Published on October 31st, 2019 | by Publisher, Atlanta Edition0
by Sarah Poet
I once participated in a five-day retreat called Soul Fire, which, in case the name of the retreat doesn’t quite articulate it, was designed to set one’s soul ablaze. But as the days progressed, other people seemed to be “getting it” in a way that I wasn’t. By the fourth day, I still hadn’t had any big “A-ha” moment.
Each afternoon, we were given free time to listen to the voice of our souls and discover whatever we might discover. On the afternoon of that fourth day, I watched three groups of women form and move in different directions: to the river, to the lake, to the mountaintop. It all sounded like fun, so I was a little bummed that I hadn’t been invited into one of the groups. My inner kid felt un-included.
I thought, “I will go join the river group because I’m feeling like that might be cool today.” But on the inside, I felt a misalignment; I wanted to be accepted more than I wanted to join the group’s activity.
As I walked toward the river, a distinct feeling arose inside me, along with the message, “Turn right and take this path.” At first, I ignored it. But as I was passing the path, the voice grew even louder. “Take that path on the right!” it insisted. So, I did.
Then I kept asking, “Where to? Where to?”
I followed the promptings of the voice across a field, across a small stream, and into a flat piece of earth in the sunshine.
“Listen to that Disney song you discovered this summer with your son and dance,” the voice said. At the retreat, we were allowed to listen to downloaded music but not to anything online.
Again, I did what my inner voice said. I danced to the song, on repeat, in a field, alone. Not at the river with the other women. And there I had my “A-ha” moment of self-discovery. I danced to a damn Disney song—which I curse only because it was incredibly out of character for me—and each time it ended, the voice once again said, “Again.”
I listened to and danced to that song on repeat for over an hour, in the sun, dancing my feet on the earth like I imagine my Native American ancestors did, and I came into a depth of Sacred Remembering that I had not yet known. I felt my soul as ancient. I felt the Divine Feminine wanting to pour through me.
And finally, with my hands in the air and my feet stomping the earth, I claimed the truth of me with every step. Then I felt something like cold rushing water run down my throat and into my lungs. It poured through me, and I knew I had reclaimed something deep and sacred within me: the Divine Feminine herself.
A few months later, I went back to tour the land where the retreat was held and inquire about hosting my own retreat in that space. I told the caregiver about that afternoon in the sun. She said, “Sarah, that is an ancient Cherokee ceremonial site.” Chills covered my entire body. My ancestors were Cherokee.
It was a pivotal point on my path.
What happened that day was bigger than I will ever know. I could have passed that path. I could have ignored that voice inside. But I listened. I danced. I claimed. It changed me. And what was calling me, what my soul was guiding me toward, was an ancient Cherokee site. Do I ever want to ignore a voice like that? I want every piece of magic that path will graciously offer. I will listen to that voice and trust it. It is my guide.
Sarah Poet’s coaching practice, Embodied Breath, includes Conscious Couples Coaching, Embodied Intimacy, and Honoring Personal Truth for individuals, couples, and organizations. Visit www.yourembodiedbreath.com and www.sarahpoet.com to learn more.