I have had a dark night. Recently I was in the hospital for two weeks with an unidentified illness. The only thing between me and death was the IV in my veins providing precious nutrients and fluids necessary for life. It is times like these that gives us the most opportunity for soul growth.
All of us, at one time or another, go through a period of loss, illness, grief, suffering or trial such that it can be called what Thomas Moore and others refer to as “A Dark Night of The Soul.” If you focus solely on fixing things, getting your health back, getting back to the way things were, you may miss the deeper soul lessons the dark night provides. A dark night pares things way down…what is essential, who am I , what does my soul want? It is not dismissed easily and calls not only for a therapeutic response but a spiritual one.
It is not that I would wish a dark night on anyone - no one should have to go through that. But once it is given to you, your job is to sit still with it, be with it, be in it and uncover the gifts and the lessons it brings your way.
I have had, and continue to receive, many gifts and lessons.
I want to share one of these; it has to do with energy.
As many of you know, I am into “energy.” I am accused of using the word too much. I constantly talk about transforming a client’s energy. I notice the energy in the room during a speaking engagement; I utilize the energy in each client and in the room when I am doing group; I interview and hire people based on their energy. I shift my energy according to what I sense in a client. And on and on and on…
But I have a new awareness of a more ethereal energy - the energy that is in all of our bodies, the energy called “chi.” Of course I knew of this before. I have read about and noticed and thought I understood chi, but my dark night has brought me closer to its real essence.
This new understanding is a subtler one. It is the actual feeling of the life spirit that flows through my body. I actually felt it leaving me, and I knew I was dying. I also felt it when it was coming back, and I have been keenly aware of it ever since.
I can feel how much of it goes out when I talk to someone, and I realize how much energy talking takes. I never knew that, and I am a big talker. In healing myself I notice I even need to talk less to conserve. I feel it even when I look at someone. I feel the flow of energy and the exchange. I feel how much leaves and what comes back.
I can feel where my chi is stuck or lacking. I especially feel this in my belly area, every day. As I feel the energy in my body it is obvious that there is a lack of the same level of chi in my belly. When I walk, not my legs but my belly gets tired. I need to rest my belly. Noticing where, specifically in your body, you need to rest is something different than resting in general…although I need that too.
When people visit, we talk and I am happy to see them and I tell them parts of my story and feel their love. As they leave I feel part of my chi go out the door with them as if to still be with them in some way. And so I need rest after every visit. I need lots of silence and quiet and breathing as I regather my chi again.
My crying, which is daily, seems to help my chi flow. It seems to stop some kind of blocking; it lets things go. It does not drain me in a way that you might think crying would or in a way that I remember some tears in the past have done. It keeps me connected somehow to my chi and its need to flow.
I notice what strengthens my chi: rest, breathing consciously, beauty, music and singing (especially singing Deva Primal chants), nature, gentle movement like a slow walk, good food, loving touch, loving messages, love. I understand now on a more profound level that these are necessary for me now not luxuries.
I no longer will take my chi for granted, or my life. Both are so easy to do.
Forever in gratitude