The moon was in its fullness last night. I saw it rise above the trees in the Northeast at dusk. It was beautiful. After a full moon has peaked, the light begins to recede. This happens 13 times a year. What is most notable about today is that we are at the very end of autumn. The Winter Solstice is on Tuesday and for the next few days, the deep darkness is all around us.
This time is significant. The seasonal darkness provides the perfect opportunity for us to face our own darkness. At the time of the equinox in September, the autumn darkness began to increase. On a deep subconscious level, this is universal. It stirs up the potency of the shadow and our karmic issues. This is why we dress up in scary costumes on Halloween. It is one way to make the darkness seem less scary. In truth, we are meant to enter the darkness. There are degrees of wisdom and healing that can only be found in the darkness. (Consider the darkness of the womb during gestation.)
We are living in a realm of paradox and polarity. Again and again, in the traditions that I study, I am reminded that as bright as I may shine, I equally possess the opposite polarity. With yoga and spiritual practice, I work daily to be radiant and to shine my light, love, and healing to the world. To do this with integrity, I have come to embrace my darkness, my shadow, and my karma.
In the shamanic traditions, one of the earliest lessons is to face your death. This symbolizes the requirement of a luminary to face the deepest darkness in order to dissipate the fear and the power that the darkness holds over them.
I did my best, of course, I am a dedicated student. But there is no training like real life. No teacher like trauma, grief, anger, broken heartedness and illness. Everyone has their own mix of darkness, shadow and karma. Nature, a teacher in her own right, reminds us, as the night increases from the autumn equinox to the winter solstice, that we must face our own darkness.
Once faced, with a sincere recognition, we can begin the embrace. We must learn to navigate with fluidity between the joy and the pain, the love and the hate, the health and the illness, the wisdom and the ignorance, the fear and the faith, the kindness and the cruelty.
When we live our lives in illusion of our darkness, our shadow, and our karma, the mind creates alternative realities. The mind is a powerful protector and this is especially true for anyone who has experienced trauma. The mind (and the ego) contrives alternative realities where everyone else is wrong or evil. The mind works hard to show the villainy of the other so that you do not have to face the uncomfortable truths about yourself.
We did not come to this life as souls to be safe or to escape our truth. We came here to be the heroes of our own story. We came to face our darkness. We were not “sent” to earth to suffer in innumerable ways again and again. We are just repeating the lessons that we are slow to learn. Our souls are uniquely qualified to neutralize the polarity and thus achieve our life purpose.
What is so extraordinary about the energy of these times is that we are being given an enhanced push to learn, grow, heal and transform. Now really is the time to do the work.
It may not be easy or pretty. However, if you are willing to gather the courage to forge ahead and face the darkness, you will find that the stars are brightly beaming their encouragement. There is a beauty beyond the fear that can only be found in the still and quiet at the depth of your Being.
This process is not about changing anything specific about yourself. It is just about being honest that you are a creature of polarities. You can train your mind to navigate the challenges as they come up. We do not need to immediately get our guns and shoot randomly at whatever trips our wires or raises our hackles. We can pause, breathe, and find the space between. We can choose to be the peace.
The soul’s journey into the land of polarity is to learn to embrace the whole self – light and darkness, what is beautiful and what is ugly.
This crazy world has programed us to believe that we need to be perfect and to hide anything that is not impeccable from the world. Consequently, we hide what is not perfect from ourselves. This creates a division where there should be unity. Shame where there should be self-compassion. The deep fear of being revealed has created a cultural phenomenon of practiced and highly efficient liars. This is fracturing the soul.
In my ministry training, we were taught to live our lives as if everyone knew everything about us – every day and in every way. This is a practice of integrity. It is also a practical practice of deep and abiding self-love. In the land of polarity, the soul has come to love itself so completely that there is only wholeness.
Place both of your hands over your heart in dove position.
Inhale unity from the heart of the Infinite, draw it down and exhale unity into your heart.
Hold it there, breathing again and again. Let this unity open into a deep and abiding self-love.
Let the inhale of unity and love heal the fractures of illusion and delusion.
Exhale deeply into all of your shame and misbeliefs. Love yourself again and again.
Now inhale from your heart and hold the depth of all that you are. Be with your grace.
Exhale this love, this grace, even deeper into your heart.
Inhale a profound love.
Exhale this unconditional love into your heart, the soul of you, the whole of you.
If a contradiction arises, gather it up with your inhale and exhale it up to the heart of the Infinite. Offer what is beyond you to a Higher Consciousness. Allow the Infinite Grace of Truth and Wisdom to transform you.
May the vibrations that limit you be lifted to higher frequencies. Set all of the captives free…
Inhale love, exhale love.