The Holy Days are here, as is the end of this year and the beginning of a new cycle on the horizon. I am noticing in myself, as well as hearing from many others, a need for a deep respite from the chaos and upheaval in the world and the vibes we are feeling from all of it, even if we don’t know what exactly is happening out there.
There really is no out there.
We are not energetically separate from anything that is happening on the planet or anywhere else. Whether or not we watch or read the news, it is all affecting us on so many levels. At times, I am feeling overwhelmed with the energies, and grief is arising in my heart as it does every year at this time. I experience grief as another face of Love. I am called to turn inward toward my arising grief and meet it in the coming weeks, rather than toward a lot of social activities. It does not necessarily prevent or obscure any joy that arises, nor does it deny general happiness. It’s a paradox, a koan, that it is possible to be happy and grieving at the same time, sometimes appearing as alternate waves of emotion.
How is this time of endarkenment for you?
Can you give yourself permission to be with your own heart and honor your needs in this emotionally-charged time of year?
On a personal level, I am aware that the holy days/holidays are a time when grief arises in so many of us. While this is a sacred time, it is not necessarily an easy time. Sadness and grief may be connected to specific memories of childhood, family, times we were alone and lonely. Maybe we are missing the happy times we had as children, or being with our own children and their families. Our hearts may ache for the people we love if they cannot be with us for some reason, or if they are no longer in body. We may be alone, or not, yet feel alone or lonelier during this time. Old traumas may re-surface, we may not feel good or healthy, there may be a feeling of painful emptiness, or that something or someone is missing. We my not know what we are missing, but we know that our hearts hurt. Our losses may be ambiguous, the ones that are unspoken, not seen or met by others, and often unseen or minimalized as unimportant by ourselves.
I welcome this liminal time, as my heart is already feeling the grief and I have glimpses of the joy that is also possible, even at the same time, as it sometimes is. Since 1982, I have carried the memories of a fire that occurred a week before Christmas in the house across the street, where my daughter slept two nights before the fire. My son and I witnessed the flames consume my friend and his little daughter. The night after the fire, as I was meditating on my bed, Bill, my friend who died in the fire appeared in his Light body, grinning from ear to ear, clearly joyous, and communicated with me telepathically that he and his daughter were really fine. Tears of joy fell from my eyes.
At the same time, I also hold those I love dearly close to my heart and I feel deepest gratitude to the Holy Mother. She has blessed me with a grace-and-miracle-filled life, my precious children, deep loves, beautiful friendships, good health, and work that I adore that is in service to the supreme gift of awareness of Her in my heart since childhood.
Ambiguous losses are the ones that are peripheral to the obvious losses of beloveds, relationships, pets, children being unable to share the holidays with us. The list may be very long and heart-breaking. For me, there is a huge dissonance between the grief that I am experiencing and the outward celebrations, so I turn toward my heart to be with what is true and immediate, and make decisions about what I can do and what I feel is not right for me to do during the holidays. I choose alignment with letting my heart and feelings make the choices to go to certain events and be with those that are close to me, or not. While the holidays can bring special times with beloveds, they can also bring the stress and overwhelm of feeling pressured to do things for and with others that really are not in alignment for us.
For me this season is a holy time, a time I prefer to retreat, do spiritual practices, and be in contact with those I love in very simple ways. It can be overwhelming to try to be outward and celebratory with others, especially when it is not what our hearts are feeling. I think of these next few weeks as a liminal time, a threshold time, as liminal comes from the Latin word, limen, meaning threshold. It is a time in between the old and the new, the known and the unknown, the unborn and the born.
Being in liminal space any time can feel very uncomfortable, and we may do everything possible to resist this discomfort of being neither here nor there, and grit our teeth as we wait for it to be over. I hear this a lot from others. The liminal as a chrysalis, a place of dissolution, gestation, and creation, all happening at the same time. Something within us is shedding or dying, and at the same time, something new is taking shape, gestating, getting ready to be born. Just as the fluffy caterpillar dissolves into a gooey substance before it can emerge as a gorgeous Monarch butterfly, we may feel like a gooey mess ourselves as we go through these chrysalis stages. They happen all through our lives, as it is the required labor before the birth of some new aspect of ourselves, our outer situation, and our spiritual life. Liminal times are essential in the ongoing awakening and expansion of consciousness by Kundalini Shakti, as she loosens the grip of our egos and conditioning. She is our Sacred Doula for the imminent birthing and revelation of our authentic Being.
Experiencing Kundalini Shakti in and as the liminal is often not a comfortable experience if we resist, and resistance naturally arises, at least initially, because we cannot know the outcome, and perhaps, how to be with this discomfort. It is good to focus on being grateful for all that we are and have, and to open our heart to whatever arises, meet it as it is. We can learn to trust ourselves and trust that Kundalini Ma has a Divine Arrangement for us when we are taken into the liminal. We can use our awareness to stay out of stories of the past or future as best we can, and feel into what is happening in our bodies. Our hearts know this territory, and our thinking minds are strangers to it; they want to know what cannot be known yet. We can comfort these frightened minds with meditation, music, dance, yoga, making art, being in nature, sharing with our beloveds, or other spiritual practices.
I call on the Holy Mother of All, asking for help with what is happening. I ask for Her Golden Nectar to flow through me and those I love, and include the planet and all beings. Heart work like this is the best medicine when in the liminal. Time in the chrysalis eventually does come to an organic ending and there is a birth of some sort into new life when Kundalini Ma determines the time is right. We don’t get to decide. We often want it to be over yesterday or January 2nd, and it is easier when we stay present and flow with it, breathe through the challenging moments. Weeping is really good, and sometimes it’s impossible to cry alone and we may need a good friend to hold space for us. Go for it if it arises. We feel good when we honor the truth of what we are called to, and what is. It takes the caterpillar as long as it takes to develop and strengthen its wings to be strong enough to fly into new life. Trying to short-cut this process or avoid it can abort a magnificent outcome, and reappear as a more difficult challenge later. We are called to be gentle and compassionate with ourselves and honor this holy time of gestation.
I now feel my time in the liminal as being held in the arms of the Divine Mother. Kundalini Ma is our Divine Mother. She is the liminal. She is what happens, what we feel, who we are, even when we are in the liminal. She is the Sacred Doula we need when we are in the chrysalis, as we may be during these upcoming holy days/holidays. She is not separate from what is out there in the collective, or here in us. She is all of it. Kundalini Shakti is the Goddess laboring to birth new facets of awareness of our true nature, the Divine Child, while we are in this Sacred Space.
How do you feel called to spend this holy liminal time? What is true for you? What do you really want to do and what don’t you want to do? Are you responding to others in a way that is real and true, or do you feel like you have to deny your own heart and meet the expectations of others? And is it worth it to deny your own precious grief or your exquisite joy? They are not mutually exclusive! Sometimes they are even the same, not separate. Here is a beautiful poem for liminal times:
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
~ T.S.Eliot, East Coker The Four Quartets
May you recognize and harvest what is precious from this time of luminous darkness and the emerging Light.
From my heart to your heart,