In This Blog Activities to Shift from Fear to Courage and Trust
- Reflecting on The Meaning and Purpose of Winter
- The Path for Courage and Trust: How to Let the Light In, Embrace the Darkness, and Make Peace with the Cracks
- A Place to Begin: Your Practice, Your Path
- Exercise: Learning from the Cracks
Winter Solstice marks the return of the Sun when the hours of daylight start increasing again. It is a time to reflect on the year past, restore energy, release what no longer serves a higher purpose, and focus on growth in the year ahead. At this time of the year, Yin energy is at its strongest. It is a time of quietude and dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth. Winter is the element of water, offering the opportunity to face the challenging emotions of fear and shame. With all challenges, there is the harmonic balance of the nature within that creates courage, trust, and being gentle with the self. Know, that with each challenge, when we seek the balance of yin and yang there is restoration of our senses and our soul.
All change begins with a shift in consciousness. This shift, which cracks our limited understanding of the way things are, allows us to see new possibilities. Our heart is cracked open countless times with life experiences from our childhoods to the present time; even when we think we can no longer endure. Sometimes we our brought to our knees and wonder how we will ever stand again. We go to a place that is neither light nor dark, where life is happening at both the speed of light and in slow motion. We find that those cracks we have been trying so hard to patch have been torn open. What we find is a hole filled with darkness, so dark there isn’t even a shadow or sliver of light to beckon our eyelids open, or even give us hope. It pulls at our senses, calling us as though we will find comfort, but somehow knowing it to is an illusion. That if we go in it may take a long time to come out, and there is always the chance we won’t. I speak from experience, this is where free will gives us the choice, and with it an opportunity.
The opportunity is the insight that when life cracks open our hearts, in what we feel is in irreparable ways, it is a blessing. Until this realization manifests as truth there is a path that can be followed from the dark to the light. We can spend years trying to patch these cracks until even the patches no longer withstand. The illusion of control has been revealed and what remains is trust, faith, and hope. A very personal experience that belongs to the story of the soul and not to the outer world. When we make peace with the cracks we then learn to live with a truly open heart. We learn how to live…and learn to live fearlessly.
We are not created to live in despair. When your life is cracked open leave the cracks alone. Let the cracks allow the darkness to be released and the light to come flowing in. Let the cracks light the path that is extraordinarily yours. Quoting Joseph Campbell,
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls. The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
My work is to use nature to promote personal growth and healing, focusing on the energetic imprint we leave behind with ourselves and the environment. In this winter season let’s create a path to honor its meaning. Winter is the start of the seasonal cycle, and as such, carries the feelings of being unsure, uncertain, often feeling isolated and alone. The challenging emotion is fear…our primal fear of the dark. As we allow this season to offer healing and growth we do this by moving from fear to courage and trust. Trusting that even when the cracks are opened and we believe the illusion of dark, that we are safe and protected.
Let us create a path for personal growth and development. Let us do the inner work with the goal of feeling grounded and well-resourced as we face the cracks in our life; as winter is a very powerful time for spiritual growth.
The Path for Courage and Trust: Let the Light In, Embrace the Darkness, and Make Peace with the Cracks.
Intuitive Intelligence: Go inside of yourself and feel what is true and what is false. This is an invaluable life skill that becomes the guiding voice in darkness. This means being respectively authentic and honest with yourself and others. There are many practices to cultivate intuitive intelligence and trusting the power of our knowingness.
You Have a Purpose: You chose this time, this life, and your experiences. Embrace them, feel them, honor them and then give thanks. What you gain is what will mentor others and create an atmosphere of balance and harmony. You will lead others by your experiences and live by example, walking your path with great integrity because it is uniquely YOUR path. You will shine the light for others to walk theirs. You will have the opportunity to put all of your spiritual teachings into practice, learning which ones to release and which ones to grow into. This is where authentic heart confidence grows, this is your foundation to courage and trust.
What Matters Most: Self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity. We take care of ourselves not out of selfishness, but because helping ourselves is what helps others. We live by example bringing principles into practice as a living path. This is one of your many purposes. To find what matters most through YOUR core values, not just in words but in action.
There are many practices to cultivate intuitive intelligence, find purpose, creating a path of self-care, and bringing action into your values. This is finding your true nature and connecting to it with ease and grace.
A Place to Begin: Your Path Your Plan
Discern between the conditioned personality and your true nature. When we align with true Self we recognize that we are inherently whole and complete. Release the suffering caused by limiting beliefs and conditioning that keeps you from seeing life clearly. We shift from acting unconsciously with reaction to responding with mindful awareness welcoming acceptance and equanimity. We begin to witness which of our attachments we have mastery over and which are still controlling us. We manage our likes and dislikes and loosen are attachments to those beliefs and ideas that no longer feed our true nature. Through witnessing our mind and experiences without repressing or expressing we learn to pause, choose again, and respond instead of react.
This is on ongoing practice of releasing binding attachments that reinforce limiting conditioning that keep us from recognizing our true nature. This alignment with personal nature leads to wisdom, freedom and clarity.
This is not just letting go of what we want, but also releasing the dislikes, anger and negativity that keep us bound to suffering and not living the life we are intended to. It is a conscious commitment to release our need to control and understanding that peace is found only within ourselves. As we focus inward we see our relationships and experiences not as an end, but a means for learning and awakening. We let go of needing to fill ourselves up outwardly releasing patterns of co-dependency on others, situations, the past, behaviors or consumption. This is determining our destiny, true purpose and meaning.
To support this we simplify our lives and remove the distractions that keep us from investigating our life’s meaning. We learn to use things constructively with discernment supporting the process of awakening. We create space for working with our deeper issues, our suffering, and our own negative self-image. Life shifts and we become co-creators of our journey.
An important lesson is letting go of attachment to our own history, the stories others have told us, and the stories we tell ourselves. Instead of getting stuck we lighten the grip and hold it with kindness and compassion. We loosen the attachment to our own image, the way we want to be seen, and the need to be somebody in order to give our lives meaning.
We allow space to rest in our true authentic nature, free from the pain of the past and future’s anxiety – living in the moment with possibility. No easy feat, but merely witnessing our likes and dislikes reduce the need to react with unfilled longing. We appreciate each moment as a blessing, with the suffering being our teacher to learn. We work and act in clarity taking in the wider vision to support our ourselves and others in self-care…knowing that we are the unity at the heart of all things as we journey into the energy of creation within ourselves.
Exercise: Learning from the Cracks
- Look back to a time when you were cracked open in despair, one that you have since grown from.
- Remember the strength that comforted you during those hours of darkness.
- Did you patch the crack?
- Did you it crack wide open?
- Did you allow it or resist it?
- What or who brought you great comfort and support?
- When the darkness was released and the light came in what was the lesson, the learning, the blessing?
- How do you use that strength now when life is cracking open once more?
- Are there attachments: material things, ideas, beliefs, relationships that continue to challenge you?
- Can you let them crack you open and let the light in knowing you were once comforted in your time of darkness?
Give thanks for the darkness which is the yin to the yang of light. It is the balance and harmony of life. Without night, there cannot be day. Think of how soothing darkness can be when it offers peace in the silence or when you are exhausted and long for sleep. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should so be at peace, crack it open, and remember your true nature will always guide you toward the light.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I use nature as a way to promote personal growth and healing, focusing on the energetic imprint we leave behind with ourselves and the environment. I teach and offer a variety of practices, with theory and application (browse my website at www.marishahealth.coach) to assist in creating a natural alignment and connection with our Greater Self to promote health and well-being. For seasonal practices, health tips, nutrition recommendations and mentoring (small group and individual sessions) please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.