I wish you good health and inner equanimity as we pass the autumnal equinox.
We are entering the season of increasing darkness and I am already buzzing with excitement for the fall and winter programming I am planning. (Look for an announcement of the full season line-up in the coming weeks!)
I have loved teaching outside in comfortable weather. I’ve been on some great adventures with my family. And now I’ve had enough running around. I’m glad the sunset is encouraging me to get home and to bed.
Less daylight isn’t always easy. Even harder than night is the dark. By the dark, I mean the realm of not seeing and not knowing.
I invite you to befriend the dark with me. The darkness of the womb, the darkness within the Earth, the darkness of deep space. The darkness where the seed germinates. We might feel without our usual guideposts but we do not need to be lost in it.
Consciously moving with the seasonal flow of darkness and light prepares us for when life suddenly casts us into the dark.
This past Sunday during an open prayer time at my church I was struck by the number of people, especially young people, sharing some version of “I don’t know what to do” and “I don’t know how this is going to turn out.” I felt the hunger to have places where we can share that unknowing and be held by something greater. While most of the service felt decidedly meh, I was so glad to be part of the community holding that moment.
I hear the spiritual questions within their prayers. Are we alone in our suffering? How can I make meaning in this situation? Can I trust life?
Our dominant culture is barely able to talk about mental health challenges. If we are lucky we are given a week to grieve the loss of a parent and then are expected to move on. Spiritual health challenges seem even more intangible and impossible to share in conversation – even in religious organizations! But from my experience as a qigong healer, I see those sticky wrestling-with-God questions are always entangled with our mental health.
I invite you to be tender and curious with yourself. What spiritual questions are underneath your suffering, even if they sound foolish? Create space in your day, your week, your month, or as part of the cycle of the year to care for the questions coming from your soul.
I invite you to be tender and curious with others. In any conversation, perhaps especially with the difficult ones, listen for what spiritual questions may be left unspoken. This is an exercise for opening your compassion. Please resist the temptation to offer easy answers. Mostly what all of us most desire is accompaniment and witnessing.
I also invite you to the upcoming workshop Dancing into the Dark Mysteries which will help you connect with myths and ancestors to guide you through the dark. This is a day about deep embodied learning in order to awaken a deep trust in your bones of the fertile power of the dark. Come dance into the dark mysteries with me!
You don’t have to be a “dancer” to participate in the Dark Mysteries workshop
There are many ways to be present and participate in the Dancing into the Dark Mysteries workshop, embracing where you are with your body. Young ones and older ones welcome! The more generations of people in attendance, the richer for all. Early bird registration ends on October 15. Learn more.