The concept of a dark night of the soul is common to spiritual seekers. It’s this idea that while we pursue the light of a fully joyful life, there will also be times when everything seems to fall to crap!

Not to be alarmed though, this is just a part of the process. What is dark and unhealed, must make its way to the surface for healing and release. Unfortunately, that process doesn’t feel so good.

I’ll admit, this “spiritual yoga life” business is not for the faint of heart. All this learning oneself, and acting like a kind human to other people can sometimes feel nothing short of exhausting!

Just when I feel like I have one area of my life in order and smooth sailing, a problem pops up in another area.

There are two bits of good news to this.

  1. These dark nights of BS are becoming predictable. And 2. The more you go through them the better equipped you are to manage them.

WHEN DARK NIGHTS ARE LIKELY TO COME UP?

When the moon is dark (meaning during a cosmic new moon OR when our menstrual cycle is beginning) negative feelings are likely to rear their monster heads! It’s just the way the energy cookie crumbles. Many of us feel the presence of our personal “new  moon” as PMS, irritability and sadness.

Its these times, when we feel everything especially the fear, the unhealed pain, the anger and the resentment more fully.

And it’s this time when our shit comes to the surface that we need to go find the solitude to go even deeper into our practice.

For me, during the new moon I spend LESS time on my sticky mat and MORE time on my meditation cushion. Why? Because I’m searching for answers, seeking guidance. And those things are more difficult to receive when I’m busy doing life (or even busy doing yoga postures).

These new moon-ish times are also moments when I have to dive deep into the spiritual practices of yoga. This 3-step ritual I’ve established for myself doesn’t keep the dark nights away, but it does bring me some much needed comfort and allow the “light” back in sooner than later.

  1. Ask for Guidance:

We are only as empowered as the questions we ask. I find that all things have purpose so asking “why me” is a worthless question. A more empowering question may be, “What am I to learn from this?”, “What is this experience telling me?”, Or my personal favorite “Show me what I’m missing.”

  1. Seal It With Mantra:

Whenever I’m going through a dark night,  I know I have to let go of something (a thought or belief usually) that has driven me into this down mood. And I have to surrender my control of the situation in order to receive the guidance I’m seeking. My favorite mantra for this situation is “Om Namah Shivaya. Ishvara Pranidhana.” Loosely translated it means, “Release in me anything that does not serve me. I surrender.” I say this mantra while in meditation. But I also repeat it anytime the fear, anger or sadness comes up during the day.

  1. Give Yourself Space:

The thing about things coming up for healing is that they need some place to go when they surface. So you have to make time for the “energy fall out.” Personally, I like to journal, so that I can record my insights and mentally talk my way through them. That’s part of why I’m writing this post now.

But there are other things you can do to release the negative emotions that will surface during this time.

Talk to someone (a friend, counselor or teacher). Try EFT (emotional freedom tapping) or some other energy healing modality. The point is to move that negative energy so that it can be expressed and released. I created a video on EFT specifically for moms here!

The bottom line is, as yoginis there is no such thing as life being sunshine and butterflies all the time. Part of the journey (and the fun), is walking through the contrast that eventually brings us even more clarity, peace and joy.

Have you had a dark night of the soul recently? How do you handle them?

Could you use more peace and calm in your mom life?

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