“Soul to me means ‘embodied essence’, when we experience ourselves and others in our full humanity — part animal, part-divine. Healing comes through embodiment of the soul.”
— Marion Woodman
Self-expression. What is it, really?
To me, it is the fundamental reason we are here. To express the Self — the essential Self, Essence; to express this formless expression into the world of form. There are many ways to speak of this Self. To embody the Self in this world of form is soul.
What gets in the way of this for much of our life, though, is that at a young age we are taught to, instead, express what others want us to. We are taught to no longer listen to our own hearts and the intelligence of our own inner system, and to instead express what pleases others. In order to do this, we must put away what then seems ‘wrong’ to us. We put that away into the shadow. It is good to note that what we put away isn’t always things that might seem wrong; often we put away our most brilliant, tender, loving, creative, instinctive capabilities for it can be those that most challenge the adults around us.
But as we grow older, something within us begins to gnaw away at us, tries to get our attention, continually trying to get us to begin the journey to reclaim what we’ve put away. We do the work to go deeper inside to bring more of the Self out into the light of consciousness. When we are aware and free and integrated, our creativity and resiliency become rich and strong.
We are living in a time when it is crucial for us to come to a more clear, true, and creative Self-expression. It is a time for us to give voice to Essence, for Soul to be known, for the voice of Love to be spread across the world. In order to do this, we must come to reveal ourselves to ourselves.
“Healing happens through embodiment of the soul.”
Revealing yourself to yourself
One of the most beautiful ways you can come to respect yourself and dignify who you are is to listen to yourself — deeply listen — in order to begin to restore your own wholeness back to consciousness. You are whole, yet so much of what and who you are gets relegated to the shadow, to the unconscious. Deep listening to self begins the process of bringing what is in the shadow back into the light of awareness.
Deep listening to self is a practice. It’s not something you are taught. In fact, most of us aren’t really even taught that there is a self to listen to in this way.
Deep listening to self is developing a loving, clear, inquisitive relationship with your inner world, with your feelings and sensations, and with the ways your unconscious speaks directly to you.
There is no static, separate self, but there are many aspects that make up your consciousness. The key in this work is to realize that everything works through relationship. I only know myself through a relationship with you that takes place in the outer world. But this is also true within each of us. I know myself by relating to myself in my inner world. And you know yourself more deeply by relating to yourself in your inner world.
In the practice of deep listening to self, you enter into a dynamic, conscious relationship with places inside of you that are trying to get your attention through persistent feelings, sensations, images, symbols, etc.
I might call myself a coach, but what I really am is a facilitator of this inner dialogue within you. I guide you to trust yourself enough to enter into this dialogue with these persistent feelings, sensations, images, symbols, etc. Sometimes this takes months to get to this point of trust with yourself and with me, but all along the way, we are developing this capacity to come to trust what is within you so that you can learn to facilitate deep listening within yourself. You develop a deeper trust with your inner world so the depth and intelligence of who and what you truly are can be revealed expressed into the outer world, the world of form.
To be fully expressed, this is key. Otherwise, we are expressing what we see in the outer world rather than the new freshness of soul in its own vibrant intelligence. As creativity becomes more important in our outer world, this capacity to hear and liberate what is within becomes more vital. When you liberate yourself from within, you add to the liberation of all of life and you enhance your capacity to do the deeper work in the world that requires your inner strength, resiliency, compassion, power, intuition, and joy. These are all within you waiting to be set free.
The opportunity to live the essence of you is now available. Many are here to do this work. Many are offering this work.
To do the work of deep listening to yourself in order to bring Soul into the light of day is a joyous exploration. It is not always easy. It is never all light. But, it is a joyous liberation of that which has come to live in a human body for the length of a human life.
Bring your attention inward. Pay attention to what is present. Is it a feeling? Is it a sensation? Where in the body do you sense, feel this? Bring your awareness to it. Enter into a relationship with it just as you would if a person you care about was sitting across from you. Assume you do not know anything about what is being presented to you — you most likely don’t. Throughout the practice, keep asking and listening, stepping over and assuming nothing as you do. Get curious. Get playful. Ask questions. Look for shifting energy, feeling, sensation. Interact with pure intention. Trust that your system is a system of wholeness. What is present is ready to be seen, known, and set free. You will not be the liberator. Whatever is presenting itself will liberate itself — the system knows. You are relating and holding space with pure intention and love. Be prepared to be surprised and awed by what you encounter. Your awareness is powerful and it is enough. You will feel things, perhaps things you haven’t wanted to feel from your past. Enter in with reverence. Go slow. Trust. You are learning to dance with yourself. And if you’d like a guide to begin with, reach out.