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What Occurred After I Spent 5 Days in Utter Darkness

“Really feel your emotions. Emotions are meant for feeling. You may’t suppose your means out of a sense.”

Sure sure, all of us get it, however how, when, the place do we now have house and time to really do exactly that? Particularly when the world is seemingly designed to distract, numb and stimulate away from something apart from “high quality.”

Under is a story of the absurd lengths I went to to create sufficient house, time and nicely… boredom to really really feel my emotions and the easy, spacious miracles which are occurring since this expertise. 

I first discovered this was a factor, like so many others, from my good friend Aubrey Marcus. God bless the true early adopters keen to take the chance with the intention to share new medicines with the planet.   

I knew from the second I heard about this “darkness retreat” that I might go. I simply wasn’t certain precisely when. Or if I’m being sincere… precisely why. 

Round New Years, I used to be gifted an Akashic Report studying. The Akashic Information are an enormous physique of information and people who know how you can “learn” them can tune into the information and share postcards from the unseen. On this studying, the information stated that my predominant order of enterprise proper now could be to SOFTEN. They stated the warnings have been refined thus far — minor again ache, some relationship turbulence — but when I don’t pay attention and actually do what it takes to place my sword and defend down then the warnings will get extra intense.

Additionally they stated to let go of the “container” in terms of my dream of 80k folks climaxing concurrently at Dallas Cowboy Stadium whereas holding a dream for the species. And to maneuver on the fee of Nature, not on the fee of my ego. 

None of those messages got here as welcome medication.

Traditionally I a lot desire to hustle, and “make issues occur”. I even satisfaction myself on having the ability to time warp manifestations. I imply, I constructed a complete profession of framing meditation as a PRODUCTIVITY TOOL. Please don’t inform me to melt, decelerate or adapt my dream, Nature. I prefer to go as exhausting and quick as I rattling nicely please. 

Nevertheless, I knew it was true. So I reached out to the sort people that run Sky Cave Retreats in Oregon. 

Since Aaron Rodgers shared about his expertise there, they booked out 10 months prematurely with over 900 folks on the waitlist!! So I used to be delighted when Scott, the masterful steward of this challenge, stated he was capable of alter some issues to create space for me with only a few weeks’ discover. 

What’s a Darkness Retreat? It’s the place you go right into a small construction constructed into the earth that provides you complete, utter, enveloping darkness. You keep there for 4-6 days alone. No cellphone, books, music, gentle or stimulation of any type for days on finish. Scott brings you meals and makes a fireplace as soon as a day and should depart you with a well timed quote to ponder.

Aside from that, you may have time. The luxurious and burden of seemingly infinite time.

Nowhere to cover from your self. Nowhere to cover from the boredom, the grief. Nothing to distract from the ache, the worry, the trend. Nothing, actually nothing, to do besides really feel. 

And this. That is the place the drugs turns into profound and therapeutic.

It’s discovered inside the emotions we keep away from in favor of our extremely stimulated, busy, distracted lives.

If this appears like hell to you then it could simply be the precise medication that may free you to obtain. 

Scott picked me up on the airport at 10:30p and drove me as much as his heaven on a hill. It was darkish so I couldn’t see the huge, virginal fantastic thing about the land. I acquired to sleep in “the cave” for one evening however with the lights on. I used to be grateful for the chance to get my bearings and make a psychological map of the room so my palms may discover the requirements with out the assistance of my eyes as soon as the time got here.

I landed on a Tuesday. Wednesday, I spent the day wrapping up work from a tiny 6×6 hut — the one place that had wifi on the 42 acres of land.

I stated my goodbyes. My son very sweetly sang me a music, “I like you a lot mommy. I like you a lot mommy. I like you tooooo a lot,” as he loved some spring break flavored ice cream. 

I’m tremendous into Alana Fairchild’s Isis Oracle deck. After all on at the present time, I pulled the “Temple of Black Obsidian” which invitations you to cost up with the frequency of pure love as you descend into the darkness of your shadows. 

We did a number of rounds of sauna/chilly plunge which has been one in every of my favourite delights of getting a physique as of late.

This was an enormous wood sauna that might match 15 folks proper subsequent to a shocking, freezing chilly stream crammed with freshly melted snow from the mountain. I stood bare within the woods with the icy water speeding over my toes, letting the solar stream by means of the timber and penetrate each cell of my physique. Charging myself up from these closing drops of daylight to take with me into the chamber.

Then I did a two hour somatic therapeutic session with an angel named Adrienne. She helped me to interrupt the seal on the sensation of emotions and to assist me to begin to ask the physique questions as a substitute of the thoughts. 

Then they left. Lights on. They stated, “Oh, you provoke the ceremony.”

I had a style of simply how darkish it was the evening earlier than and I used to be scared. Like somewhat child fearful of the darkish, afraid I used to be going to run into one thing. Little did I do know, the a lot greater factor to worry was the 44 years of backlogged feelings I used to be about to face.

I lit one tea gentle candle and turned off all the opposite lights, secretly hoping I might go to sleep earlier than the candle went out so I may face the darkish within the morning.

I slept deeper and longer than I’ve in years. Probably 15-16 hours. No wifi, no cell service, no sound and the deepest, vastest darkish I’ve ever skilled.

Having a 4 yr previous son and working an organization will not be an awesome recipe for sleep, so the remaining was welcome. I acquired up for a number of hours and slowly felt my means across the room. Then, the darkness gently enveloped me again into stillness. Extra sleep. After 2 days of a lot sleep my physique merely didn’t need or want any extra.

I might go to mattress after the meals drop and verify in from Scott and get up at what felt just like the midnight.

Think about waking up and doing a full morning routine.  Yoga, meditation, Pilates, HIIT exercise, breathwork, bathtub, breakfast… After which, 17 extra hours till anything occurs.

Time. The luxurious and curse of time. I discovered how you can actually calm down. Methods to get pleasure from having a physique. To play the sport of seeing how lengthy I can take to do one thing. How a lot are you able to savor one chew of meals? What occurs for those who actually chew meals 40x like my physician says we are supposed to? What does it really feel prefer to not rush? To have nobody to reply to however your self? It’s a recovering codependent’s dream. And nightmare.

The one factor left to do is really feel. And candy mom of pearl did I really feel.

Years of unexpressed rage got here flooding out. Conversations I by no means had with my father, my exes, myself. I screamed so loud I believed I had a vocal twine damage. Simply in case I ever want to return to Broadway I sang a number of hours of present tunes. Nonetheless acquired it.

Then unhappiness. Uncried tears fell like rain. 

Judgment. Holy wow did my “Decide Judy” alter ego come to celebration. She has by no means felt so righteous. So wanted. So a lot better than everybody else.

I saved ready for the second the place the shadows can be transmuted with love. But it surely didn’t come. Simply extra waves of anger. Extra screaming. Extra punching. Extra tears. Extra problem-solving with the thoughts.

Lastly I noticed that feeling the emotions with the purpose to transmute them doesn’t enable them to really be absolutely felt or witnessed. So I surrendered to the truth that I could depart the cave lots angrier, much more judgmental and nonetheless feeling trapped.

And never surprisingly that is the place the magic occurred.

The ache, identical to all of us, desires to be seen. It desires to be heard. To really feel understood. As soon as it’s witnessed with no agenda to alter it. It appears fairly comfortable to sit down quietly within the again seat for some time and hold its palms off the steering wheel of life.

This mixed with the belief that every one the judgment will not be serving to me get what I need allowed me to discover a new sort of stillness. A brand new sort of acceptance.

So on the ultimate day Scott got here to carry me into the sunshine. The second I had been wanting ahead to for seemingly eons… and I requested for extra time. I had simply gotten within the bathtub and I needed to savor my final moments within the abyss of everythingness.

I think about that is fairly like life. Once we suppose we now have infinite hours left in a physique, we distract, waste and rush away our time.

However after we know it could be over quickly — when the hours left in a physique are numbered — that’s after we begin to savor it, cherish it, and get inventive on how you can finest use them.

I acquired on my knees and gave thanks. Deep gratitude to the darkish. Deep gratitude to the depth and breadth of my ache. My judgment of it melted away.

I don’t suppose my ache is greater or smaller or extra particular or much less particular than anybody else’s ache. Now I’m merely left with the query of how will I make house to really feel it? As a result of now I do know, in my cells I do know, the wonder, the peace the liberation of pure BEing that lives on the opposite facet of merely feeling the emotions. 

What a humorous trick that it took utter sensory deprivation. That the thoughts couldn’t have ANYthing else to distract itself with earlier than it lastly surrendered to the knowledge of the physique. 

And it’s possible you’ll be much less cussed than me. Maybe a day with out your cellphone or a superb ole original rage playlist might do the trick for you. However no matter it takes, let’s all assist one another to really feel our emotions. The bravery to really feel the depth of agony is what makes house for the heights of ecstasy.

To have the ability to expertise each in a single day appears to be a uniquely human and maybe extremely coveted expertise. 

In the end Scott got here again to carry me into the sunshine for actual. I placed on a watch masks and he walked me to a chair wanting over the horizon. Simply eradicating the masks with my eyes closed felt like being born… like what it have to be prefer to see gentle for the primary time after rising from the womb. 

After I lastly opened my eyes I gasped. The blue of the sky, the white of the clouds, the feel of the timber. The leaves dancing playfully throughout the bottom within the wind. All of it seemingly painted for me by Nature.  Feeling the wind on my pores and skin was a miracle. Smelling recent air. I do know it’s not possible to not take all of it without any consideration once more as a result of there is just too a lot magic to repeatedly savor, however in these moments I felt in utter awe. All 5 senses acutely tuned.

Then I remembered a quote: 

“Medication are cool and all. However have you ever ever seen moss develop on a tree?”

What a present it’s to witness and be witnessed by Nature.

After I acclimated to the sunshine, I acquired to see the oh so gifted somatic therapist for a closing session which will have been simply as priceless because the 5 days in the dead of night. She helped me to see how as a little or no woman I didn’t belief the masculine. That I developed some core beliefs. One in every of them was this… That I would like to carry all of it collectively or it can disintegrate. I noticed that as a result of I didn’t really feel protected with the masculine, I might fake to not need it or want it. These foundational choices are like glasses we placed on as youngsters. And all of us have them. The trick is that they coloration each motion, choice and relationship from that time ahead.

She helped me to experiment with what it could really feel prefer to be held. To permit. To melt. She had me imaginative and prescient my deathbed. Who was with me? What actually mattered?

Immediately the content material of all of the judgment felt a lot much less related. That each one I actually cared about was how a lot we cherished and that we had a good time doing it. 

Now that may appear opposite to the passionate plea for us to make feeling your feelings cool once more, however that is the nice paradox. That if we will do the valiant work of feeling our darker emotions, it results in a special sort of feeling nice. A extra reliable, nicely earned bliss that radiates our total being.

A bliss that’s adaptive. A bliss that’s susceptible. A bliss that doesn’t want everybody else to really feel comfortable with the intention to really feel protected.

I had a number of hours to do my beloved sauna/chilly plunge rotation. I met a brand new good friend within the sauna. He’s divorced and coparenting in Oregon on this sacred land I simply fell in love with. He had entry to this sauna and chilly plunge daily. And but he was feeling trapped.

He’s a musician and desperately desires to be in Brooklyn.  I’m divorced and coparenting in Brooklyn. I’ve entry to reside music and exhibits and a density of tradition… and but I’m feeling trapped. I desperately need to be in Nature. I deeply want a sauna and chilly plunge. To be surrounded by timber and the sounds of Nature as a substitute of sirens. 

We had been an ideal mirror for one another. Every of us considering that if we had what the opposite had we might be comfortable.  Traditional grass is greener syndrome.

We may see and recognize the specificity and humorousness of the mirror. As he closed the door to the sauna, I requested him if he had ever heard the quote, “The grass is greener the place you water it.” 

So for now, I’ll water my Brooklyn-shaped grass. I’ll get sound-proof home windows and fill my house with artwork and music and extra crops. I’ll discover a technique to get a sauna/chilly plunge in my condo, even up 2 elevators.

As a result of the longer term by no means comes. And most of our worries don’t both. So we might as nicely savor the now, love your beloveds nicely and have a good time doing it.

Now I’m asking myself how I’m going to create space to course of the emotions with out having to plunge myself into 5 days of full darkness. It’s possible you’ll be asking your self the identical. To be sincere the darkness retreat will not be for everybody. However in case you are curious… excellent news!

Scott, the person who created this retreat goes to be a visitor on my new podcast popping out on Might 16, “Why Isn’t Everybody Doing This?” We are going to chat about how he discovered the darkness, what it has given him and why it’s been practiced for hundreds of years. Keep tuned for that coming quickly.

Within the meantime, there are methods to carve out the house so that you can really feel.

An important place to begin is inside a meditation follow. Giving your self a sacred time and house in meditation, the place you might be straddling individuality and totality — that’s the place the protection to really feel your emotions could be cultivated. It’s inside this security the place your lifetime of feelings and stress can begin to come up and out.

Curiously, I solely meditated about as soon as a day regardless of having a lot time as a result of the entire thing felt like dancing within the unmanifest for days on finish. So once I went to meditate there was nowhere to go. I used to be already within the transcendence. 

If this retreat taught me something it’s the growing urgency of instruments, modalities and protected methods to really feel the unfelt. So in my basic, why isn’t everybody doing this? nature I’m deep in course of, birthing methods for us to do exactly that… collectively. 

To together with all of it. The sunshine and the darkish,

P.S. Consider it not, on the ultimate evening after coming into the sunshine, there was much more magic. Scott and his good friend Travis invited me to hitch them within the “kiva.” The kiva is an underground chamber that additionally will get utterly darkish. They crammed it with devices and so they stated they solely carry a number of visitors in. Those who aren’t afraid to get wild. 😉

The subsequent 4 hours of my life had been a number of the most inventive, hilarious, channeled enjoyable of my life. All 4 of us misplaced our identities to the sound, we adopted the collective present of inspiration and painted the darkness with our sonic creativeness. I may inform I used to be within the presence of mastery.

These guys have been improvising music for many years collectively. It jogged my memory of the pure magic of PLAY. Sure the darkness can carve out house, however what we fill that house with is as much as us. Play is free and obtainable to us on a regular basis. That is really what the primary episode of the podcast is all about…. The facility of play. Mark your calendar for that approaching Might 16. It’s gonna be enjoyable. 


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