The first thing Delia tells me is that the state of my spiritual health may explain the source of my funk, and, at first, I assume she's either referring to my 19-year absence from church or my unholy thoughts about the hot priest from Fleabag. Turns out, I'm wrong on both accounts. "Spiritual health, for me, is being in harmony and in touch and in balance with a higher vibrational self and then also with my higher power," Delia says. "So to feel like there's a flow going, there's no stagnation." BINGO. Stagnation is exactly what I've been feeling. Not necessarily externally—I've been busier than ever and seem to be making progress toward my bigger goals—but on an internal level? I feel a little...stale.
But, I'm in luck because Delia says she has just the remedy: "Soul medicine is that thing that puts you in a zone where you're back to yourself; you're you again," she says. "It can be a few hours at the beach, it can be writing, it can be having a spiritually connected conversation, it can be a song." Delia's soul medicine regimen, for example, is listening to anything by Earth, Wind & Fire, swimming in the ocean, and taking salt baths. "Soul medicine is that thing that helps you remember who you are."
"Soul medicine is that thing that helps you remember who you are." —Lalah Delia, spiritual writer
Sometimes, she says, feeling stuck in a vibration that doesn't serve you happens for a reason, and it bodes well to acknowledge the sensation and be present with it rather than immediately trying to push yourself into a new place. Once you've effectively identified these emotions, it's time to nurture them back to a state of wellness—the state of a higher vibration. "It's almost a mothering," Delia says. "What that looks like is maybe gratitude journaling your feelings in order to purge them out, taking yourself to get a massage to thank your body for going hard that week, eating healing foods to thank your digestive system for thriving for you, resting the body and/or the brain, taking adaptogens—whatever it is that will make you vibrate higher."
Not sure what may best nurture your not-so-great feelings to a state of higher vibration? Delia suggests taking note of the world around you and what's been catching your attention. "That's your medicine calling you to go try it."
When I introspect to identify my own soul medicine, it doesn't take long for me to have an aha moment: I was medically sidelined from exercise for most of the early part of the year, and though I've had the all clear to work out for months now, I still haven't been back to the spin, barre, or dance classes I love. Lately, when friends have asked me to join this or that workout, my my refrain has either been, "I'm too busy," or, "I'm too out of shape for that." Now I wonder if opting out is a cause of my funk—it's a key part of "me-ness" that hasn't been a part of my life in a long time. If so, maybe it means my negative emotional state—or spiritual health—requires some nurturing via physical activity.
So, after my chat with Delia, I start saying yes to all things active. I sign up for a stand-up paddleboard lesson, go for a hike in Malibu, take a dance class, and return to Taryn Toomey's The Class for the first time in four years. Immediately, I feel unstuck, and like I'm indeed vibrating at a high level. While I'm certainly not contending this approach is appropriate for treating a serious mental health condition, it definitely helped me feel "in the flow" and vibrant after a dull, stagnant period. Now, I finally feel like myself again.
Your soul medicine might be found in unexpected places—like a koala sanctuary in Australia. And, P.S., that joyfully emotional feeling you get when something hits you down deep, in a good way is called kama muta.
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