Picture of my first handmade smudge fan. Made of wood and feathers found while hiking, and a few purchased pieces such as the wood beads and a few smaller feathers.
Gabrielle Roth poses a statement that in many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you find comfort in the sweet territory of silence?
Four simple but very powerful questions that take little effort but pack a big punch. I believe that the lessons of the past year have brought me much closer to these questions and to understanding their meaning on a whole different level. Did you know that all the little things can end up being all the big things in our life’s? It was this morning, waking up with a smile, well rested, that my thoughts shifted to this and has inspired this post.
I was never an early riser, and a study that having to get up before 8 AM is equivalent to torture, holds true with me. There are plenty of times when I get up before 8, but when I do it is naturally now and not because of the sound of an alarm clock. Just the thought of the alarm going off any minute or that it is set, causes sleep interruption and anxiety for me. I like to wake up naturally. I know, I did get spoiled not having to work, but more and more I realize how important and necessary this time truly was and still is for me.
I always had a special relationship with my bed, haha. You know the one that feels perfect, to be wrapped in comfort, feeling cozy, when the temperature is just right. When you experienced a good night of rest, and wake up with a smile, ready to take on the world. To snuggle up in soft plush sheets in the winter that keep you warm and comfortable, or when you feel the cooling cotton sheets during the summer on your skin to keep it light and airy. You get it, you have been there and I’m not the only one.
Well for awhile I lost that feeling, especially while I was in Germany and the RA and stress crippled my body. I couldn’t sleep on my side anymore or my stomach and for a non back sleeper it’s not an easy thing to get comfortable or even fall asleep on your back. I remember night after night, waking at every little movement when I tried to turn around and the pain reminded me that it was not possible. I felt so exhausted and tired, and after awhile I’m sure I felt disheartened and lost my joy about the little things. Things like waking up rested to face the day. It may seem little and something insignificant that we often take for granted, but for me it became a very big deal and something I missed. This lasted for several months, with me remembering how wonderful it used to be, and how much things had changed. How much I wished to sleep and entire night without having to get up just to move a little, bit because I had to use the bathroom, but to move my joints. The relationship with my bed had dissolved and what used to be a place of comfort and bliss had now turned into a place of discomfort and horror. I was afraid of the nights and I couldn’t wait for dawn so I could get up and escape this place of pain.
Looking back, I know I was simply too tired to dance, to sing, to be enchanted, or to take comfort in silence. It is amazing how quickly we can lose this, often to no fault of our own. I thought it was my new reality as it lasted for months, but it also taught me to never give up hope, to keep believing and to keep working on your reality. It doesn’t have to be permanent or stay forever, and it will be much easier if you can carry hope within your heart.
Things have changed got me since those grueling times, and today I can once again enjoy the comfort of my beloved bed. Things are not perfect yet, but they are very close to it for me, remembering back to what was. I think I love it even more these days, and sometimes I turn in way early in the evening just to marvel in the feeling that I had lost in an instance once before. It was because of these questions posed from Gabrielle Roth that I paused myself, and those basic things that I’m sure many of us take for granted. I could share a few more lessons like these, things the RA has taught me, things we expect of ourselves every day and don’t think twice about. Today I would tell you to be gentle with yourself and to be thankful and grateful for these things.
My hope in sharing this is to make you pause just like I did and to take a moment. What are you taking for granted and what are the little things in your life you’d miss if they were gone today? How would it make you feel? Perhaps bringing attention to those things will help you dance and sing, will help you celebrate them and see them with renewed joy. Perhaps they place enchanted stories within your heart to share with loved ones, or they allow you to marvel in silence, to be still and listen to your heart while keeping depression and discontentment as far away as possible from you.
Carpe Diem 💙🦋