What we learn in the darkness…

Photo from Suzanne D. Williams (via Unsplash)

What we learn in the Darkness…

The darkness gets a bad rap…

We think of the darkest times in our lives as times that we would sooner rather forget and write off, and that is fine. I am an advocate for moving forward in life, and not letting the past sabotage your future. However, I urge us for one moment to consider something. Might it have been that out of some of our darkest moments that something miraculous and beautiful presented itself in our lives. Was it out of such a moment that you said, “enough” to doing things one way, and made a change in your life that ended up not only feeling right, but that has changed the course of your personal destiny? Creation can also be birthed from chaos. Without darkness, we cannot see the stars shining. Without the darkness, the light that we strive for is not even possible.

It is in the space of darkness that we learn some essential lessons. We learn how to see differently in the darkness, we learn how to trust all of our senses. Our intuition becomes heightened, our smell, and even our taste… we start to see more with our third eye (pineal gland, focal point for wisdom and heightened connection to our higher selves), than with our regular eyes.

I want you to think about places that are considered “dark,” but where amazing and necessary transformations take place. Cocoons are where butterflies transform from caterpillars to vivid, gorgeous, butterflies. We cannot discount the cocoon if we claim that we love the butterfly.

Another space is the ground. The connection that we feel when we connect to the earth is one that makes us feel anchored and supported. When we plant a seed, that seed lives in the dirt, covered in darkness from the world above. We trust in the ground to support the seed. The entire potential of that plant lies in what happens in that dark space. If the magic is allowed to happen, we will be blessed with beautiful plants, some of which aesthetically bless our eyes, while some nourish our bodies.

The moon is a cyclic celestial body that also has a dark moon phase. This is when the moon is not visible to the human eye. It is a time when no sunlight is being reflected. To the ancient people, this was an important time of rest and deep solitude. It was believed that in this time, people cultivated the seeds of their own creativity, and got the rest that they needed so that they had the energy to manifest and birth their creative projects, their dreams, goals, and entire worlds. Albert Einstein was known for the amount of rest that he got, and also the walks in nature that he took as a way to have downtime. In these moments he solved some of the world’s greatest problems.

In Greek mythology, we learn of the goddess Persephone (Kore) who was abducted and brought to the underworld by the God Pluto (Hades). She ultimately spends 1/2 of her year in the underworld, but she doesn’t stay there—she must return to the land of the living, and so do we. When we spend time in the darkness, we must return to the light. But while we are in those spaces, what is it that we are to learn? Is it a time of rest? Transformation? Deep healing?

This year 2020 has been marked by a heavy Plutonian influence. We have already experience the feeling of being dragged to our personal underworld. It feels like a dark night of the soul, just on a larger scale, and for a longer period of time. Dark nights of the souls are existential crisis points in our individual lives, but moments that usually spark anything from spiritual awakenings to just a new way of being. Ancient mythology also speaks to us of the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna who descents past 7 gates from earth to the underworld. As she descended, she was stripped of everything—her jewelry, crown, clothes, essentially her ego and everything that she thought she knew of the world. In the underworld she faces her sister Ereshkigal. Ereshkigal is essentially her shadow side, and once she has confronted her shadow, and has died—the old version of her dies, she is reborn as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. She steps into her true power and into her true and authentic self. Sometimes we also have to let our old selves die, so that we can experience fundamental rebirth.

In these unprecedented times, we are each doing a descent, and we are each experiencing moments of true darkness. In fact, I would venture to say that the entire planet, and this nation is facing its shadow side. We have stepped into the darkness. In this space, It is essential that we cultivate a space for ourselves that is one of joy both externally and internally. That is our bridge back to the light. We cross this bridge by utilizing what we learned in the darkness. Perhaps we come out more heart centered, or we realized what things have been working and have not been working in our lives. Perhaps it is when we let go of toxic things and people. Perhaps this is when concrete changes are made within the world that help everyone. Changes that make this place one with more love, more empathy, more compassion, and more peace. Either way, the time is now to learn how to see in the darkness…I hope that you learn lessons that transform your life in ways that is for your highest good. I hope the same for this world. There are lessons that we can only learn in the darkness, but we must not stay too long—we must return to the world of the living, we must return to the light, and rise into who we really are. Lots of love to you!

Dancing with your fears…

The writer Susan Jeffers has a wonderful book called, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” In her book she says, “Often we think, I’ll do it when I am not so afraid. But in reality, it works the other way around. The doing it comes before the fear goes away. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.”

In my own life when I have felt heavy with the weight of my fears, I know that the only way to get past that particular obstacle is to do the “thing.” Most people don’t know that I am very afraid of heights and of driving over high bridges especially. To combat this fear, I packed myself up for a road trip to the beautiful Assateague Island in Maryland, a beautiful national park, about 30 miles south of Ocean City, MD. I had to drive across the Bay Bridge. The Bay Bridge might not be scary to some, but it is a bit curved, and very high (in my opinion). I clucked the steering wheels until my knuckles turned white. I looked straight ahead of me, and focused on my destination. My heart beat wild with fear. I made it across, and had the most beautiful day at the park.

Assateague is the sister park to Chincoteague in Virginia. They are known for the Chincoteague Ponies, which are a breed of wild horses that live on Assateague Island. Each July (except for Pandemic times), the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company organizes the herd to swim across the Assateague Channel. It help raises funds for the fire department, but it also helps to control the herd. The horses are a beautiful sight to see—wild, free, and seemingly without fear.

After my day on the island, I had to drive home. I tried to rush to leave before the sunset. Did I mention this was a three hour drive one way? As I arrived back to the bridge, the sun was setting. The sight was so beautiful, the sky looked painted with bold pinks, oranges, and purple hues. I cried because if I had not faced my fear of crossing the bridge, I would not have seen such a magnificent sight. Since that time, I have driven over countless bridges including from Miami to Key West, FL, New York, and in California. With each, I still feel the fear, but I know that if I want to arrive at my destination that I will have to go across, and sometimes make the return journey. I take my time, and each time I have gotten to my destination. Why does life have to be any different?

In her book, “Big Magic,” one of my favorite writer’s Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because your creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.” She also mentions that while fear can ride along in the car with her and creativity, fear has to ride in the back seat—it cannot drive.

And that is where I find myself, rather than a drive, I am in a dance—on a dance—a beautiful and elaborate dance with my fears. For many years, I let fear lead, but I have been practicing my steps and I am ready to dance—boldly, loudly, untamed like the horses on Assateague.

Perhaps there is something that you have wanted to do, a vision, a dream, or just the initial tingles of something to come. Take your time, and begin the drive. If you knuckles turn pale, that’s ok, keep driving, keep going. One day, you will find yourself face to face with the most amazing view of something that only you could create. I can’t wait to see it…. Keep driving, keep dancing. ❤