Rebirthday

littlegirlswingingMay has always been my favorite month. It is spring and everything is in full bloom. It is also the month I came into the world. I was born Mother’s Day weekend. What a gift for a Mother.

It was a month after my fiftieth birthday, two years ago, that my life fell apart. Well it had been falling apart for some time; I just wasn’t paying attention. My life was dismantling one piece at a time and after pulling out enough sticks the whole damn broke and the emotional waters came flooding through. My dark night of the soul was my own souls journey to understand myself on a much deeper level and to learn the art of “letting go” of what was no longer serving me.

My journey through darkness has resulted in my new book “Rebirth; Traversing the Dark Night of the Soul.” It will be out in May; my rebirthday month.

This month I will also take possession of my new home; a gift from my Mother. The home is a foreclosure and the transaction has been in process since October. I have learned not only great patience through this process but also how to really let go and surrender to divine will. If this home is for my highest good it will close; if not, there is something better for me out there. In the meantime I have learned to love the home and feed it my energy. I found myself hopping on my bike and riding the dirt road through the trees, along the irrigation canal, above the lush green fields with cattle and horses roaming, on the path from my little cottage in the trees to my new home near the river. The journey on my bicycle reminded me of the journey from the old to the new. Usually half way to my new house I would be hit by this realization; “I get to live in this beautiful place. This is my new neighborhood. My back yard is a nature preserve on the river. I am so blessed.” I found myself experience greater and greater amounts of joy. It was such a sweet change from the deep sorrow I had to walk through to get here. It now felt as if life was really providing for me. New things were moving in to replace what had been taken out.

It was on a recent phone call to my Mother that I realized the synchronicity of everything now unfolding in my life. I had been waiting over six months for this house. I had so many stops and starts with my book and had hoped to have it out by the Spring Equinox; which felt to me like a time of rebirth. I put my radio show “Pandora’s Box” on hold to complete my book and hoped to relaunch on that same Spring Equinox date. Yet everything is lining up to come to completion at the same time. My birthday in May. What a powerful time for a rebirth. What a powerful synchronicity.

Some people ask me if I am out of pain now. It has been a very long two year journey through darkness and now I am truly beginning to dance in the light. But the darkness and the light dance together. The joy and the sorrow are one. Sometimes my heart bursts with joy and sometimes it aches with sorrow. I still feel sadness when I think of the abrupt ending to my marriage and the dissolution of my former life; just as one may feel sad in thinking of the death of a loved one. But that sadness no longer permeates my life as it once did.

I have learned to be grateful for my sorrow because it means I am alive and I feel. It is the same kind of sorrow I feel when I realize my baby son is all grown up and doesn’t need his Mother anymore. I miss that child. His childhood went way too fast. I had to let him go too. He left my life the same time my husband, my home and my animals left my life. It was such a huge dismantling. At the time it felt like a cruel twist of events to have everything I held dear ripped from my life. It was as if life was saying to me “see how you do with this one.”

Sometimes it feels that the greatest success has been traversing that darkness and coming out the other side. I made it! I made it through the metamorphosis and now I am blooming into life; a butterfly.

Stay Tuned! “Rebirth; Traversing the Dark Night of the Soul” will be out shortly!

The Metamorphosis

butterfly-460x276The transformational process is a sticky, gooey mess. It doesn’t happen overnight. First the old self must dissolve, and the new self must form. But in the end, a beautiful butterfly breaks free from the webbing of the cocoon.

There is a story where a boy seeing a moth struggling to break free of the cocoon took a pair of tweezers and ever so gently tore away the webbing but the moth died because it had not yet sufficiently formed the strength of the wings needed to fly. The process of breaking out of the cocoon is every bit as important as the rest of the process. One cannot emerge from the cocoon until s/he has built sufficient strength to fly.

I found comfort in stories like this and I shared them with others. It was comforting to know we weren’t dying. We were in a process of rebirth. None of us knew what our new form would look like. We would have to do the work, and wait to see.

Through the metamorphosis I worked diligently on allowing myself to be where I was. I developed patience and learned to endure the pain, the despair and the loneliness. After all! Metamorphosis is a deeply personal journey that can’t be shared.

The one thing I realized as I was coming out the other side of my dark night of the soul was that this time I was going through the process consciously and maybe this conscious rebirthing was important for my work in helping others through a deeply powerful transformational process.

When you are facing metamorphosis it can feel like facing your very demise. Because in a sense it is! Your former self; your caterpillar self must fall away in order for your butterfly self to emerge and the experiencing of one’s own dissolution can be terrifying.

Metamorphosis is a Greek word that means “transformation” or “change of shape.” When a caterpillar enters the chrysalis it dissolves into a formless goop. Its form disintegrates! Out of nowhere imaginal cells appear that resonate at a different frequency and since they are not recognized as being a part of the original cell structure of the caterpillar the immune systems begin to gobble up the imaginal cells. These imaginal cells continue to appear and the immune system can’t destroy them fast enough. Soon the growing number of surviving imaginal cells begin to clump together and they all resonate at the same frequency, passing information back and forth. The clumping of imaginal cells form the body of the butterfly.

Imagine what it would be like to be the caterpillar dissolving into goo and experiencing the struggle of the immune system fighting off this “new entity” that is resonating at a higher frequency. The “new entity” is seen as a threat. It is under attack! A major identity crisis is underway.

Although the new is a “higher frequency” we don’t recognize this and fight to keep the original cell structure in place.

The identity of the caterpillar is dissolving and the butterfly is slowly forming, but it isn’t a quick, easy process. It is messy and gooey. There is a battle taking place inside that cocoon. There is both death and rebirth! The butterfly is formed by “imaginal” cells which contain the blueprint of the new form.

Going through a dark night of the soul is like going through a human metamorphosis. Everything you have formerly identified with is now falling away, dissolving into goo. At this time you don’t know what is happening. You have no blueprint for where you are going. You have no idea what you are becoming. It feels like a death, because it is! The more you resist the process and try to hold to the old form, the more pain is generated. The only way to undergo this transformation with the least amount of pain is to surrender to the process. Trust the process.

(The above article is an excerpt from my book “Rebirth; Traversing the Dark Night of the Soul”.)

The Fall From Grace

fallingWhen one enters the dark night of the soul, there is often a preceding Fall from Grace. It could be the loss or death of a loved one, an illness, a loss of a job, or all of the above. One may also get to a place where what has previously served to numb or minimize emotional pain isn’t working anymore.

In the case of narcissistic abuse, the fall from grace is when one is yanked from his/her pedestal and loses her place in the narcissist’s life.

Emotional trauma will often spiral one into such a dark night of the soul. There is usually an emotional break-down of sorts that renders one “out of control” and unable to cope. Where you may have coped pretty well with life up until now, this traumatic event pushes you over the edge. Once pushed over the edge you begin to fall. There is no going back. Life as you know it is over. Now the ground is fast approaching and it seems you are staring your own doom in the face.

In each one of my three dark nights of the soul, each one was very different and experienced from different levels of conscious awareness. I would have thought that with all the experience traversing the dark night combined with the knowledge that I had the strength and the power to get through it, would make it easier. It was this last experience of going through such a dark night that I came to understand this was a death and undergoing our own death is never easy. This is the time when we are forced to face our deepest fears, our deepest sense of inadequacy and our own feelings of worthiness and purpose for being here.

tearsinthenightA dark night will be different at twenty years of age than it is at fifty. My three dark nights were at the age of nineteen when I entered therapy for a life threatening eating disorder, the age of thirty nine when I walked away from a narcissistic relationship and the age of fifty when my husband disappeared from my life.

Each dark night was a different kind of passageway. Each one peeled away what was no longer working in my life and forced me to go through a rebirth. The person who has entered into the womb of transformation is not the same person who emerges months or years later.

Perhaps our soul calls us to the dark night because it calls us to face the illusions that have kept us stuck in a life that is not authentic.

The soul longs to be expressed through the living of your life. Your life is a gift. And if you give up pieces and parts of your soul in your quest for survival or to be accepted, approved of or loved; your soul may mastermind an event in which you must face the dragon of your own self deception.

CaterpillarMolt001Not every soul enters a dark night just as not every caterpillar becomes a butterfly. But it is the destiny of the caterpillar to become the butterfly. Many never make it. Some are eaten by predators or fall victim to parasitic influence.

There are actually four stages of life for the caterpillar/butterfly. The egg is the first stage and then the caterpillar is the second. It is the job of the caterpillar to eat. It eats twice its weight in plant food each day and grows and grows. This is the “consumption” stage of life.

The caterpillar goes through an average of three moltings, or periods where it becomes too large for its skin and sheds it.

The third stage is the metamorphosis stage and the fourth stage is the butterfly.

In the human race, it is also our destiny to become butterflies or rather fully actualized beings but many people get lost in the consumption stage created by our robotic, soulless society. If you have been called into the womb of transformation, consider yourself “chosen.” Your own soul has successfully created the circumstances for your metamorphosis.

Trusting the process of metamorphosis is important. To see that you are evolving into something greater than what you are leaving behind is crucial to forming a positive attitude about your process.

When we are facing death it is easy to feel lost, hopeless and discouraged. These are typical feelings one will experience during the dark night. Our hope comes in developing an understanding that a major transformation is underway. We are dying to the old and being reborn to the new.

(This is an excerpt from my book “Rebirth; Traversing the Dark Night of the Soul”)

Easter and Rebirth

Easter is a day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. He rises from the dead after three days.

This three day period preceding Easter is found frequently in mythology as a symbol of death, renewal and rebirth. The Sumerian Goddess Innana, Queen of Heaven who descended to earth to know what it is to be human also took the journey into Hades, the underworld for an even deeper understanding of Self.

During her journey she passed through seven gates and had to give up something of importance at each gate in order to gain entrance. She gave up her crown, her cloak, her jewels and her clothing arriving at Hades completely naked. When she arrived she met her sister, who represented Innana’s shadow. Her sister killed her and hung her corpse on a hook. Here Innana lost the final thing of value in her life, her physical form. Three days later Innana’s assistants came and bargained for her body. She was then taken and reborn once again into the earthly realms.

I like the story of Innana because it really depicts the journey through the dark night of the soul as one must descend into the shadow realms giving up much of one’s identity if not all. When one emerges from such a journey she is reborn having integrated her shadow aspects. She is now whole and complete unto herself, able to live life from all of who she is rather than just a part.

As we emerge from the dark night of the soul, we are resurrected back into life but we are not the same as we were before undertaking the journey. We may be able to identify with the crucifixion of Jesus as we endure immense pain that strips us of all we believed ourselves to be. Like Jesus we may feel that God has forsaken us. But in the end we know God in a whole different way. This journey into darkness can strengthen our relationship with the divine and shed new light on who we are.

The dark night of the soul is the journey of the Self to meet the Self and once resurrected we are no longer filled with illusions. We are instead filled with the divine essence of our true Self. Perhaps this is the true meaning of being “Christed” or integrating the “Christ Consciousness.” Through this journey we open ourselves to be filled not with the material things of this world, but with the divine light of truth. We are Father/Mother, Son/Daughter, and Holy Spirit/ God. We are the divine masculine and the divine feminine in unity with God. We are no longer looking outside of ourselves to be filled. We are instead filled with Self, true essence, our Christed Self. It is here we find true wholeness. When we are whole we no longer seek outside of ourselves for fulfillment as we are now filled from within.

Although I am not a traditional Christian I am a believer in the messages of Jesus as we are guided to “know thyself” and come to a deeper understanding of the God within allowing our lives to be guided not by the material desires but through our own inner knowing. The resurrection shows us how we can die to the old illusionary self and be reborn to the new fully integrated, whole self. This is how we are truly saved in this world. Because we learn to walk in truth and follow the will of our God/Self rather than the seductions of our ego.