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Soul Time Vs. Clock Time

What is "soul time"?

In his book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow, Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, Frances Weller describes how he learned about "soul time" from his mentor, Clarke Berry.

When Weller sits down for their first meeting, Berry places his hand on a large rock lying on a table and says, “This is my clock. I operate at geologic speed. And if you are going to work with the soul, you need to learn this rhythm, because this is how the soul moves.” Then Berry points to a small clock also sitting on the table and adds, “The soul hates this.”


According to Berry, operating on the rock’s time (or "soul time") means calming the urgency that many people carry and helping folks return to a slower rhythm that enables them to listen once again to their own soul.

If the word “soul” doesn’t resonate with you, perhaps imagine “one’s deepest knowing,” or the wisdom all of us carry deep inside. In order to surface this wisdom, to touch in more deeply with ourselves, we must slow down and listen.

When we read this piece about “geologic speed” it profoundly resonated with the intention of our practice, Holding Space for Change, which is to support people in slowing down, paying attention, and turning inward, especially as they navigate major life transitions. In all dimensions of our practice, including our 1 x 1 therapy and spiritual direction work, as well as our Shift Happens groups, we invite people to engage into moments of silence, mindfulness, and attunement with self. In other words, our practice is about helping people return to their own wellspring of deep resilience, insight, and quiet knowing.

We wonder:

  • At what speed do you move through your day, week, life?

  • When was the last time you moved at the pace of “soul time?”

  • Is there a time in the coming days when you can create a little space for slow quietness?

We created our free Wednesday “Morning Mindfulness” group to support people in creating such a space. Oftentimes, participants email us after the group, sharing how something has shifted or changed within them in the course of our time together, how they feel more centered, or less frantic about their “to-do” lists.

If you are looking for “soul time” space, we hope you’ll consider joining “Morning Mindfulness,” or one of our Shift Happens Groups. Or if you’d like to learn more about how we might work together in a one on one capacity, we offer a free 20 minute consultation, and we’d love to talk with you!

We’ll close this post with the same words we close our “Morning Mindfulness” time with:

Take Courage, friends.

The way is often hard,

The path is never clear,

and the stakes are very high.

Take courage.

For deep down, there is another truth: You are not alone.

(From Rev. Wayne Arnason)


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