A client who got a BIG promotion was worried that her new responsibilities would eat into her life and she would lose herself in work, as she had done before, as so many of us have done.
I asked her, “Is there something you would do on a regular basis that would be a definitive break — something that brings you back to yourself, that could help you transition out of work mode?”
And she said, “Well I was thinking of practicing my solfège.”
And I responded, “Soul Fetch! That’s brilliant! Tell me more. What exactly does a Soul Fetch entail?”
She laughed. She is a great singer and musician. She corrected me.
“Solfège.” That’s the French word for a specific practice of site reading music.
But I liked Soul Fetch oh so much better. And for this lovely woman, they are one and the same. Practicing solfège connects her to her creativity, her artistry, her self — a retrieval of soul. And I have co-opted Soul Fetch as the PERFECT term for the art and discipline of transitioning yourself from work mode to life mode and back again. I cannot express enough its importance to a life well-lived.
So many people have difficulty managing that moment when they walk in the door, home from work at the end of the day. They are met instantly with kids’ demands and partner expectations without having a chance to collect themselves or return to their own center. The lack of time invested in replenishing the well can lead to an inner drought, a build up of irritation.
Now many of you reading may not have the type of job that you have to come home from. But even if you work at home in your PJ’s in a job you love, being in any one mode for an extended period of time — be it work, parent or even play — creates a one-dimensional effect. A Soul Fetch, described more fully below, is a way to transition out of the role you play during the day and get back to the essential you, returning to yourself some of the energy you have been putting out there.
The Soul Fetch can be a good thing to do BEFORE starting your day or leaving home for work. But in my experience, a Soul Fetch is more essential AFTER.
If possible, let your Soul Fetch be 3-15+ minutes of doing something (or nothing!) that centers you in joy, relaxation or creativity, or all three, like my client’s solfège. In this day and very new age there is not one of you that doesn’t already know about the restorative powers of meditation, yoga, taking a bath or listening to music. Here are a few examples of things busy peeps may already do, that can become a soul fetch with the right intention.
Wash Your Face: The simple act of washing your face, allowing the work mask to slide off. Following it by actually looking in the mirror into your own, wondrous eyes, and connect with who’s there.
Get Cooking: If it is not a chore for you, cooking can be so creative. Nourishing the body also nourishes the soul.
Connect with a Pet: Allow time spent with those beloved critters to bring you into the wordless, mysterious realm of animal being.
What’s YOUR favorite Soul Fetch? Feel free to enter it in the comments below!
And remember — it’s not the activity as much as it is the recognition that you are doing it to return to yourself. Sometimes the Soul Fetch is the simple act of reminding yourself that you Love Yourself — No Matter What.
I am a dog lover with two Black Labrador Retrievers. One is a couch potato who loves to sleep and eat. The other is obsessive compulsive about playing fetch. That’s why your post attracted me. Taking her outside and seeing her joyful exuberance at play helps me re-center.
Thanks for your comment, Dan. I am a dog lover too. Mine is older and very contemplative. It fills me with joy to sit and be with her.
Great article! I agree w/Dan and you how a pet can impact your “you” time! I would take mine for a walk, and that time was impactful in allowing me the time to reflect, think and prepare. I definitely loved the washing of your face idea. I have done this and not even consciously been aware of its effect!
Thanks, Chris. I love the washing your face ritual and just bringing a little more awareness to it makes a LOT of difference.
I really enjoyed your post, Blair! Going to one’s “soul fetch” is such a comforting idea. I often will go outside to breathe some fresh air and take in nature. Grabbing a wonderful cup of coffee or tea and just taking time can help too. Thanks again for your terrific ideas that you are so generous in sharing. Terri
Thank you, Terri! I do LOVE a good coffee break, in nature preferably!
Great post Blair. Fetch time for me involves reflection. We experience so many lessons in our lives yet we very seldom take the time to learn from them. No wonder we repeat the same mistakes multiple times.
Thanks for reading and your comments, Barry.
Loved the post Blair. Never knew the ‘me time’ was called ‘Soul Fetch’. That’s a cool word. For me it my gym and yoga. Yes dogs would be perfect but am yet to own one, though I love dogs.
Excellent post and a relevant one.
Two things spring to mind:
Sitting down at my piano and playing something very simple with my eyes closed, a few notes repeated, and feeling the vibrations of the music in my body.
Also, making tea in my favorite teapot and actually sitting down at a table with pot and cup and taking the time to drink while allowing myself to think and feel anything that comes up.
It has been said, but I have to mention it too: I LOVE “Soul Fetch.” I’ll have to focus on that, because I am VERY guilty of working from the time I awake until I take my little girl upstairs to go to bed! Thank you for this.
Amber-Lee, thanks for your comment, it makes me so happy.
Singing is my soul fetch, for sure. And writing aimlessly, just letting words hit the page. Great post, Blair. Loved the intro.
Thanks, Nancy! Hearing you sing is a soul fetch for me, too! Thanks for reading and your thoughts.
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