Mining the Dark
Some periods in your life are just . . . slow. Like ol’ Greek Sisyphus, rolling a rock up a hill over and over, it feels like all the work we do nets no results, no rewards.
It feels like you’re laboring in the dark, and the results of our efforts are totally inscrutable.
You wonder if there is a point. Or if you’re even on the right track at all.
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Yesterday I had lunch with my mom. I told her she sounded tired. She is. She’s been fighting rats in her attic. Rats that led her to a rat company that rips off seniors and sells them huge rat-reduction packages, then does no work.
She’s tired of rats, tired of rat companies, tired of patching holes and arguing for her money back, and lunch seemed like a much better idea.
Our pricey fish plates arrived. Eh, so-so. Undercooked, cold, and dry.
“Happy birthday,” she says to me, “This is your birthday lunch.”
At this point, we’re laughing. What else can we do?
I mean, c’mon Universe, give us a break, will ya?
But no, right now the Universe is slow for us. It’s a time to be inward-facing, and roll through our attics and basements, shoring up the houses of our lives.
Periods of light and activity illuminate our lives with growth, results, and action. It’s yang energy.
Periods of dark ask us to slow down, reflect, and re-evaluate. It’s for sleep, healing, processing, and renewal. It’s introspective. Yin.
If the light is about eating, the dark is about digesting.
We often get pissed off about the transition. We don’t want the party to end. Or we can’t wait for the party to start. The yin feels unproductive, unrewarding and even a fucking struggle.
We talk about loving the feminine and all that rah-rah, but when we’re actually in the dark, most of us are trying to run from it as fast as we can.
The dark is scary. What if everything breaks? What if we don’t land on our feet? What if all the good stuff is behind us now? What if we are royally, completely, totally fucked and no one will ever want or love us or our skills again?
So we keep pushing and working and trying to create forward momentum in the dark, and then we find ourselves blundering around, questioning, repeating things over and over, and just generally struggling.
We are out of flow with the energy in our life. And we are freaked out to be there.
When we’re panicky about it, it only gets worse. But it can be hard not to be panicky when things are slipping from our hands and lives, and nothing has arrived yet to take their place.
So . . . adjust your vision. Exhale, step back, and instead see the dark as an invitation.
It welcomes you to revise. It asks you to renew and/or discard things. But it’s not a time for Making.
Making happens in the light, whereas revisions, evaluation, and renewing happen in the dark.
They go together: opposite twins that can’t live without the other.
The key is in recognizing which one you’re in, and not fighting it. Fighting it leads to a riptide at sea—the more you struggle, the further you get carried out.
I wanted September to be a huge month of growth and expansion, but instead, I sense my days slowing and my focus slipping. After months of work lifting my latest project off the ground, the dark is asking me just sit in it for awhile.
I pouted, argued, and convinced myself I have no time for dark (not right now!). But you know I always come to my senses.
Sometimes you just have to get over your own thoughts about how things “should” be, and instead be in what actually is.
So I gave in, because that’s the only thing that’ll actually give me the reward I’m looking for.
The dark is your friend. And, all of us weave in and out of the dark in our lives.
Next time, instead of crying out that I need to know where I’m going, or bracing for whatever bad thing might be lurking ahead, I want to get my head together even faster than I did this time.
Instead, I’ll let myself fall into the place of power in my dark the first minute I feel the energies turn . . . no matter what my head is screaming about it.
For me, this means writing in the morning, taking my body for little jaunts at the gym, reading and researching, and walking along the surf as the sun sets over the ocean.
It means I’m giving up on making a result, and instead listening to the process that comes before the result—and if it’s not clear, then that’s okay too.
Because, things aren’t meant to be clear in the dark.
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