Yea, though I Walk through the Valley of the Shadow of … Dreams

((This post originally appeared on my former blog in January 2012. I thought it was worth re-posting since winter always represents, for me, work done in solitude and how difficult that can be.))

Last week I wrote about how “going within” both literally and figuratively to a place of solitude triggered deep residing fears. Indeed my whole physical body was responding – my heart was pounding in my chest like I was running for my life and I was constantly short of breath. No amount of deep breathing exercises was helping.

The coincidental awareness spurred on by a writing assignment on silence brought me to a level of recognition … that I was afraid of my own Nothingness. The exercise was extraordinarily helpful … BUT…Sometimes awareness is not enough for complete transformation or for complete healing.

I need to be in a wholesome relationship with myself so I knew that I needed to not only see those fears but engage with those fears. In my heart I needed to be present in the fear, embrace it … thus transform it. But how?

During a session with my own life coach (yes! Even coaches need coaches), I mentioned this experience to her, that the going within made me feel like I was running away, with my tail between my legs, that I was falling into despair. I told her that I recognized that life is a series of hills and valleys but the valleys were dark and scary places for me.

She asked me to relate to that feeling in a different way – physically – by enacting that fall. As I fell on to my bed, she asked me to describe the sensation. I discovered that by being aware that I was falling, my body felt softer, my knees were soft, my shoulders were soft … that my body was preparing for the descent, to cushion it, to protect it from a hard landing that would hurt. Then as I was lying on the bed, I realized how relaxed I felt and told her. She asked me to stay with that feeling, and from this perspective, to sit with the prospect of going into solitude. An image sprang to mind … of giant pine trees. And through those pine trees, I could see that within the valley existed a village. An active village, populated by people who were creating, working together happily to build things.

My little village of creativity.

My little village of creativity.

As I lay on my bed, relating to my descent in this new way, this village became my Valley of Creativity. I felt so free, when I realized that my going within, my going downward, was really to access my creativity, which I can’t unearth as freely when I am busy trying to climb up the hills.

Even now, when I think of myself, here, alone in my kitchen, typing these words in the absolute silence (except for the ticking of my clock), I don’t view myself as a failure for my aloneness. I congratulate myself on my CREATING.

“In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.”
― Anaïs Nin

How can you change your perspective on your “nothingness”, to move to a place of being whole, of acceptance of who you are? I look forward to hearing more about your journeys.

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