Living in the mountains offers a special experience not often found in the chaos of the city; the opportunity to look up in the night sky and really see the miracle of nature as metaphor.
One evening, standing on my back deck of my mountain top home, I look up to an expansively black night sky. All is quiet and dark, except for the millions of perceived pinhole lights twinkling against the luminous backdrop.
I am drawn to this vision as it presents a grand scale version of my desire for balance.
The last few months have been quite a disruptive fog for me…lots of change (new work, new home, challenging people, ankle injury, etc…) and some intense moments that really felt like I was pushed in all areas to the edge of my comfort zone.
This precarious place has been disruptive for me and my initial reaction was to desperately attempt to ‘swim upstream’ to avoid feeling the pain and discomfort of change. For any of you that have experienced swimming in a river, we all know that ‘swimming upstream’ is exhausting!
An exhausted human experience, be it exhaustion of the body, mind, spirit, emotions or a combination does not produce optimal circumstances and can often feel like a very ‘dark’ place (so I learned first hand!).
The ‘Via Negativa’, a term used by theologian Matthew Fox describes this experience within the cycle life. It is the conceptual expansion of how our human experience includes the path of mystery, suffering and letting go.
Similarly, ‘the dark night of the soul’ referred to by spiritual writer Carolyn Myss parallels this concept. Some sort of challenge appears from whence we show up and choose to respond. How we respond determines the outcome (free will) and has the potential to open us up to our divine depths.
We all have moments (sometimes decades) where things feel challenging or as if ‘the world is against us’ (suffering). If during these times, we choose to ‘be present’, we gracefully begin to move toward a new light and our creative potential.
Like the night sky, the human experience of darkness brings to the forefront the brilliant streams of light and possibility if we choose to see, we are among shining stars!
So it is with this ‘rough start’ in 2013 that I have decided to choose (today) to shift my perspective and embrace the darkness and begin the process of ‘letting go’. I am deciding and I am taking action. Some of my choices are:
- Practicing stillness with deep breathing
- Playing with images and dreams through collage
- Being gentler with myself in thought
- Listening to my body and honoring what it needs moment by moment
- Walking in the woods
How are you choosing to ride the waves of darkness (self doubt, criticism, fear, judgement, etc…) that appear in your day to day experience? I would love to hear what is working for you and how it has shifted you. Please share your experience below.