Dark Sky = Bright Lights!

January 16, 2013

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.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen January 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for sharing Kimberly!

To answer your request to share; one of the ways I’m dealing with the challenges my recent changes have brought is to actively explore all my coping ideas and see where they take me, as opposed to inactively over-examining the ideas for days, weeks, &/or months, to evaluate the worthiness of their pursuit.

As an example, my mother passed a year ago and I although I felt I should do something to commemorate the event, I didn’t know what that should be. I had the idea to honor her memory by indulging in things she might enjoy doing. I reluctantly went to the local Catholic church to light a candle and “pray”. After the reluctance faded, my mind wandered in and out of memories as I attempted to process my feelings. What emerged was an awareness about what needs to exist in my life in order to give me purpose! I might not have ever learned this about myself had I not explored this method of coping! There were other ideas which I pursued the rest of the day and into the evening, and at every turn I felt like the universe was having an open house; sharing whatever wisdom and insight I needed to cope on this day, with kindness and love. I felt really happy at the end of what could have been a miserable day of self-pity had I chosen not to explore my [silly] coping ideas.

In addition to actively exploring ideas instead of inactively evaluating their worth, I’m practicing unbound patience with my shortcomings. I notice I spend a lot less time being mad at the myself when I fall short of my expectations, which frees me up to get on with whatever it is I feel I should be doing. This includes having patience for the time I need to “ride the waves of darkness”. I’m going to go have fears and self-doubts, and it’s important that I give them a nod now and then, if for no other reason than to measure how friggin’ awesome I am when I move past them! In that regard, I am also being gentler and kinder with myself, and so far, it feels really good.

My best to you mountain woman!


LeeAnn Mallorie January 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Kimberley I really appreciate this post. As a fellow coach and healer (and a woman on her own journey) I too have noticed lots of change, tribulation and challenge coming up for me, and the women I support. Each moment is another opportunity to recalibrate. I am practicing checking my thoughts and posture – am I “railing against” this new thing coming in? Or am I welcoming it gracefully? Am I framing it as a problem? Or as another opportunity? Funny enough my blog this week has a similar theme: Staying Above Water :)
What’s more I’m also noticing if I’m conscious enough I can catch the choices I make that lead to the moment of challenge… I’m actually choosing, in some cases, to opt for the challenge. Whereas in the past I’d opt to defer, delay or avoid it. This is somewhat new for me… the consequence is potentially allowing things to get more out of control… but I’m hoping also a potential for lots more of what I’m looking for in life!


kimberley April 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Thanks LeeAnn. Yes, many of us are women on our journeys. En-JOY the journey!


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