December 21, 2015

Embrace the Darkness

I’m an adult who is sometimes scared of the dark.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a recurring dream which (thankfully) doesn’t occur that often.  In my dream, I wake up in the exact spot I fell asleep, but I am in total darkness.  It doesn’t matter if I fell asleep in the middle of the day to have a nap.  When I wake up it is dark.  I don’t realize at first that these are dreams.  They are so vivid and lifelike, that I just think that I have simply woken from my slumber.  It isn’t the actual darkness that scares me, however.  In these dreams I am paralyzed - I can’t move, I can’t speak and I feel powerless.  At first, I’m confused.  My confusion soon turns to fear and then the realization that I am sleeping and if I can just wake up, I will be safe.  Unfortunately, the more I try to move and the more I try to use my voice, the deeper into the dream I go and the more difficult it is to wake myself up.  Because of these dreams, darkness (for me) has become associated with fear, uncertainty and powerlessness.

At 9:49PM on Monday in Medicine Hat, we will enter the Winter Solstice. At this specific time, it appears as if the sun stops for just a moment before it begins shifting in a new direction.  The Winter Solstice signifies the longest night and shortest day.  It is all about embracing the darkness. In ancient times (and in various areas today), people gathered together to mark this sacred time.  It is a time to embrace the still, silent, reflective time of the dark, but at the same time to celebrate and rejoice the return of the sun and the journey back to the light. 

I’ve been around long enough to know that in all darkness there is light.  With every night, there comes a day.  In the blackest nights, I’ve seen the brightest stars.  With every dark period in my life, I’ve found the deepest strength that I didn’t previously know existed.  Darkness (though it can bring fear and uncertainty) is needed in order for light (with the promise of hope and new beginnings) to shine the brightest. 

I’ve begun working on trying to surrender into my recurring dream in order to become more comfortable in the dark and to see what surfaces.  I haven’t quite gotten there yet.  In the meantime, I am going to practice embracing the darkness of the solstice and celebrate the return to light by marking this change in season with 108 sun salutations.  Join us at Yoga You4ia on Tuesday, December 22 at 7:00PM for this meditative practice where we will connect as a group and use this group energy in order to work with our own individual intentions of what we would like our new cycle of light to look like.  Feel free to message/contact the studio or myself with any questions.  See you on our mats!               

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