“The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost.” ~ Galadriel, The Fellowship of the Ring (LOTR) by Tolkien
“[The] soul is calling us now into its favorite territory – darkness. The Enlightenment and its legacy are fading into the archives of human history. We have entered the Age of Endarkenment, a term introduced some years ago by the poet Robert Bly. Confronting collapse consciously is an intentional response, an agreement to make the descent into the darkness, not because of a masochistic preference for suffering, but in order to mine the gold that cannot be discovered elsewhere.” ~ Navigating the coming chaos: a handbook for inner transition by Carolyn Baker
“One thing that comes out of myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation” ~ Joseph Campbell
The world has changed, but it didn’t happen overnight. What happened overnight was the sudden awakening of mainstream, the feeling that things are not right and may get even weirder, if not really outrageous and dangerous. And even this awakening has not yet become fully acknowledged by most.
Until recently, most had faith that things would be more or less as usual, with some bumps on the road but nothing to worry too much about. Still many feel that way, even with the mountain of evidence to the contrary. “It doesn’t affect me yet, therefore it should be OK” is the underlying thought…most of those able to read this post don’t have issues with water, food or shelter and don’t have to worry about their freedom of speech, being unemployed and homeless or their cities being bombed.
For me, the awakening happened a few years ago, and since then I’ve been “preparing”: learning skills, stockpiling, auditing what I have, planning various scenarios, building resilience against all odds such as family passive aggressive behavior, health issues and age, lack of time or resources.
The real preparation, however, is that of inner transition: being strong and healthy at the soul level, and then at the body-level, then the community level and so on…
Anyone working in emergency preparedness knows it well: you can be lost in the middle of the wild; naked in the aftermath of a terrible earthquake or fire, injured after a fatal crash or being the victim of a terrible crime; any real survivor will tell you: what’s going to save you and help you from now on are not the emergency kits, the bunker, the tools or even the first aid kit. Running away is not an answer either, as whatever you are running from may travel with you and sooner or later may catch up. What will save you is being strong inside, and knowing what to do next…
So in the aftermath of a terrible blow like the one we are living now and the many that will follow (environmentally, socially, financially and politically), here is the advice I would like to share:
- Let it out: express, acknowledge and accept your emotions. Stay with them for a while if you need to, don’t push them away; don’t hide them. Meet with someone you trust and allow all your and their feelings to come to the surface no matter what they are. Give yourself enough time and ask the other to listen, then switch roles. Do not allow judgment or “fixing” to come on the way. Scream, swear, punch (not your friend!), cry. Make sure both are in a safe place and safe to each other. Hugs are acceptable, fixing words are not, just silence and acceptance…
- Let it out through journaling: if you can’t find a friend or you need more than one session, journaling may also help: write it all down, draw, paint, anything that may help you to express what you feel: anger, fear, frustration, anxiety, loss and even excitement, anticipation, curiosity, inspiration, no emotion is “right” or “wrong” and much less in these times…
- Embrace your soul in all its shades: the soul is not spirit, the soul is messy and intuitive and sensuous as Mother Earth
- Take care of your body: eat healthy and ethically, exercise, breathe, meditate, relax: whatever works for you, but the closer you are to Nature and the more you walk and expose yourself to the elements and other beings the better you’ll be
- Avoid eating, drinking, wearing or working with things that carry energy that represents violence, abuse, caging, oppression or suffering of any time
- Drinks lots of liquids, mostly water and herbal teas, preferably from your own garden or that of a friend
- Avoid exposure to too many electronics and plastics
- Rest enough through the day and night
- Make time to be, create and surround yourself with beauty and wonder from music, art, poetry, etc.
- Make time to be around those you love
- Use compassion and non-violent communication to respond to others, understand in your heart that even when they themselves may not acknowledge or know it, they have also been impacted
- Reach to those who may be unprotected or suffering without the means or skills to navigate these times
- Share your skills: whatever you know, skills are more valuable (and will be increasingly more valuable soon) than any other form of wealth
- If you need to invest, invest in skills acquiring and sharing
- If you have some level of privilege (we all have some, even if it’s only because you are able to read this now), use it to support and protect those who may not have it
- If you think you need professional support, feel free to reach out to people in your community who may have the skills and background to understand what we are all going through. You can also contact me for a private session through “Ethical Pathways”.
Through these difficult times we will need each other more than ever. But more than each other, we will need to be strong and safe inside and allow our souls (more than our minds) to wander free. This is only achieved when we re-discover, acknowledge and accept what we are, what’s sacred to us and where our place in this world is.
We may discover that these dark times are a blessing, like the dark night of the soul is when you allow yourself to see what’s hidden behind the shadows: dark gold.
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
~ Jellaludin Rumi