I think many of us have been there – We find our Self at this point in our life where everything seems like it is falling apart… We might feel lost, lonely, disconnected and unsure of what lies ahead. Let’s swim at the deep end of this and I will share my thoughts and holistic health tips that may help.
Let me confess something – As I write this, this is exactly where I am on my journey. I think the pandemic hit me hard in many ways and as Pluto (planet of death, rebirth and transformation) is just a degree to transit hit my Ascendant (House 1 in astrology, Self), it is feeling intense and Pluto has an effect 1-2 before/after this transit. The funny thing is you would think that after working with clients for many years through this, it should feel easy? Not true. The dark night of the soul is personal and unique to everyone – even when you know what to expect. However, what has helped is that I have a personal DNOTS holistic toolkit in place from previously experiencing it and from working with others on transformation.
A snake shedding old skin
This is one way to put it. Think of how the snake slowly slithers out the dull skin that was weighing it down and no longer serving it – To reveal the vibrant shiny skin afterwards. Some would also compare it to the transformation that happens to reach the point of emerging as a beautiful butterfly.
Is this a kundalini awakening? It can happen because of a kundalini awakening, but it can also happen without it. Not every dark night of the soul is related to a kundalini awakening experience.
The Shadow has wisdom. I think this has a lot to do with Shadow work, an ESSENTIAL part of growth. Too often there is a lot of soul-spiritual bypassing… skipping over issues with toxic positivity. This is definitely not the time to look for comfort in this because we miss out on the opportunity for true growth, by burying what we need to work on even more. Embrace the darkness, this is the Yin creative energy of planting new seeds.
More Yin to avoid burnout
We all have feminine Yin and masculine Yang in our energy – Regardless of how we identify our Self or our biology. The opportunity comes when we can access either or both at the right time to channel our energy in a way that feels good to us.
Burnout is a possibility. YANG is action-based, the energy we feel when we are fired up and it is masculine energy. What can help with this process is more of the feminine YIN – The receptive, the creative, the open, the emotional Self. This is a time to go internal, not external. A time for nurturing our Self. Burn-out often happens when we overuse the YANG energy – and during these moments, we may need to conserve our energy the most.
Be gentle with your Self
There is a lot going on in our internal world – This is a beautiful time to slow everything down. Easier said than done! Especially when we might be busy people, juggling life as usual. I found that the key is to be very selective where possible in where we channel our energy. Learning to say NO to doing things that we don’t need to or setting up healthy boundaries may be part of this process. As we change, our boundaries need adjusting and this is part of this stage – To learn to re-evaluate what matters to us and to manage our energy in our life so that we also have energy.
What can you do to recharge your energy? Little and often. Making space to slow things down and replace old routines with healthier ones. A simple example: Instead of spending the last 30 minutes each day on the computer, maybe this is a great time to do some yin yoga.
Bring awareness to any unhealthy addictions
This is a time when I find that unhealthy addictions may develop or return – Addictions come in all forms so it is important to understand that it is the way we choose to channel our energy. the key is to recognise whether it is healthy or not. Most people hear the word addiction and assume it is drugs or alcohol addictions only, but most of the time small addictions in our life can also take place that points us in unhealthy ways in which we channel our energy. Bring awareness to any habits that lead to patterns and routines that are unhealthy and addictive… These only offer unhealthy short-term relief and have a long-term unhealthy effect.
Social media detox
When was the last time you stopped using social media for an extended period of time (at least for a weekend!)? Honestly, I think this is one of the stages in life where social media may not help because it can be a distraction from doing the inner work – And in some cases, an addiction too. Having a social media detox can be like opening space for our energy and mind to just be… without all the noise of the world’s problems, the expectations of showing up, the need to share at every minute etc. Just an open clear space to be here now.
I challenge you to go one week without social media. If it is part of your work, maybe be aware of just doing the work part without scrolling endlessly. And if you could just temporarily remove the app for a week from your phone or tablet, even better! Instead, think of what you could be enjoying in those open spaces – And allow anything to surface. You’ll be amazed how much stuff comes up when we don’t distract by social media.
And when you do return to social media – Be mindful of what/who you follow. Are they in alignment with your journey? Do they feed/inspire or drain your energy with their feed/updates?
Healthy ways to release
This is an extension of Self-care. Add more healthy ways to channel your emotional Self – This is especially great for doing more of the creative things you love. Journalling more is a healthy safe way to release and explore. Movement of any kind is fantastic to ground our Self and keep our body strong. Eating well is important as many people often feel drawn toward unhealthy comfort foods.
This is a challenging one. It usually involves other people in our life too. During the dark night of the soul. many questions come up – about who we are and our relationships. What is or isn’t working in your life? Be really honest and write it down so you can visually see it in front of you.
A simple journal exercise: Write down a list on one side of the things in your life that no longer feel right or need change. On the other side, write down what you would like to invite more of in each area.
This can feel like a lonely time. Maybe we may feel that we can’t talk to anyone about what is truly going on. This could be an invitation to reach out to new connections or to practice conscious heart-centred communication with the people in your life that you feel happy to share.
Some of our deepest and most karmic experiences with connections may happen at this time. Many times, people show up in our lives to teach us something we need to learn about our Self – it may not always be what we expected or an easy experience. There is a reason for this and often both sides have to learn something from each other.
I’ll give you an unexpected example from a client: Just when he/my client started this stage, this is when he also had the neighbours from hell move in next door… banging and music blazing, the whole thing! It triggered him in SO many ways but he took it as a lesson in learning to be more assertive and stand up for his boundaries… It was definitely “a process” but this connection strengthened his Self-worth – And just as quick as they came and moved in, they left unexpectedly overnight too. Just like that…. poof, gone! Even the other neighbours in the building wondered what happened when they left.
Obviously, I am not wishing anything bad like this will happen to any of you! But there are many moments of invitation to challenge our Self. Be open to the changes and new connections in your life, they can point you in the right direction of your own deep healing.
A NEW VISION – Daring to dream BIGGER
Putting together each piece of the puzzle – Like a vision board, we have different images, words etc that slowly build the bigger picture of what we want. As a person goes through this experience, each small piece is starting to form and build something. Each lesson, each challenge, each connection, each release… it all adds up to a new vision of who we are.
Explore the North Node in your natal Astro chart. This is when astrology was a tool that really helped me. Our North Node is the path of Dharma in this lifetime for our soul to evolve – And it means we have to release a lot of our Karma from our past lifetimes or ancestors. It is out of our comfort zone but it is pushing us towards doing something that we need to do for our soul’s journey. This is a big topic, I invite you to research it by getting a free natal chart online and then looking up which sign and house your north node is. You might just be having a Nodal return – Similarly to the famously known Saturn return, this is usually when we have the deep transformations with the dark night of the soul.
The Dark night of the soul vision board – This is a beautiful way to track your soul puzzle now. Start with a blank board – Every time there is a lesson, new vision, experience, idea etc… you can stick an image, affirmation or photo to it – A reminder of where you are and what happened. In time, this vision board will grow into a large exploration map of where you have been. You can be as creative as you like in this process! It’s a fun and healthy way to visually remind your Self of each soul step you are taking.
► Favourite crystals for transformation:
Malachite, Shungite, Rose quartz, Labradorite