When I was studying yoga a bit deeper some five years ago, my teacher at times spoke about The dark night of the soul. It was an expression used for the days and nights when the inner work, seeking and whatever comes up gets so dark you think it will never light up again. When everything feels meaningless, depressing, hard and without any hope.
The dark night of the soul. It sounds rather beautiful in some way.
This is how Eckhart Tolle explains it:
It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness. The inner state in some cases is very close to what is conventionally called depression.
Anyways, the past week or so it has felt like the winter in southern Sweden has gone through the Dark night of the soul. It has been so dark for so many hours and I have had a hard time coping with it. Yesterday I wanted to go to bed by 5 pm just to be able to wake up again when it was daylight the next day. The nights have felt extremely long.
I have spoken to people who have been complaining over lack of energy, having doubts about this and that in life and that old trash has surfaced again in their mind. All of this reminded me about another thing we spoke about a lot in those intense yoga classes and courses I took: the natural rythm of life.
In our modern world we tend to forget that we as humans have a natural cycle that we follow whether we like it or not. For us living in countries where we have seasons, our bodies and minds usually follow the seasons.
In spring we often fall in love, want to grow and create and feel how life and energy comes back.
In summer we often like to nourish our bodies, relationships and minds. (as the farmers wanter and nourish the plants).
In fall we start to harvest the things we have been working on earlier in the year, we stack up on food and often like to gather with friends.
In winter we like to slow down, rest more and our thoughts become more introspective.
Simply put: We become more thoughtful and tend to look more inwards and like to reflect on life and who we are during winter. It’s part of our natural cycle and something we can embrace rather than run away from.
The world of 2016 provides a lot of things and activities to escape from all kind of introspection and deeper thinking. It is up to us to dare and allow ourselves to slow down and look inward for a moment or two.
Who knows what is on the other side of that Dark night?