I’ve slid off the blogging / writing bandwagon for a while. Excuses are plentiful… from being inundated by the constant demands of running a one-woman travelling stint to plain old procrastination. Truth is my creative writing juices have stagnated, I found myself scrapping the bottom of the inkwell. Truth is I caved in to the comfort of non-expression, it’s easier than finding words to validate or to rehash my opinions. Truth is I ran out of inspiration when everyone has something to say on every single social media platform.
I bowed out without signing off.
I begin to wonder if a part of my brain has shut down, or perhaps a place in my heart has closed. Whatever happened to the raw open honesty I used to put forth relentlessly?
Perhaps there are too many unanswered questions left lingering and I couldn’t be fussed to find a starting point.
So here I am. My head whirling, my hands shaking, my breath shallow in my attempt to make words so I can bring myself out of the writing rut. My world felt small sitting here on a rainy spring evening in solitary silence. They say silence is amplified through sound. I can hear my stomach churn like a bird cawing through a valley…
I scroll through Facebook.. Notifications reminds me of a post from 10 years ago "On this day". It says I am a magnet with 2 like poles.
I wonder what inspired this cryptic notion a decade ago. What was the younger, feistier, fresh-out-of-corporate me going through at that time? A lifetime ago... Do I still recognise myself in her? Were my creative juices flowing more freely then?
That was before life took me on a path of learning, to observe phenomenas as impermanence, instead of identifying with the perpetuity of sentiments. Have I come away a better version of myself?
In an obscure night
Fevered with love's anxiety
(O hapless, happy plight!)
I went, none seeing me
Forth from my house, where all things quiet be…
The Dark Night of the Soul (Spanish: La noche oscura del alma) is a poem written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St. John of the Cross.
St. John wrote: "In the first verse, the soul tells the mode and manner in which it departs, as to its affection, from itself and from all things, dying through a true mortification to all of them and to itself, to arrive at a sweet and delicious life with God."
I’ve often spoken about Shadow work - the inner work of owning up to our own struggles, deep fears, self-doubt, judgement. In light of all the “blissing out” propagated in the yoga and spiritual community, this work is necessary in embodying the full spectrum of who we are in our human experience.
We can’t move into the light unless we can become comfortable in the dark.
The concept of the Dark Night is akin to the realm of confronting our shadows. We arrive at an existentialistic juncture wherein what used to excite and satiate us now leave us standing in a void. And perhaps we cling on helplessly to any shred of identity, resisting the unfolding of yet another empty moment… desperately conscious of being trapped in an abyss of disconnection, a suspended animation of another drawn out storyline.
The despair is juxtaposed by an acute awareness of immense possibilities and grace that seem hopelessly out of reach.
Our mortality stark and looming.
Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dąbrowski coined the term Positive Disintegration, which views this as necessary in the process of psychological maturing. Ram Dass spoke of the horrible beauty of suffering essential in helping to polish the mirror of our soul, to illuminate the nature of reality, and glimpse into our Jivatman, or true nature.
So tonight I offer my inquiry to this void, this darkness. I mourn my loss for words, for meaning, as I open out to this sacred process of clearing out, of cleansing, of giving in to the truth, of showing up night after day after night after day... a softening to the brutal tenderness of metamorphosis…
Breathing out of the cocoon...
I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.
– Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra“
Registered Yoga Therapist, Somatic Movement Educator, Bodyworker, Yoga Teacher Trainer