While walking this morning I ran into one of my neighbors, she was limping and I questioned what had happened. She mentioned she had broke her ankle in January and she was just getting out of the house. “Ouch, I am so sorry to hear you are having a rough time”, I told her. As we parted I could not help but reflect upon my current life experiences. We are always given just what we need to assist us on our journey to enlightenment. The question is, are we open to receive this wisdom. Whatever circumstances we create for ourselves, it always seems to lead us closer to who we really are. At least, this is what is showing up for me on this leg of my life’s journey.
As I walked home I was grateful I had not manifested a broken ankle to set me down, but realized I had indeed manifested a symbolic broken ankle. For the last month or so, my life has come to a screeching hault. Movement into each day has been emotionally painful and all I can do is sit. The space I require away from others has increased ten fold and my perceptions of my experiences are gloomy and heavy to say the least.
Hmmmmmm…… I’ve been here before. In other times in my life, this life phase has been triggered by trauma, so this time, I did not recognize it, however I know this feeling. “Facing the dark night of the soul” is what spiritual teachers call it.
For me, it is a time of feeling the bottom has dropped out of my life and I am free falling with no net. Deep shifts in consciousness are occurring and nothing seems to make sense and everything makes more sense all at the same time. When facing the dark knight of my soul, I find stillness to be my enemy and friend. The resistance to be still is strong, as my ego wants to protect me, yet stillness is all that comforts me. It is in this stillness that I remember Source Energy, that which we call God, I AM, Oneness and all that is me.
As a spiritual guide and teacher to others this is a very vulnerable place. To share this this part of my journey brings both fear and relief. Our egos will play tricks on us by telling us we are unworthy or not good enough, to keep us from going deeper. Our little ‘I” will bring forth feelings of shame and convince us we have to protect ourselves which means me must remain silent.
There is a difference between entering into the silence or stillness for reflection and being silent because of fear and shame. I have found in my walks with the Dark Night, that I am lead to long moments of stillness. There is nothing else to do. The Dark Night reminds me to BE.
As a practitioner this is my most important work. Without these times of of emptying, reflecting and rebuilding I can not be a vessel of Truth.
A wise healer said to me, if we do not engage in deep breathing as a practice, we breathe from stale air because our lungs never fully empty. So it is true for our emotional and spiritual bodies, at some point in our involution we will need to empty everything so we can regenerate from a refreshed and renewed state.
If the dark night of the soul has called you to empty, I encourage you to gather your courage and be still. Here are a few tips that have helped me along the way.
- Seek support but do not let it become another distraction from being still. Connect with someone who can hold space for you, and not just give you answers.
- Spend lots of time in nature. Long walks at the beach and in the woods. Back porch gazing at the sunsets or sun rises can bring a sense of calm in your storm.
- Engage in sacred writing. This is one of my favorites, develop a style of writing that suits your needs
- Listen to inspiring spiritual teachers everyday. There are a plethora of podcasts, audiobooks and web streaming available. I listen to at least 15 minutes a day of my favorite authors and motivational speakers.
- Lastly, share your story appropriately. Storytelling is the oldest healing modality there is. Healing for both the teller and the listener, do not underestimate this ancient art of healing.
If you facing the dark night of the soul or a rough spot in your life’s journey, may LOVE of ALL comfort you and gently nourish you home.
Chonteau is currently working on her next affirmational journal, a compilation of nature pictures from her garden in her times of stillness. She has just completed “Daily Meditations for Healers” a MP3 download which can be found at this link.