Soul retrieval. The path that brings back parts of ourselves we have lost. It is a process that helps us integrate those lost parts, returning them into our being, bringing us into wholeness. The effect transforms how we live and gives us direct knowledge of our purpose and mission in life.
There are elaborate ceremonies for soul retrieval and it is most often the work of shamans. Two extraordinary people who have spent a lifetime in such work are Sandra Ingerman in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who speaks of mending the fragmented self and Creating a Human Web of Light, and Alberto Villoldo of The Four Winds in Chile, who speaks of Dreaming a New World into Being. Their patience and compassion are profound.
But you can do this work, some of it, on your own, too. If you want to clear the slate of old grievances that nag at you and sap your energy, if you want to erase the shadows of memories that no longer serve you, if you want to let go of anything holding you back from living now as your whole self, you can begin to do that by remembering, first of all, that in your essence, you are made of light.
“We are made of star stuff…” Carl Sagan
So we are. Every atom in our bodies is composed of the same elements that fuel the bodies of light we see in the heavens. Sagan revealed this to a television audience in his groundbreaking series COSMOS, which he called A Personal Voyage.
We all have a personal voyage, a journey that is ours and ours alone to take. You are on it now. Every moment is part of that journey. Every choice you make. Every dream you have and despair you feel and joy you experience.
How the journey evolves is according to what you want. At a deep level inside, you want to be able to use your gifts and share them with others. You seek to live in heart and mind as a whole person, for that is how you can express your truest self out into the world.
And the world has need of your gifts. Every step you take toward this way of being expands who you are, and at the same time also expands all with whom you come in touch. You create a trail of light that others receive and can use in their own journey.
Otherwise, when you allow parts of yourself to stay lost, you cannot fully live what you have envisioned and what you are here for, your own purpose and mission. Time after time life shows us the truth of this, and offers another way. But we keep experiencing the same difficulties, the same trials and grief and inner disturbances and patterns, over and over, until we get this, get that we are not meant to stay with the old ways that drain our energy and stifle our creativity and keep us stuck in the past. These are trials that life is always setting before us help us see more clearly not only what we are doing but what more is possible. Only, we must first attend to them, must see what happens to us in these trials with curiosity and interest, not reaction and limitation.
Every time we stop an old pattern, let go of a painful memory we’ve hung on to out of resentment or fear, express our true feelings, act with awareness of why we are taking such action, we practice soul retrieval — we bring back a part of ourselves and it is instantly integrated into our consciousness. Once we allow this, there is no delay. It is done. Forever. There is no returning to the old state. It is no longer possible. We are able to move forward, moment by moment. We have stopped blocking access to a greater energy and to alignment with our soul’s purpose for us.
Just What Are These Parts We Have Lost?
Soul loss is derived from traumas we have experienced. They can have so many sources . Most occur in childhood and can involve abuse, being ignored or abandoned, seeing a parent die, violence from war, illness, having someone mock you, being treated unjustly, not being given the freedom to speak your own truth or express anger, constant criticism — the list is varied and never the same for everyone. We can add situations of PTSD to this list, for some experiences like combat cause us to lose connection with many parts of ourselves all at once.
What is happening is that because of these events, any one or many of them, we feel shock — exactly as we would touching a live electrical wire. It runs through us at a high speed and with a high level of energy and we can’t grasp what is happening to us. Some part of us responds by shutting down. Instead of accepting the event, which we cannot do because it has traumatized us and our awareness of this is limited, we find another way to behave that compensates us or receives the approval of others. We let go of that part of us that experienced the trauma. We let go of the ability to feel our truth about it all.
Imagine this happening often, for it does. Several times a day we can probably experience someone piercing us with a dagger, or so it feels, when we least expect it. A teacher scolding you publicly because you talk in class can make you vow never to let that happen again, and you can retreat into silence when asked to speak. People making fun of a project you spent hours creating can cause you to shut down the feeling of joy at original work. Someone telling you that you are not worthy is absorbed as a truth and you live without the crucial need and support of being able to trust yourself.
What soul loss results in is the loss of a spiritual truth we are born with — that we are perfect and whole and part of the Divine. We have given it up so as to feel welcomed where we are, but not welcomed for who we really are.
And When We Choose Soul Retrieval, Instead…
This means we are willing to look deeply into our fears and feel compassion for them, and understand their presence was originally as protectors, once upon a time or for a long time essential to our welfare and our ability to cope with trauma. Now, using soul retrieval we can see those same fears as direct signposts of what we need to do to bring ourselves into alignment with spirit. For sure, we may need the skill of a shaman to help us do this fully. But if we are willing to allow clear sight, we can do some of this work ourselves, by welcoming in all that we are, all the parts, without judgment.
Why ? Because we are meant to live life with our soul fully present in our body — integrated physically and mentally and spiritually. To be fully “embodied” in the here and now allows us the freedom to transform.
It is how we can begin to walk an enlightened path, one we share with others. That is what we are here for.