Darkness is a part of life.
It’s natural. Day becomes night, the seasons turn and nature takes a breather…she slows down, lies dormant for a while.
Sound familiar? Of course it does, because like the earth, we feel it too, in our bodies. There is a call to retreat – a need to step back from the madding crowd and slow down and stop, if we can manage it.
But most of us don’t.
The Guilt Trip
Don’t we know it’s Winter? All the animals are doing it. The squirrels and the hedgehogs to name only a few… Why then, are we plagued with feelings of guilt when all we want to do is be like them and take it easy?
Maybe if we stop, life will pass us by… But we don’t want that.
We don’t want to get left behind because that means we’re out of the race.
We don’t want to give up. Instead we must keep up…appearances, reputations…the pace. We cling to our identities like there’s no tomorrow. Like time is running out.
Time doesn’t run out.
Our energy slowly drains away as we frantically tread those hamster wheels in the cages we have built around ourselves.
After all, we humans are an intelligent species, we have created lives of meaning and purpose. We have jobs and houses and bills to pay and things to collect… lots of things.
We must have it all.
But it comes at a price.
Into the Cave
So when the darkness comes we ignore it or worse, we complain about it.
Those shorter days! The long nights!
As the dark wraps itself around us, offering us comfort and rest we kick madly against it, seeking out ways of escape. Work harder. Turn the lights up brighter. Oh and look, here come Christmas…
Skates on everyone! Off we go like wound up toys, spinning until we can’t spin anymore.
Then it hits us. January. The void. The lurgy. The slump.
Louder this time with bells and whistles.
What did you expect? Ignore its wisdom and pay the price.
Where would you rather find yourself…at the bottom of a black hole or at the entrance to a cave? They may sound similar but there’s a great difference. One will have you depressed while the other will offer you deep rest.
You get the idea. It’s always a choice.
Let’s get into that cave and make some time for the work because it will be work.
You will have to dig deep into yourself and that’s the hardest part. It might hurt which is why you will do everything you can to avoid it.
I don’t have the time! There’s nowhere to go!
And they’re just the excuses…catch yourself before you start operation full on sabotage. Drink, drugs, food, relationships, jobs, the weather…shall I go on?
Make the damn time.
If you’re spiralling towards that black hole have the savvy to stop now before you hit it head on. Just ten minutes sitting in silence with YOU is better than nothing. Twenty is better and an hour if you can do it will really help you start gaining some real benefits from the practice.
And it is a practice. Do it regularly. Every day. You want to feel better? You want some real guidance on your life?
Make a start and practice.
*Little Death Breathing*
- A quiet undisturbed space is all you need.
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
- Inhale to a count of seven.
- At the end of your inhalation, hold the breath for another count of seven.
- Exhale in one continuous breath for another seven counts until the lungs feel empty.
- Hold there for a final count of seven.
- Repeat the process seven times.(*from Alberto Villoldo’s book – Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval.)
You may feel light-headed and dis-orientated but it’s crucial to practice this until you are comfortable with it.
It awakens the part of your brain which heightens the consciousness and prepares you for entering the cave.
In part 2, we meet Bear, our guide in the cave.