September 11: The Soul Knows the Way

The Soul knows the Way. She always does. So Stop and Listen.

Today is 20 years after 9/11. It’s 20 years since the United States was paralyzed, even if for just a few moments, by terrorists that took down our greatest symbol or “reaching for the stars”. Terrorists terrorized and stopped us in our tracks in ways that we had terrorized so many countries as well.

This blog isn’t about politics though. Anyone who knows the history of imperialism understands what I’m referring to. This is a blog about the soul. Because no matter how fast we get, no matter how successful, or how well we reach for the stars–as the U.S. has done and we have done as individuals–there comes a point in which we need to stop and get humble. There comes a point when the soul wins, when life wins, and all the rest, no matter how good or amazing it looks, doesn’t matter.


So, I find it ironic, that today, on September 11, I find myself being called to slow down again. For me, my soul’s call comes through my body. I feel fatigued, exhausted, and my throat seizes up. I feel sick. I have no energy but to sit and be still. To rest.

When Covid-19 braced the world, we were all asked to stop once again, as was I. For some, it became a threat to our freedom–as was 9/11–but for others, like me, it was another call of the SOUL. Stop. Stop. When we don’t listen to that call, and we choose to just push through or fight back, that soul’s call comes back again and again. Unfortunately, the call gets stronger, it hurts more, as it did for me 20-plus years ago.

Today, 20 years after 9/11, that soul’s call has gotten much louder. We are facing global floods and fires and natural disasters are becoming more devastating each day. We can try to do the same: fight back, push through. Or, this time, we can get that it’s time for all of us, for our planet, to STOP and listen. It’s time be become humble enough to listen and do what is needed to bring balance to our lives and our planet before it is to late.

Stopping doesn’t mean not acting with beauty and love in the world or not doing our part in this life. It just means taking a minute or more to sit down in a way we haven’t in a while–maybe in our favorite comfortable chair we’ve ignored in your rush–and listen to the birds, be still inside, outside, and feel what is. I will end this blog with Pablo Neruda, the Chilean Poet, who said it better than I can in his poem entitled, “A Callarse” (“Keeping Still”):

Now we will count to twelve / and let’s keep quiet. / For once on earth / let’s not talk in any language; / let’s stop for one second, / and not move our arms so much. A moment like that would smell sweet, / no hurry, no engines, / all of us at the same time / in need of rest. Fishermen in the cold sea / would stop harming whales / and the gatherer of salt / would look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, / wars with gas, wars with fire, / victories with no survivors, / would put on clean clothes / and go for a walk with their brothers / out in the shade, doing nothing. Just don’t confuse what I want / with total inaction; / it’s life and life only; / I’m not talking about death. If we weren’t so single-minded / about keeping our lives moving / and could maybe do nothing for once / a huge silence might interrupt this sadness / of never understanding ourselves, / of threatening ourselves with death; / perhaps the earth could teach us; / everything would seem dead / and then be alive. Now I will count up to twelve / and you keep quiet / and I will go».

Thank you for reading. Blessings to all of you… 🙂

Michelle Adam

Check out my recent children’s story, Adventures with Duende in the Ocean, a journey of an elf and a young boy, Nico, into the Ocean. This is part of a series of stories that take children into different realms of the earth in a honor of our Mother Earth and caring for her. My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of returning home to the earth inside and all around us. It’s now also available in Spanish as Niña Duende: Un Viaje del Espíritu, through the Spanish publisher Corona Borealis and as Duende: Guardiã da Terra with the Portuguese publisher, Edições Mahatma 

95. Stop. Breathe. Grieve

BLOG 95—(present reflections tied to May 2001 journal entries about my healing journey)—I received a text, followed by the local news last Thursday evening: our New Mexico schools would close for three weeks.

As a teacher, I was relieved. After all, the schools, especially at this time of the year, had already become a cesspool of germs, and with the Corona Virus it was just one too many unknowns to deal with. But when I read the news of schools closing, I was hit with a much bigger emotion: GRIEF. I felt like I had tapped into a collective unconscious energy, and my own part in it.

The grief I felt was like a soft wind or water that filled in every crevice of my being that remained with me briefly. Then, like everyone else, I joined in the frenetic activities of hoarding food, medicine, and whatever else we needed to disappear into our shelters that would protect us from this germ war. And I called friends, checked the news, and kept abreast of the latest updates.

But the grief remained, and when I slowed down, I could feel it again. I felt the grief of the world, for thosef96a6e2d7f02c7d8ff8870bc78acbbfb sick and dying, for those without the resources and friends to help them through this, for the emptiness we would feel, and for all of our lives forever altered. I sensed a kind of death, an end–for now–to all the running and running of this world. And inside this space, I  felt we would need to look at ourselves, and reflect on what this crazy modern-living paradigm has been all about.

Beyond this, I felt a deep grief for having lived a kind of isolation myself–like we are now–during the years when I was injured at the turn of the millennium. And the fear that came from not being able to walk—the fear of never being able to get up again. Of being so alone with my pain in a culture where people had forgotten what it was like to show up for one another. Back then, I was struck with a quote that Mother Teresa had given: “The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.” I understood that sentiment so4f865970620477a06fa460b11d092950 strongly. There wasn’t time for most people to check in, to see how I was, to have compassion for someone in a vulnerable place. And so, back then, 20 years ago, I stepped into my own cocoon, into my own aloneness, and reached out to God for answers that would help me walk again.

In 2001, I had written in my journal about how scared I had been to go to sleep after I received Reiki energy treatments from my shamanic teacher. Because, afterwards, I would have nightmares. The subconscious part of my body would rise up to the surface and tell its story woven into my cells from this lifetime and others. I would wake up, surprised to be alive, after nightmares that included frightening episodes of being unsafe and under attack.

The fear I held back then, which I imagine many feel now, is that the world would never be the same again. 26d6623374ea9f6f7fc065b0f2374f12And it won’t. But, I discovered then, as I feel now, that the GRIEF, that energy below the fear, which I carried, was of having been on the treadmill of life far too long, and feeling an immense loss of soul and self from all of the going, going, going. And in this process of slowing down—whether then or now—there’s this immense grief of being with ourselves, of truly being with ourselves—with the pain, the nightmares, the stories our soul and body long to tell us, to guide us through, so we can come home again.

This grief of what we have left behind has been carried down from our ancestors. It’s a grief for the loneliness and aloneness, for the lack of human compassion and community, for having lost our way without a sense of place or true origin. It’s a GRIEF that longs to bring us home, inside the quiet, away from the noise that has distracted us too long and caused us to do such harm to ourselves and the planet. That’s the Grief that needs to cry itself back onto this precious earth, to fill her with our tears and love, so we can be home, in balance with her and this beautiful life we’ve been given. And this is the time.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is a story of returning home to the earth inside and all around us. It’s now available in Spanish as Niña Duende: Un Viaje del Espiritu, that’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page or at It will soon be published by the Spanish publisher Corona Borealis and the Portuguese publisher, Edições Mahatma. It can be ordered at a local bookstore or directly from me (for those outside of the U.S.) as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video