My breath began to slow down, the hot and sticky room cradled me in its arms, the facilitator's voice a lullaby of surrender.
My awareness moved from one part of my body to another, the cells dancing in a frenzy of recognition. "Big toe. Second toe. Third toe. Forth toe. Fifth toe." Her powerful voice beamed throughout the yoga studio. I kept sinking deeper. And deeper. And deeper.
I lost all time and space and reality for but a moment before my nervous system kicked into high gear activating the neurons in the autonomic system. A wave of fear flooded through my body starting at my face, which was now tingling, and moving down to my feet. I tried to breath myself deeper but the weight of the fear crushed me and I actively pulled myself out of the nidra like you pull yourself out of a nightmare. It didn't feel safe in my letting go, my ego struggling to remain in power.
My eyes fluttered open, my heart, that mechanical time machine, pounded out of my chest and landed in my throat taking me back to all those years ago when panic and anxiety became my reality, a state I never agreed to or acknowledged as something showing up to help me heal my false sense of control, and surrender into my truth.
Fear is the price we pay for unacknowledged parts of our souls that are lost, hidden, or forgotten. Fear is the company we keep when we animate our spirit in a manner that isn't authentic to who we are and why we are here. Fear is a direct response to a disconnect from the Great Mother, the divine feminine and creation. Fear keeps us stuck, stagnant, rigid and allies with illusion.
"I thought I let this go," I said silently to the hallway in my heart - my chest contracted, feeling heavy from the weight of being so vulnerable.
I calmed my breath and body down just in time to be swept up into the heartbeat of the mother drum. She guided me back down, this time it felt different, lighter, more expansive and free. My mind clung onto the fear but my body had let it go and begged my mind to release the rattle of the cage now open.
Soon I was in the forest where an Eagle landed on my arm; He was my emissary and assured me that I was perfect in my pain and whirling in wholeness --- it was just another part that needed to come up to be released.
Then we were dancing around a fire that reached up to the night sky with long crackling arms that waved at the stars and danced with the moon. We moved around the fire, our bodies bigger than we remembered them to be as we fell into a trance.
I was about to be burned alive, again. I have been here before. Although drunk off this dream I could feel my right leg ache back in the studio and remembered when they had taken it while they watched me burn so many years ago. I asked the Eagle to fix it now and he did. We continued to dance around the fire with the cougar who had showed up in my dream the night before, I was relieved to see him alive and well, not strung up in that tree, gutted and stitched.
We were all there dancing together in community. It felt primal, dangerous, exhilarating and transformative.
Then, with the aid of her voice we were brought back from our alpha and theta waves into the present moment inside the safety of the studio--- I had been on a long journey. I was exhausted and fragile and grateful to return to a lightness I didn't even know I missed.
Sitting upright on my mat I remembered the places I had gone, bewildered by the darkness and feeling betrayed by the light. I cried. I hugged my girlfriend and cried. I walked to my car and cried.
I came home to a partner with loving arms and grounded roots and he watched in awe as I unraveled, recounting my great adventure.
My eyes darkened as I asked, "How am I to be of service if I'm still dealing with this trauma?"
"It is because of your bravery to face this darkness that positions you to be of service," he smiled.
I had faced it, again, the consuming shadow of everything the human psyche fears and I had survived. I had journeyed into a glimpse of the infinite intelligence that births all of creation and although I wanted to experience the light, I was gifted the opportunity to see into a lifetime of darkness so that I could heal.
I cannot hold space for your fear unless I hold space for mine.
I cannot hold space for your darkness if I have not faced my own.
I cannot cast out dark shadows with great light if I have not done the same.
I now see how this experience was perfect in its timing, urging me to get deeper, and boldly face the totality of being a multidimensional Being.
The light did not betray me, but rather pulled the darkness out of the depths of my experiences and cast parts of it out.
It's imperative to dance with darkness and to lead it into the luminosity of the light.
Today's mantra: I am comfortable being uncomfortable.