When Did You Last Dance? Sing? Shamanic Wisdom To Give You A Boost | By Steve Mitten

Ballet Dancer Mid-air in JumpThis week's article by Master Coach Steve Mitten CPCC, MCC looks at 4 uncommon questions you might get asked if you went to see a shaman when you're feeling lost, uninspired or perhaps just not at your best. We'd love to know what you think about asking your clients these questions - and what other questions YOU might ask. Let us know by commenting on this article below.

"Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you turn." Terri Guillemets

What Would The Shaman Tell You?

If sometime over the last 50,000 years, you were to live in one of the many African tribal cultures, and if you were feeling a little flat, lost or generally out of whack, it would be common practice to visit the local shaman.

And in some African tribes it would be common practice for the shaman to ask you 4 simple questions:

  1. When was the last time you danced?
  2. When was the last time you sang?
  3. When was the last time you told a story?
  4. When was the last time you sat alone in stillness?

In many ancient cultures dancing and singing were known to be ways to greater vitality.  It was felt that such practices actually inspire the soul, and better connect us to the divine and sustaining forces of life.

In the millenniums before radio, newspapers and television, telling stories was a way to connect with, teach and entertain each other – activities that are all good for the psyche.

And sitting alone in stillness allowed the usual storm of random or compulsive thoughts to settle, and intuition, insight and wisdom to emerge.

In our "full speed ahead towards the future" culture, we have lost much of the wisdom gathered in the previous 99.99% of our evolution.

If you cannot remember the last time you sang and danced with friends, shared a story that was meaningful, or sat alone in stillness, take a little time this summer to reconnect to some of these ancient practices.

"Now, sweet one,
Be wise.
Cast all your votes for Dancing!"


steve mitten headshot

Contributing Author:
Steve Mitten B.ApSc., CPCC, MCC. Steve is a Master Certified Business & Executive Life Coach, and Past President of the ICF (International Coaching Federation). Learn more about Steve and check out his many resources for coaches at acoach4u.com.


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  1. Idoni Forder

    Living in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa I would happily ask these questions. The zulu people dance and sing whether they are happy, sad or protesting. I am sure that is why they seem to be less stressed than the rest of us who often feel too uptight to just dance, sing and express our feelings. I admire that in them. We could learn a lot from them.

    • Emma-Louise

      Thanks Idoni! It is very interesting to hear that. Singing, dancing (and expressing meaning through stories), but especially the singing and dancing are such a beautiful and vibrant way to work through feelings, emotions, life's difficulties and celebrations. We have such a 'fixed' way of being these days... Keep up all your good work. Warmly, Emma-Louise

  2. Bianca Stawiarski

    Absolutely love this article! Nicely written Steve! I have copied the link and shared. What I like is that the focus is not on any issues, but rather about connection with self. Thank you.


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