Words That Dance on Your Soul
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Words That Dance on Your Soul7 reasons why you can’t live without poetry.
There is a doorway to wholeness that is right in our midst. It is free and available to everyone all the time. It is the quickest route home to the inner self that I’ve ever experienced. Yet many people, especially in America, are ignoring it. That doorway is poetry.
Whether you enjoy poetry, avoid it, or have never thought twice about it, here are seven reasons why you cannot live without it:
- Poetry is the most ancient form of prayer and affirmation— humankind’s first way to speak with God.
- Spending time with a poem is a way of choosing what you’re going to do with your attention.
- A poem that speaks to your soul is a temple that is always within you: a space of inner peace.
- Reading and speaking poems can literally heal emotional and physical distress and disease.
- In times of global and personal crisis, poems provide a necessary medicine.
- Your life is already full of poetry, though you may not know it.
- Poetry is cheap!
The Bible, Psalms, Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, writings of Teresa of Avila and many other scriptures are all written in poetry. Why? Because poetry is the only language that can speak the mystery, the wonder, the agony and the ecstasy of the interior life.
In this world of iPods, e-mails, cell phones, twitter and spam, opportunities for fragmentation of consciousness are thick and fast. It can be lifesaving to return to the sanctuary of a poem that you hold within you. Like singing a song you love or reading a favorite Psalm or the Heart Sutra several times a day, it is a choice to fill your thoughts with what you hold precious and believe in, instead of the plethora of commercial jingles, self-criticisms, or anxieties about the past and the future that usually overrun the mind. If you find poems that speak to your soul and repeat them, instead of the multitude of viral communications proliferating through the airwaves, you are literally magnetizing all levels of you into the vibration of what is most important to you.
Like praying, chanting, or repeating affirmations, reciting a poem brings all levels—mind, body, heart and soul—into harmony, aligning the inner life with the outer expression. When I focus on a poem I love, my thoughts stop spinning and become quiet. My body relaxes. My breathing finds the rhythm of the poem. Whether I’m in the car, on the subway, walking on the beach, or sitting on a meditation cushion, that poem becomes as real a refuge as any church, synagogue, or mosque.
This happens not only through the words and meaning, but also through what I call the “Shamanic Anatomy” of the poem. Like a shaman’s drum or song, the rhythms and sounds of a poem entrain brainwaves and body pulsations, changing biochemistry and opening the mind and body to healing and revelation.
Poetry’s popularity is soaring in direct relationship to the growing instability of the world around us. As financial and natural resources dwindle, many are turning to the resources of the heart. Poems offer a direct route to that which is timeless and unshakeable in the midst of the most cataclysmic change. They speak the unspeakable—be it heartbreak or wonder. They whisper in your ear that you are not alone—even in your most private and inexpressible experience.
The lyrics to the song you played over and over after the break up—I will survive! As long as I know how to love I know I will stay alive—are poetry. The psalm you recite when you cannot take another step—Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death—is poetry. It is in the prayer you repeat as you pick up your partner’s socks one more time, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the pulse of the speech you’ll never forget: I have a dream!
A poem can be an inner teacher, doctor, therapist and mentor—always available and absolutely free of charge! Poetry is an inexpensive and utterly efficient ride home to your true self.
Find a poem you love today. Let it become your companion. Speak it aloud to yourself and to others. Your whole being will come into alignment. And wholeness is contagious. Others will catch it from you, and they, too, may taste a moment of peace in the maelstrom of these times.