Soul Retrieval

In this episode, Kelle Sparta talks about soul retrieval. She teaches us what it is and how we can prepare ourselves to be ready to engage in this tremendously transformative shadow work. She also puts forward some cautions and clarity related to our roles as participants and as guides through the process of integration.


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–Written by: Kelle Sparta

–Performed by: Kelle Sparta and Daniel Singer

–Produced by: Daniel Singer

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Soul Retrieval

We’re going to talk about some cool stuff in this episode.

We are going to have some cautionary tales.

We haven’t had a cautionary tale in a while. We wouldn’t be Spirit Sherpa.

I don’t want to disappoint.

We’re talking about something pretty intense and emotionally impactful but also therapeutic in a way. We’re talking about soul retrievals. For those who don’t know, what does that mean?

Before I talk about soul retrieval, let me talk about how you lose a piece of your soul because that’s going to be the easier thing. When we go through trauma and cannot hold the trauma in ourselves, what happens is a piece of us breaks off and stays in that trauma to hold that for us until we can hold it for ourselves. If we’re not strong enough to hold the trauma, that piece breaks off. That piece becomes, for lack of a better word, the guardian of that trauma. When we do soul retrieval, what we’re doing is we’re calling back that piece of ourselves to our beingness. By definition, it means that if you’re calling a piece back, you’re calling the trauma that you were then going to have to process.

This is not a toy, a game or something to be done by people who don’t know what they’re doing because the trauma needs to be reintegrated. That is something that you either need to do with a therapist, depending on how to present that trauma is to you still when it comes back or at least with your shaman or coach. If the trauma isn’t right up in your face and active, you could probably do it with your coach or shaman. If it is, a qualified therapist would be a good idea.

Soul retrievals are important for us as part of our spiritual journey because it’s part of making us whole again. We’re pulling these pieces back but it’s also important to us in terms of our growth journeys in terms of dealing with those past traumas. It can be significant. You don’t leave a piece of your soul when you stub your toe walking down the street. These are legitimate traumas.

They don’t have to be from this life. Sometimes we’re integrating past lives’ worth of stuff. I’ve had people I know who have done past life trauma integration and it has blown their life up. You have to be aware before doing a soul retrieval that there are pieces to be done there. You have to recognize where you’re doing it and what’s going to come. Like the shaman, you can look ahead to a certain extent and test to see if a piece is going to come back if you’re doing a specific soul retrieval.

When you’re doing that, you can test and see energetically and emotionally if the piece is ready to return home. Some pieces are ready and some pieces aren’t. That’s the nature of the beast. Okay. You don’t try and force something that isn’t ready to come home. If it’s not ready to come home, it’s because the person isn’t ready to receive it. Let’s start with that.

You can’t rely on the person to say whether or not they’re ready all the time because not everybody has a great sense of self-preservation, especially my people. We have grown up in environments where we were not given the option to be self-preservation. We grew up in environments where we didn’t have that option. We had our boundaries and lines crossed constantly. We don’t have a great sense of self-preservation all the time, especially early on in our processes.

It’s super important when working with somebody who’s come from a challenging childhood to make sure that they are ready. There are other times when things will come back spontaneously. You can be walking through a ritual, get a challenge and something integrated. It’s there and you’re going to deal with it. As a practitioner, the soul retrieval process should always be something that is monitored.

If you’re doing soul retrieval, you need to know what you’re doing and how to help your client integrate it. For yourself, if you’re going out looking for soul retrieval to be done for you, the thing that I’m going to encourage you is to let your body tell you whether it is ready to come home. If you touch it and your body reacts negatively, then it’s probably not a good time to bring it home.

If you touch it and your body goes, “I miss you. I’m sorry,” then it’s a good time to bring it home. Listening to you and in tune with your minds, I know you’re going to be out there. You, spiritual masochists, are sitting there going, “I can do it. I will power through. I will make it up.” Even if you get a positive response, don’t do it.

Here’s why. It’s not that I don’t think you can power through it, you’ll get to the other side or you will manage because I know you’re incredibly competent. What I’m saying is you will go slower this way than if you do it when you’re ready. When you integrate something that is at that level and you are not ready, it will break you for some time.

Even if you are ready, it could break you for some time. If you’re not ready, you don’t even want to add that additional element.

When I say to break you, I mean a puddle on the floor break you. It takes you months to put yourself back together again. You don’t get anything accomplished in that time. You’re not functioning effectively. Please heed this warning. This is not about being kinder and gentler to yourself or blowing yourself up.

Soul Retrieval: If you’re looking for sole retrieval to be done for you, let your body tell you whether it is ready to come home.

There are things that you can do that are oopsies and things that are serious. This is one of those things that could have a serious impact.

With that, I have to say that this is something that should never, under any circumstances, no matter what, be done in a group environment in which you are not following up with people afterwards. I attended an event where the person facilitated a group soul retrieval and said, “You can bring back multiple pieces of yourself. You may see anywhere from two to thousands of them around the globe and call them home.” I was sitting there going, “Don’t do that.” Somebody I know is a puddle on the floor because they did one piece of soul retrieval. This person is saying, “Bring back multiple pieces.” I’m like, “Have you lost your mind seriously?”

That’s like a Hoover vacuum of all the past traumas in this life and previous lives, pulling them back in with no support structure in place.

No instructions on how to integrate.

No preparation for what it even means when you do it.

No acknowledgment that it was a trauma that was being reintegrated, nothing. I’m horrified. I don’t even know. Let me say that again, “Under no circumstances should this ever be done in a group environment with zero follow-ups.” I don’t think it should ever be done in a group environment, much less with no follow-up, no prep and no understanding of what was going on. I am certain that the practitioner who did this had no idea that that’s what she was doing. That’s no excuse either.

With that caveat in place, you’re not saying don’t work towards a point where you’re prepared to do a soul retrieval. Soul retrievals are important.

I’m not saying don’t work towards it. I’m saying they need to be well-timed when you are ready. Not when you wish you were ready, you hope you were ready, you are judging yourself as not going fast enough to be ready. Even if you’re doing it at a time when you’re ready, they can still be intense. If you’re doing them when you’re not ready, they can be catastrophic.

Soul retrieval is one of those things that people bandy about and they say, “I’m going to do a soul retrieval. This is funky and cool. Wouldn’t that be fun?” It’s never fun. It’s deep shadow work. That’s what it is. It’s super useful when you’re doing a path of personal development or personal growth, your transformative work in the world and yourself. Very little shadow work is fun.

It’s very funny. People often look at me after we’ve done a deep piece of work together and they’re like, “Aren’t you exhausted after this?” I’m like, “I didn’t do the work. You did the work. I’m not nearly as exhausted as you are because it wasn’t my stuff. Let’s start with that.” They’re like, “Don’t you get tired doing this with everybody?” I’m like, “I’m a Scorpio with a Cancer moon. If I’m not mucking about in the mud, I’m not happy. This is my happy place. The myth arises from the mud squished.”

Kathy and I were at a retreat, one of the Lumen’s gates that she ran. It was raining so much and we were at a campground. The drummers were underneath a tent drumming. The dancers were walking around and stumping in the mud squishing in between their toes. They’re covered in mud. Kathy started this chant, “The myth arises from the mud, squish, squish.” That’s what we were dancing to. It’s this theme in my head that comes up periodically.

It’s like, “Yes, we’re going into the shadow work. The myth arises from the mud, squish, squish.” In transformational work, myth and mythos are the carrier wave of the story. It’s the transformative arc. We work within myth and mythos to create the transformational arc. The myth arises from the mud as the transformation arises from the mud that shifts the new self, the evolution and everything juicy that we go digging for rises from the mud squish, squish.

That’s one of those little statements that has so much to it on top of it. You add the chant to it, plus the drumming and the state of the environment that had to be incredibly intense even at that moment. I’ve got to ask. You keep using the word ready. All of us have an idea of what ready means but ready is something a little more specific in this case. What is the type of work that we can do to prepare ourselves to be ready to move into soul retrieval?

Soul retrievals are about being able to integrate the trauma. What you need to be able to integrate trauma is a solid sense of self. You need a firm foundation on which to be standing before the thing that’s likely to knock you over comes up. You don’t want to be knocked over and knocked off a cliff at the same time. You don’t want to be standing on that cliff.

You want to be far away from the edge of the cliff with a firm foundation built, this solid sense of who you are and your ability to adapt and survive. If you’re feeling like you can’t do it, have had your confidence shaken and your ability to trust in your adaptability, your ability to survive, overcome and move forward, that is a bad time to do a soul retrieval. You need to be in a place of solidness in your power.

As the soul retrieval is happening and if it hits you hard, you need to fall back on those pieces that say, “I am a survivor. I am adaptable, competent and capable. I can do this.” If you go into the “I can’t do this,” whatever you tell yourself, you’re going to believe. You have to develop the mental discipline not to allow the thoughts that will undermine you. The second piece is to develop a mental discipline and say, “This thought is coming in and screaming at me.” You have to look at it and go, “No, bad dog. Sit down. I’m not doing that.”

Soul Retrieval: Soul retrieval should never, under any circumstances, be done in a group environment, in which you are not following up with people afterward.

That piece of a thing could be tied to the fact that you have to have the ability to separate yourself from the emotion. As we work through this stuff to help learn how to coach others and guide them along their journey, it’s easy for us as an outsider to separate from the emotion of the moment. You were talking about, “Isn’t this exhausting for you?” It’s not because you’re happy in the mud but you’re able to separate yourself as a guide for this person as opposed to living it with them at the same time. When you’re going through it, that becomes a lot more difficult to separate yourself from the emotion. That sounds like one of those key pieces that you need to be able to do and prepare yourself for when you’re doing this type of soul retrieval work.

It’s known as stepping into observer mode. Think about it this way. You can be in the moment and have the experience or step outside of yourself a little bit and watch yourself have the experience. We all know how to do that. That’s the observer mode where you’re watching yourself have the experience. If you want to be able to step out of your emotional state, you step into your observer state. Your observer state goes, “Wow, I’m flipping out.” That’s not optimal.

“My emotions have lost track of reality. Let me see what I can do here. I’m going to sit up here for a little bit and see if they spin down. If I step back into them, they’re going to run amuck. Let me sit out here for a minute, be in my rational state of being and be with the emotions like, ‘That’s what they are.’” Look at yourself and be like, “I’m freaking out. What do I need that’s available to me to stop freaking out?”

Sometimes what we think we need isn’t available. “I need this one person or thing to happen. I need to be a different person or the thing that happened to not have happened.” Sometimes we can’t have the things that we think we need. “If I go underneath that need, what do I need that I can provide for myself either through myself or someone else?”

Sometimes, I need a hug and that’s what I mean by through someone else, where it’s not necessarily a specific person. It doesn’t have to be. Look at it and go, “I’m flipping out. What do I need?” Provide that need. I need to get out of the house. You’d be surprised how effective walking through a doorway is in changing your emotional and mental states.

We are archetypally constructed to shift our state as we walk through doors. Simply deciding that when you walk out the door, you’re going to refocus on something else. Walking through the door and refocusing on something else is much more effective than sitting still where you are and trying to refocus. Walking through doorways is super helpful in that regard.

I want to call back to something you said because it felt important to me. It was that moment where we stepped into observer mode and saw that spinning out of control. One of the elements I took from what you said there was when we step into observer mode, we’re not stepping in to block the emotions. It’s important that we still work within those emotions but we don’t allow those emotions to consume that rational part.

That’s even a hard word to use there. Our perception is our reality. There’s no way to say that what you’re feeling is not real but if you don’t feel it, you can’t process it. You’re not saying block it or pretend it’s not happening. You’re saying be within it but try to be in a state where you’re slightly outside of it.

I’m saying to be with the emotion like you would sit with a friend who’s grieving. For people who are grieving, you can’t fix their grief. You can only be with them and let them know you’re there to support them. You can’t change it. There’s nothing you can do with it except be with it. Be with your emotion that’s running you over in the same way that you would be with that friend. You look at the emotion and go, “You’re having a hard time. I’m so sorry. I’m going to be with you while you’re feeling this.”

To be able to be the person with the emotion while it processes rather than to be engaged in, overwhelmed and overrun by the emotion is super helpful in that scenario. That’s not how I want you to be with all of your emotions but when they get out of control, that’s the only place you can be with them unless you want to be a crazy person running down the street.

The other thing is to notice when they start to run out of control. You can short circuit them but you have to catch them early because these things tend to snowball. The first turn of the, “If it’s this, it’s that. If it’s that, it’s that.” That’s how it goes. You need to catch that and say, “Or it’s not.” There’s that moment of, “What if I can’t do this?” The answer is, “What if I can? How about I invest in that thought instead?”

These are all emotional things that we’re processing but they also become chemical from a physiological perspective. Our bodies start to kick off these chemicals that increase the spiral as opposed to decreasing it.

If you get a little far and the adrenaline kicks in, get out the door, go for a walk and start burning that adrenaline off so that you can calm back down. The adrenaline needs someplace to go. You’ve got to give it a place to go. I don’t care if that means punching your bed, walking, running or doing jumping jacks. Give your body some way to work off the adrenaline or else it’s going to amplify the negative thought process. That’s a good catch, Joey. That’s true.

This has been interesting and scary but at the same time, it gives us a picture. We’ve talked about how we’re starting to move and touch on things that are part of where we would be in this journey. People are finding the show at the right stage of their journey. To the readers who are in this place, this is for you. This is Kelle talking to you because you needed to read this and know that either this is coming up for you eminently or you’re in the midst of it. It’s important.

With that said, I do want to say one thing. I’m hearing from a bunch of people from the show. What I’m realizing as people are calling me is if you are bingeing these episodes, if you found us and you’re like, “I must read every episode,” if you’re going back or chomping at the bit for the next one, it’s time to call me. If you’re that deep into the work that we’re talking about, if this is speaking to you at that level, we need to talk. There’s a Discovery Call button on my page. It’s below the header on the right. It’s got my face on it. Click on that. It’s a free discovery call. We’ll spend an hour talking but there’s something that’s going on with you that it’s time to call me.

There’s a lot of energetic content that they’d be consuming in these episodes if they are doing something like that. It’s good to have that conversation with you.

Soul Retrieval: You’d be surprised how effectively walking through a doorway changes your emotional and mental states. We are archetypally constructed to shift our state as we walk through doors.

I’ve talked to people who’ve said, “I’ve binged your entire show in the last weeks,” and that’s many hours of content at this point. You don’t have to have done it in a week but some people are doing that. If you’re somebody who was bingeing, it’s time to call me.

While calling is important, we also want you to gauge the show’s community. Join the Spirit Sherpa Podcast After Party group on Facebook. It’s a great place for you to go. You can join other readers and past guests. Kelle and I are there. It’s where people can go, ask questions, engage with the community and share things that they’re feeling or seeing. It’s a great way to even ask the questions that you have for Kelle that could be answered here on the show or become an episode themselves.

I’m posting a bunch of extra stuff and so are some of the guests. On average, there’s a new piece of coolness that comes out every three days or so. For those of you who are joshing for more, this would be a great place to get that.

I will admit that I don’t get on Facebook enough to get into the group but I will do better to get in and engage there as well. I know that I have not. We want you to subscribe to the show in whatever app you’re using and rate us. Let the world know what you think about what Kelle’s doing and what she’s sharing with the world. Also, share it. That’s another great way, whether it’s on Facebook with your friends, at dinner parties or wherever you are, we want you to share what you feel is relevant, touching you and what you think will benefit those around you.

If you’re in one of the lightworkers groups or something spiritually related and you see something related to what it is that I’ve talked about in an episode, if you want to share the episode in that group and say that you love the show, we would so appreciate that. I’m still working on my birthday present. We’re on track to do a 50% uptick so that would get us to 30,000 by my birthday. We’re still halfway away from getting to that 40,000 that I was shooting for.

If you want to give Kelle a happy birthday, that’s how you do it. Share and care for all that is going on. Is there anything that you want to say as we wrap this up and before we head out to the folks reading?

Don’t blow yourself up.

This and other mottoes from the show. That is all that we have for this episode but be sure to join us next time as Kelle adds another chapter into your guide, energy, magic and the spirit world.

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