Archives For strength
The process of self-discovery is not a linear path. We become aware of an essential truth, something we are capable of, something we desire to hold in a prominent focus as we move forward in life and then somehow, often without even realizing it we get side tracked, thrown off course.
These meanderings in our process of living, feeling we’ve lost our Self for a while, aren’t for lack of setting intentions, making a commitment or willingness. The experiences always show up for a purpose. They are additional opportunities to get clear and hone-in on the pure vision of what we are creating with our lives. They may show us what we don’t want or they may show us more specifically what we do want. They definitly show us the areas where we are ready to grow.
Sometimes what we know we want is put on the back burner due to circumstances that feel out of our control, economic, family or other responsibilities. Other times it’s in response to a relationship or a group of people in our lives.
As an intuitive person the energies around us influence our feelings. What we manifest is rooted in our emotions toward something. So feelings are a critical factor in our creations. A partner or a social circle can work to awaken us in beautiful ways but can also pull us off track with their emotions or differing priorities.
When we feel another’s energy and respond to it, we are to varying degrees matching their vibration. I call this mirroring. Empathic intuition is one form of this. We sense the emotional energy and match it from the second chakra.
Without the conscious awareness of holding our own energy space we can get lost in mirroring through our empathy and not stay rooted in our Self. We make a better witness, and offer a sense of strength and grounding to others, when we have a clear awareness of what are our feelings versus the feelings of another. It is through mirroring or taking on the energy of our environment that we get thrown off course… if there really is such a thing… we are side tracked with an opportunity for new awareness.
To hold our course, the vision we want to create in our lives, we need to learn how to be present for others in a deeply feeling way while holding our presence for ourselves. We strengthen this ability by regularly meditating to refresh our sense of being grounded (first chakra), clear our energy field of energy that is not our own (sixth chakra) and call our energy back to fill us up.
There’s no need to be self-critical about the cycles of losing and finding our Self over and over again. Honestly, this process is what we are here for, to remember who we are at the very essence, heal, grow and to have experiences that help us see our truth more and more clearly each day.
A Dark Night of the Soul is a period of time or season that many of us on the spiritual journey find ourselves in once or more in our life. The Dark Night comes unexpectedly through some change or experience that causes you to question all that you’ve known to be true. It is a time where you find yourself feeling disillusioned with a temporary loss of faith. What you trusted appears in a new light to have been temporary and incomplete. The foundation you’d built your perception of the world on shifted and in that shift you found yourself unsettled. What felt meaningful feels meaningless, what seemed solid looks unreliable, what you thought you knew to be true comes into question.
Walking through a Dark Night of the Soul period requires intense resilience. It pushes your edge, uses every ounce of your psychological capacity for survival. The Dark Night can be triggered by things like divorce, physical illness, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, loss of a role or an aspect of your identity. Where it takes you is a profound void that may feel like depression, hollowness, hopelessness, emptiness and doubt.
How do you endure this mental and spiritual struggle? What gets you through the void and back to a point of inner-peace? I’ve found that, the healing and growth the Dark Night has to offer comes through the following conscious choices:
- Acknowledging that the cycle of living in the unknown has purpose.
- Calling on your inner-guidance with much more frequency and consistency.
- Moving your body to allow the cycle to stay in motion on the physical level.
- Seeking support through the council of spiritual mentors who have walked the path before.
These practices of self-care give you strength to get through the darkness and help you make your way to a season of light again.
The Dark Night may feel like a stuck place in your external life or a place where everything is in chaos. However stagnant it feels or looks on the outside, it is an active season for the soul. The soul is in chrysalis. It has gone within and on may require you to be unconscious about some of the deep work underway. Literal transformation, upgrading your soul-body agreement to integrate all the bits-and-pieces you’ve been learning at the deepest level.
Some levels of processing are beyond what you can or are ready to consciously “see” as they transform. You have to be patient and trust the inner activity. You have to ask your mind to be patient, as it seeks to fix what appears to be broken, wants a solution, demands answers. Let the Dark Night chrysalis evolve you from the caterpillar to the butterfly.
The void has you fear a total loss of Self. It has you feel alone and as if you may have lost all of the ground you had gained through your conscious growth, commitment to self-awareness and health. In reality, there is no loss, at the other side of this deeply challenging soul searching cycle you find ourselves renewed, more mature, with an inner radiance that transcends your prior light.
The Dark Night is a soul crisis. It pushes you to the full extent of what you feel your soul is capable of handling. It may temporarily break your spirit. On the other side, the gift of a journey through the void in a Dark Night of the Soul is the discovery of your inner strength, a greater level of daily inner-peace, plus an updated alignment of your body and soul.
Grief is more than the emotion that arises when someone we love dies. It surfaces when we experience an ending of any sort. A relationship with someone we love changes or comes to an end due to breakup or divorce. We physically move away from a community or change jobs. Something about our life doesn’t turn out how we thought it would.
As we explore our intuitive nature, empathy is the first place most of us experience a sense of reading another’s energy (2nd chakra). Empathy has us match energy with those we care for to energetically support them. When we feel the intuitive information in our body rather than “see” it in our clairvoyant space (6th chakra) we may have a hard time separating our emotions from that of the other. We take on the pain of another and actually have physical symptoms from it. By doing this we are less capable of providing the needed strength for our loved one. We can maintain connectedness without matching the energy of those around us. In doing so, we tune-in to our own emotions without carrying the burden of the collective grief.
When our heart is broken with grief, the pain may cause us to check-out or escape the feeling. At times we may be unconscious of it but notice that we’re scattered, having a hard time focusing or not feeling very present in our body. A practice of inquiry, when these sensations of distance between body and spirit occur, helps us realign. Asking our body what it feels and listening. Sometimes it requires activation of physical activity like walking, yoga or dancing to reconnect. Feeling pain isn’t easy but allows the energy to move through the natural cycle, providing relief.
The best thing we can do for ourselves when there is a loss in our lives is feel the grief while nurturing our physical body and staying connected with loved ones. If we commit to notice when we want to disassociate from our experience of pain, we can find a path to staying more present. This may be through meditation, physical movement that connects spirit to body or reaching out to a friend to talk. Then when we find ourselves taking on the pain of another we are prepared to breathe deeply, and take the imaginary elevator from our 2nd chakra up to the 6th via the heart to lend strength to those we love.
They call it a break, the tipping point of a cresting wave, and it can break you if you aren’t tuned in, adjusting your body to the cycle of the swell. High risk physical activities like surfing have a way of focusing my attention. The ocean’s power and surge can strike us down and scrape us along the sand or coral bottom. To swim or surf in the ocean we have to attune to the rhythms of the wave, have courage and be alert. On vacation in Hawaii last week I watched people express joy, fear and thrill in the surf. I noticed how positively addictive emersion with a higher power can be.
The ocean challenges my sense of safety. I hesitate to rely on something outside of myself for survival, such as an oxygen tank when scuba diving or a surfboard to float on unyielding waves. Yet the magnetic pull of the ocean’s energy is more powerful than my fear. I took the plunge and learned to surf. One moment I was happily floating on the crystal blue ocean the next I had saltwater up my nose and was praying for my life, caught by the full force of a cresting wave. When I harnessed a wave, stood up on my surfboard and found balance, it felt effortless to ride that powerful sweet spot of energy. But if I wasn’t ready for the arrival of the wave or my body was not in alignment with her flow, I was picked up and churned into the sea, bobbing back to the surface like a cork on the other side of the wave. Heightened awareness brought on by immediate consequences that may cause pain cleared my mind.
Surfing forced my awareness into the present moment. To enjoy the sweet spot and not be beat up by the waves I had no choice but vigilant attentiveness to the endless ocean horizon, reading the rhythm of organic motion as each wave manifest before my eyes. It turned my mind to gratitude for the experience of my physical body. Appreciation for all that my body does for me without complaint at the instance I ask it: walk, swim, bend, breathe, balance, see, hear and feel. Through gratitude and attentiveness I become more aware of how my body informs my intuitive response.
I liken my relationship with the ocean to the cycles in my life. Sometimes I’m connected to the flow, effortlessly tuned into my inner voice and making choices that align with that energy. Other times I’m off balance, not tapped into my inner resources and it feels life is thrashing me about. In those challenging cycles I long for relief from the series of waves that keeps crashing into me, to catch my breath and regain my center. The respite eventually comes, I reconnect with the flow. In all that thrashing about, stress and stretching I have been relieved of many mental and emotional burdens that were no longer serving me. I’ve learned something and feel different lighter, stronger and empowered.