The songs of your soul

This was the closing exercise we did to unwind from the previous exercise. This is inspired by something I did with my friend Jennifer Urezzio in a workshop called “Voicing Your Vision.” I posted about this on Instagram, but am reposting here. The full exercise involves taking the second song that comes to you and then singing that karaoke-style in front of a group. When I did this I got paralyzed part-way through and then I started to cry. Since the last activity was so intense, I took this one down a notch and just suggested that we just do the first part of finding our songs.

In Dreamers & Schemers, we’ve done many meditations similar to this where we turn inward to connect to an aspect of ourselves / a source of knowing / flow of energy to find our truth. The advice I always give is to play along and act “as if,” even if you don’t feel or see or hear anything special. If you aren’t used to this sort of exercise, your ego might try to get in your way and tell you that you’re just making it all up, but to that I respond that your imagination is not your enemy. With wonder, curiosity, and beginner’s mind, your imagination will lead you to the very depths of your truth.

SONG OF YOUR SOUL

So here’s a quick meditation exercise that is a lot of fun! (That is, if you get your mind chatter out of the way and trust the process. Otherwise you’ll drain the fun out of it.) It is meant to be done lightheartedly and can take all of a minute if you’re a pro at connecting deeply and not doubting yourself. If you need more time to get into a meditative state, take it.
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Turn inward, ground, center, etc. Then set the intention to connect to your soul and begin to bring awareness to that connection.
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Once you feel that connection is strong and steady (and if you don’t really feel anything that’s okay, this’ll work if you “act as if”), ask your soul the following questions:
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1. WHAT IS THE SONG OF WHO I AM?
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Take a breath. Note anything that immediately comes into your awareness at all levels (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually), and how it’s coming in for you (do you hear a title, hear a melody, get a memory or a thought, etc.).
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Breathe and let go of the answer.
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2. Take another breathe and ask, WHAT IS THE SONG OF WHO I AM BECOMING?
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Again, take a breath and become aware of what you notice.
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Breathe and let go of the answer.
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Thank your soul for its guidance. Trust that even if you didn’t think you got an answer you did (and maybe you’re just judging it or expecting a different one), or you very soon will if you keep your awareness open in the days that follow. Know that connection to your soul is always there for you to return to.
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Come back to the room and reground.
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What did you just learn about yourself?

UPDATE

My friend Steph played along on Instagram and then asked me what my songs were. The first time I did this was back in the fall of 2015, right before we hosted the Self Care Shakedown. I was just coming out of a year-long period of overcoming grief and burnout, and felt the energy was shifting, but didn’t have much of an idea of what lay ahead of me work-wise. The song of who I was was Tom Petty’s Learning to Fly, where the singer notes that he “ain’t got wings.” The song of who I was becoming was R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly, which I thought was just the cheesiest thing to pop into my mind, but my friend Jennifer was adamant about sticking with whatever came to me. The songs obviously made sense as a pair, especially in light of the fact that I’ve always felt a special connection to birds, that the logo of Minds On Fire is a bird, and I had just started learning the art of flying trapeze.

Lately, though, I’ve felt the need to tap back into this exercise, because in the two years since, I feel like I’ve undergone a few significant transformations that have affected me at a soul level. When I redid this exercise, the first song I got was the children’s song, A Ram Sam Sam. The second song was Paul Simon’s Spirit Voices. The latter made sense to me because it comes from one of my favorite albums of all time. But I really wanted a do-over for the former!

So I had to take my own advice and stick with my first answer. I also recommend singing or listening to your songs and really paying attention to how they make you feel. It may be less about what the words say and how the music moves you. This was definitely the case with the nonsense lyrics of A Ram Sam Sam. When I sang it to myself (I couldn’t bear to listen to the versions on YouTube) I was taken back to my days in the Girl Scouts when I had so much fun singing and dancing to a bunch of nonsense songs. I was filled with a playfulness that did seem to speak directly to how much life had gotten so much more playful since 2015.

If you feel moved to share the songs of your soul, please do! I’d love to hear from you!

 

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