Going into Darkness
I recently returned from a weeklong retreat, Aventura Tulum, in Tulum, Mexico that I co-led with my dear friend, Patti Quintero. It was a magical experience with incredible humans. I needed this time as much as everyone else to step away from the news, busyness, overstimulation of life and reconnect to what really matters. The big blue ocean, jungle living, yoga, and stimulating conversations all shifted my senses to clear the smog and breathe fresh life into my purpose. The one experience that changed me forever didn’t happen on my mat, it happened in a cave deep in the belly of the Mayan jungle.
I have been to a cenotes before, but this one was unique. It was on private property, not open to the public and had recently been discovered. As we descended into the opening of the cave we were outfitted in wetsuits, masks, and flashlights to explore the darkness that contained the mysteries of this ancient place. Each one of us went through a ritual of copal, our shaman clearing our energy with the smoke of this burnt resin. After we entered, he said “You think you’re here to be on retreat, but you’re here to see and feel magic.” I experienced a shiver and a tear and felt the truth of his words deep in my bones. I had lost some magic and it was in the darkness that I could see more clearly than ever.
We ventured deeper and with each step the beauty was more intoxicating. I lost track of where I was and felt like I was being swallowed into a space beyond linear time. I was fully in the moment and that was my yoga. We splashed around like kids in the clear pristine waters and it felt like a baptism of new energy. The most profound moment came when we all sat still in a shallow pool of water. The shaman reminded us that darkness is not something to fear because it is where we come from. In the darkness and silence we can listen to our voices of truth. We proceeded to turn our flashlights off. With my eyes closed I perceived the dark and when I opened my eyes I saw a blackness that I had never experienced. It wasn’t scary. It was comforting as if I could see beyond the veil of all my human fears. I sat with my inner child and held her and there was a peace that washed over my entire soul.
I left a part of me behind in that cave that needed to die. Within the darkness I birthed a deeper ability to love and own my shadow. Within the darkness I saw and felt magic and now bring it back into my life. I remember, and I will never forget, who I truly am. If I lose my way, I can close my eyes and drop back into the cave and listen, feel, and see magic. As the seasons shift and the days get shorter, take a moment to close your eyes and drop into your darkness. Remember in the silence who you truly are and as you re-emerge to the surface, maybe you will see more magic and trust your path as it unfolds. All that we are going through collectively is to bring us closer to our humanity, so we remember.
Check out my new Processing Playground video Going into Darkness.
Abundant holiday wishes to all of you. XO