Out of Hibernation

I have been in hiding... tucked away in my safe spaces.

Hibernation happens in the winter season which is the time we turn inward for reflection; we slow down, we regroup, and take the time to nourish our root system. It symbolizes letting go of what's no longer serving you in order to create space for what's coming. There is a death that comes with the winter. A shedding of the old. Winter is also a time of great nourishment and growth as you connect with the deepest parts of your soul.

At the beginning of the year, I went into hiding as I worked through everything (good, bad, & ugly) that comes along with going through a divorce. Divorce is never easy; for anyone. My hibernation cave(s) consisted of the homes of my people; my tribe. My tribe surrounded me with love, comfort, and the space I needed to go inward. My tribe got on flights just to check in - in person, opened their homes to me and my girls, called, gave me space, and held my hand as I walked through the darkness in order to find the light.

At one point in my life, I believed (strongly) that our "dark" parts needed to be exposed to the light immediately. I treated any negative feelings or events with toxic positivity; using opposite affirmations in order to shift from dark to light; from pain to joy. I had the best of intentions (don't we usually?). When you feel something negative or feel any pain- stop and replace that thought with something good. Shift. All of this sounds good and like it could be the best course of action. However, when you shift too fast, you usually miss the lesson buried in the pain and perceived negative emotion. If you miss the lesson, don't worry, it will continually be presented to you in various forms until you are ready to learn from it; creating a lifetime of patterns filled with various events that feel a little familiar, producing in you more pain. What I have learned through decades of "doing the work" is best summed up by Rumi- "The cure to the pain is in the pain." The very thing we are trying to avoid is the thing that will set us free. Pain isn't something to be feared or ignored; it is an invitation to go deeper. Pain will teach you about who you are and will guide you to the work necessary for you to evolve/transform/grow.

We grow when we learn to sit with the darkness, to move through it, feel it, learn from it, embrace it even. Once we have worked through all of the muck, felt all the feelings, and learned what is there for us to learn- the light begins to penetrate the darkness until it is no more. That is how we get rid of the root of our issues. When we skip the "sitting with our darkness" season, we might feel better in the moment... but it will eventually rear its ugly head demanding you to sit and look at it, deal with it, feel it, and learn from it.

I worked through my darkness slowly... sitting with the pain, feeling it in the rawest form, and then letting it go. On my mat, I moved my body, listening to what it needed. Yoga creates the space for you to notice what emotions are being stored in your body and gives you the opportunity to move through the tension those emotions create. As I moved on my mat, I allowed all the emotions come up and move through my soul as I moved from pose to pose. When I would begin to feel stuck, I jotted down my thoughts in my journal (which is always next to my mat) so I could sit with them a little while longer. Eventually, I would melt into child's pose, return to my breath, and stay there until I felt the release. I spent a lot of time in child's pose during my winter season... surrendered...

Eventually, the poses became more accessible, my body started to open up again, and I realized I had moved through the darkness and found my light. My hibernation was over... as the seasons changed so did I. Spring is here and so am I.

Lessons Learned

It's OK to need help and to ask for it.

Your people show up for you, in different ways. Some fly across the country, some send funny memes to make sure you are smiling, some open their homes, call, text, offer to help bury any bodies that might need dealt with. No matter the role, each one in my tribe carried me through the dark night of my soul.

You can't heal without sitting with your darkness... you have to move through it not shift away from it.

Places you connect and find alignment is your life source when you are in your own winter season... for me that is in nature and on my yoga mat.

There is a time for weeping and mourning... but there is also a time for dancing and laughing... I am glad to be in that space now.

Remember to look for the little lessons everywhere...

Much Love

Stephanie


This is one of the songs I had on repeat as I worked through all my pain...





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