How to successfully navigate transitions and other dark nights of the soul.
Mud is gooey and soft. Itʼs the space in the earth that causes us to sink. Itʼs a stuck energy and it is the surrender, slow down, breathe deeper moment.
Feeling stuck in mud is a major indication that you are experiencing transition, a serpent-like struggle to break free to new skin can feel like the dark night of the soul—and for good reason! The dark night of the soul is our greatest teacher. For during our biggest breakdown is when our biggest transformation occurs. Think of it like this:
Remember that time in yoga class where a few downward dogs in, you started to shake in plank? Your ego is kicking and screaming: “get out of the pose!” (and you also wish the teacher would count breaths faster and you are starving for dinner). But, you do not give in; instead, you expand the pose and open in to it.
Well, that is indeed what this stuck feeling is inviting you to do. It is an opportunity. The opportunity exists to expand your current level of being-ness. Below are a tips to help you during your transition.
One of the best remedies for getting outside your current stuck “story” is to practice giving.
For example, volunteer once a week at your local farm. This action not only helps you by filling you with a sense of purpose and love, but it helps to support your local farmer. Oftentimes, you will receive a box of produce or complimentary lunch for your efforts. If a farm is not available to you, check in with a local community garden. Or, perhaps work as seva at a yoga studio or an apprenticeship with a raw food chef.
Whatever you feel called to participate it in, know that you are supported and that each time you give is an opportunity to receive.
Being in community is one of the most rewarding parts of my current life. When we are gathered, we are reminded of who we are. We are reminded that we are loved and deserving, capable and have a lot to offer. So, for those of you living alone in the city, try living in community! Thatʼs right. Check out a list of intentional communities at www.ir.org.
Alternatively, if you are already a part of a community, whether living in one or participating in one, allow yourself to show up at gatherings or events. Allow yourself to be fully seen, received, welcomed and healed through the support of those around you.
3. Release what no longer serves.
When we release what no longer serves, we make room for new energy to flood our life. Go through your closet, your storage unit, or your car and make piles of that which no longer is needed or resonates.
Organize a clothing swap amongst friends or seek one out. Donate to goodwill and other thrift stores with the possessions that no longer serve you. What if it is not just material possessions that no longer serve? What if it is your habits and routines? In that case, invite a few friends over for a fire ceremony. Write on a piece of paper the habits or actions you are ready to release and place them in the fire for removal.
4. Daily movement ritual.
Moving energy during this potent time is key. Check online to see if ecstatic dance is offered in your area or a contact improv jam, or even African dance. Go for a deep tissue bodywork session or cranial sacral therapy.
Low on funds? Thank goddess for yoga by donation and self-practice! Find a spot in nature to practice or create a designated yoga space in your own home. Ask your local yoga studios if they have mats that they are ready and willing to toss. Use your recycled mat and create your space. Or, go to the ocean for a walk, find a mountain to hike, go to a trail head, or get a group of acro-yogi friends together and play in the park.
5. Creative expression.
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends the morning pages, which are three pages of stream of consciousness writing to be written upon the hours of waking. For the morning pages, I recommend to keep a journal. Begin to write out words to describe what you are experiencing and processing.
Other ways to express yourself creatively include making a vision board of how it looks on the other side, creating a daily gratitude list (reminding yourself of all the good that really is happening), create a love altar in your home for the partner you wish to call in, paint your dresser (or your kitchen or bathroom) or paint on recycled materials.
6. Ask for help.
So, by now youʼve volunteered, youʼve moved in to a supportive community, youʼve parted with possessions, youʼve taken up capoeira, youʼve bought a journal and created broad red strokes all over your walls. Are you still feeling confused? Enter in: asking for help.
Asking for help can look like a life coach, a womenʼs circle or menʼs circle, a healer or spiritual adviser. Or, asking for helping can literally be asking your spiritual guides for help. It can be going on a vision quest or picking up a book at the store or library.
Remember, if you ask, be prepared to fully receive the answer with no expectations.
Star Stone is a gypsy-artist creating through the mediums of ceremony, ritual, theater, song and dance. Her dream is to inspire radical outbreaks of play all over the world and be apart of the shift toward conscious entertainment.
Follow Les Elephants on Twitter!
- Asst. Ed.: ShaMecha Simms
- Ed: Brianna Bemel