Take a Moment for Your Soul to Catch up with You: a Beautiful African Story

Take a Moment for Your Soul to Catch up with You: a Beautiful African Story
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Written and verified by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

Sometimes a story touches our souls like nothing else. This time we’d like to introduce you to an ancient African story that speaks of a way of living in which actions go one way and the heart another, because there is no time for them to meet. It goes like this.

It is said that a man ventured into the inhospitable lands of Africa. Only his porters accompanied him. They each carried a machete in their hands and they made their way through the thick vegetation. Their aim was to keep going at any cost.

“One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time.”

-Gilbert Keith Chesterton-

If a river appeared, they would cross it in the shortest time possible. If there was a hill, they quickened their pace so as not to waste a minute. But suddenly the porters stopped. The explorer was surprised. They had only been walking for a few hours. So he asked them: “Why have you stopped? Are you already tired after just a few hours walking?”

Then one of the porters looked at him and said: “No sir, we are not tired. It’s just that we have been moving very quickly so we have left our soul behind. Now we have to wait for it to catch up with us again.”

A story that invites you to connect with yourself

We have all felt disconnected from ourselves at one time or another. As if the person who got out of bed, who went to work, who spoke, was not us, but a stranger. It’s something we feel a lot of times when we’re immersed in our busy life and we can’t find a way out.

feathers in front of a sunset

It’s about finding our center again. Like the story says, allowing “our soul” to come back. Sometimes all we need is careful reflection on the situation, but sometimes we need more than that.

If we don’t feel that connection and relative control over our life, we may start to lose our motivation. This feeling can turn into sadness, or anxiety. At that point, everything starts to get complicated. But good news: there is a simple way to fix this and it only takes a few minutes a day. Here we’ll tell you how you do it.

Sit for a moment by the side of the road

Like the porters in the African story, if you feel disconnected from your center, the right thing to do is to pause. Most likely, you been in too much of a hurry. That has kept you from smelling the roses and, most importantly, from joining your soul to the path you’re on.

The best thing to do is to find a quiet moment, ideally later in the day. It’s your moment of intimacy with yourself and you’re worth it. Relax and simply ask yourself: How was your day? Then just review the things that happened during your day.

a deer in an African story

Don’t just think about the things you did, but also about the thoughts and feelings that came up. What was the first thing that came to your mind when you woke up? How did you feel during the day dealing with other people, situations, and yourself? Dedicate at least five minutes to this mental review of your day.

Move towards reflection and let your soul return

At first you’ll probably only see a succession of mechanical activities and feelings. However, little by little, as the African story says, your soul will start to catch up with you. Taking inventory is a basic way of getting closer to yourself, but it’s only the beginning, the first steps.

You don’t have to make a detailed list of everything you did. Simply let what comes into your mind flow, even if it’s messy. Before you know it, you’ll notice whispers of different experiences you weren’t even aware of. Echoes of those emotions that you ignored and those uncomfortable feelings that you discarded.

a single marigold at sunset

Do this and your soul will catch up with you. Gradually you will be able to find your balance again. The reward for this small daily effort is more peace. You’ll also get more out of the things you go through and get to know yourself better. The most important thing is that you will have a tool to take a good look at your life and figure out if it’s what you actually want.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.