In the previous post I wrote about what soul work is and why we undertake it. Now I’d like to talk about some of the signs that you may be entering a time of soul work so you can come alongside yourself instead of getting in the way.
1. You feel emotionally bruised.
I’ve been bursting into tears for no reason a lot lately – sobbing into my teacup on breaks at work, crying on my yoga mat before I finish the practice, weeping about nothing before I go to sleep. This is where a lot of women like to refer to themselves as “crazy”, and almost every woman has stories about bursting into tears for no reason. Stop that. You are not crazy. And neither am I.
These emotional outbursts are often just the byproduct of this deep soul work, the steam coming up from the engine. Often the work is so deep that you can’t pinpoint exactly what’s going on, so perhaps you assume you’re crying for “no reason” because you can’t articulate where the emotion is coming from.
First, I have to tell you, you do not need to explain where an emotion is coming from for it to be legitimate. Second, this work is necessary, and so are the tears that go along with it. (I have a theory that we women laugh so uproariously at our stories of “crying for no reason” because we are celebrating together the periods of inner growth we’ve all been through. We know it is necessary without knowing how we know.)
2. You need to sleep like a toddler.
Ever since my little experiment going off caffeine and booze, I’m pretty religious about my sleep schedule. I’m in bed eight hours before I have to get up almost every night.
But lately, it’s not enough. I’m groggy after nine hours of sleep and two cups of coffee. This is partially because we’re going into the deep of winter, and partially because I think we do some of our most productive soul work while we sleep, while our ego isn’t around to comment on how “none of this makes any sense”.
Additionally, soul work is just that – work. It is not easy. Think of it as a spiritual growth spurt and give yourself the gift of extra sleep if you can.
3. Your dreams are particularly productive.
Another reason we need more sleep in these phases is because we can get a lot of knowledge from our dreams. This is intensely personal. There’s no one way to interpret dreams, so you have to listen to your intuition to decipher what they mean.
(You may also choose to ask a friend to help you figure them out. I tend to go to my coworkers because most of them have rich spiritual lives, but I realize that’s an unusual situation.)
These past few weeks I’ve been dreaming about things like locked doors and flat tires, so one of the themes of this period of growth has been the limitations I set for myself. Why do I believe, deep down, that there are certain things I can’t do and certain places I can’t go? Not shouldn’t or won’t, but can’t. My dreams were where I was first aware of these sort of blockages.
4. You know it’s coming.
You may not want to acknowledge it, but you do. Some people call it prophecy, or foresight, or “being psychic”, but it’s really just stuff we know without knowing how we know it. Be quiet sometimes. Pay attention. Stop throwing out thoughts because “they don’t make sense”.
To me, ideas about what’s coming feel like water – like the pullback before a wave washes in, or sometimes like submerging my head or diving into a pool. My mom continually has a finger on the pulse of the spiritual world – she knows when things are heating up. My grandmother experienced dreams and visions, and she believes, as do I, that everyone has premonitions sometimes about what’s coming up in their life.
(If you feel like something big is coming, no need to Chicken Little it. The sky is not falling. Keep an watchful eye out. Take a little extra care of yourself and your people. No harm done if you’re wrong.)