"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul." ~Oscar Wilde
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This week proved to be challenging to experience delight. Isn’t that how life often is? Setting out with the best intentions, and then life’s distractions and challenges remind me of how hard it is to put intentions into practice.
This is why having a practice to anchor me is essential. For me, this is the deliberate and consistent time I make each morning before the sun or my family members have risen, to move deeply into my body, heart, and soul. I’ve been starting with a short 10 minutes of presence to become aware each of my senses with this meditation (included by clicking here if you haven’t received it yet), as well as prayer, body movement, and writing in a journal. It took deep contemplation on a few of these mornings to regard my day before with delight—what had I heard that elicited joy, reset my nervous system, gave my day a needed jolt, offered me peace? It was worth it, though. Anchoring makes a difference.
Through the week, sound healed my soul over and again. And, as Wilde expresses, it was my soul that noticed and noted that what I was taking in could be “cured” by paying attention.
In the quiet mornings, it was a delight to sit and take in sound—waves passing, little moments, most that didn’t stretch beyond a few seconds. At this time of day, it’s mostly bird song, my space heater humming, a refrigerator, the house creaking. Then as my family awakens, stomping feet, the flush of toilet, flow of shower. Nearby, a train whistle. Recognizable delight—my son’s heavy-footed walking, my husband readying himself for work, the rumble and whistle of train echoing. The familiarity of it all offering a moment to delight in the “usual”—everyone and everything exactly as I know it to be, nothing askew in the sounds.
But what about the moments when something different is needed? What about when delight feels lost to challenge? Again, it the glory of the sensory grounded me back into my settled soul. I sometimes forget I don’t need to listen to the voice in my head ALL the time. When anxiety and frustration peaked, because I was thinking about sound, I could make a conscious choice to listen to something opposite my mood, opposite the voice in my heard. This week, it was “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley and “One, Two Step” by Ciara and Missy Elliot, that forced the clouds aside. Musical sound, curated to produce a certain mood effect, became my soul’s cure. (Click on the songs to listen.)