But she said she just knew it was the right decision for her. I pressed her further. How did she “just know?”
She described a feeling of nausea and gnawing in her gut anytime she thought about registering for classes or picked up a course catalog. She talked about “a knowing in her bones,” a knowing that was so solid (like bone) that it was in her and a part of her.
Those sensations, I suggested to her, were the voice of her soul speaking through her body. The soul will use (among other things), physical sensations to communicate with us.
Because your soul, although connected to your human, really exists outside of time and space. And as a recent guest on Sunny in Seattle, the beloved Dr. Bernie Siegel, reminded me, the soul speaks not through language, but through signs and symbols.
He illustrated this with a story about an ER patient he’d treated years ago. She arrived with a migraine. When Dr. Siegel asked her the primary symptom or feeling the migraine was causing, she answered, “Pressure.” He asked her, “Where in your life do you feel pressure?” She hesitated, then said, “My marriage.” When Dr. Siegel returned some time later to check her condition, he discovered she’d been discharged, the migraine having resolved itself.
Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe it was her soul desperately trying to communicate a truth she was not otherwise acknowledging.
Because in my experience, that’s how the soul works. It guides us using what is available in the human experience. Our bodies are a huge part of that.
Those physical sensations and feelings are part of the guidance system of our soul. Like the constant, low-level constriction I felt in my own chest and heart years ago. It was like the taught skin over a drum. And it didn’t lift until after I left my marriage.
The sensations and feelings can be subtle, though. Meaning you need to be tuned in and listening for the slightest variations. Much like a mother knows a certain cry from her baby means hunger vs. a dirty diaper, we gotta be experts in hearing the often-nuanced way our soul speaks through the soft animal of our body.
When we listen to the body, we hear the soul.
So how attuned are you to your body? Are you proficient in the language of your soul?
Because when the world falls apart (pandemic…wildfires…hurricanes…racial injustice…an election), your soul might just be the only structure left standing. It knows your deepest desires, what is truly yours, your calling, your purpose, everything. And it provides the wisdom and guidance to move you through it all. You will know – just like my client knew – the most perfect choices for you.
Here’s to getting fluent in the language of the soul.