The only way to be found is to at first, be lost.
When you lose your way, you are thrust into a state of disorientation which opens the door to chance.
Every master artist will tell you that their greatest masterpieces were born out of a "mistake". Every explorer that discovered new frontiers followed their lust for adventure - without the aid of maps. Every mother knows that life miraculously forms in her belly in the darkness - far from prying eyes.
Sadly, in our modern world we're taught to eradicate the mystery in everything in order to maintain our vice grip on control. This synchs with fear. It's limiting, and worse, it's deadening. Even nature knows after 4.5 billion years of successful evolution that all is as a result of nature's creative call and response. Nature thrives in chaos and renewal. Just look at the magical gift of the Monarch butterfly moving bravely from land bound caterpillar to vulnerable chyrsalis – and ultimately to winged beauty! There is a great deal of letting go in that whole arc of a life.
So, here we are in this modern world – all wild beings forced to live in a state of captivity of our own making. Let's instead rewild ourselves by dropping into the darkness, where all things ultimately form and come alive!
WITNESS THE TRANSORMATION
It's time we witness the awe inspiring transformation of caterpillar to chrysalis to winged butterfly. Notice how necessary the stage of chrysalis is to the ultimate and miraculous metamorphosis. This is something I have witnessed before my very eyes in my backyard butterfly nursery where last year I nurtured sixty all the way through metamorphosis to release! Witnessing the Monarch in action continues to bring me to my knees in awe and wonder, and these beings teach us all how to live fully every summer.
by David Whyte
In my work as recruiter, life doula, wife, sister, friend, mother, wanderer – I recite this poem to myself most days. It is one of only two in my life (the other by Rumi) that I have chosen to commit to memory for the purpose of self soothing. This poem by David Whyte, an Anglo-Irish poet who has said that all of his poetry and philosophy are based on "the conversational nature of reality", is the invitation we need to remember the life affirming effects of darkness in our life and in our world.
We fail to recognize the power of the obvious – sleep, wintering, womb, hibernation, caves, and of course chrysalis. Life simply would cease to exist without the sweet darkness. So, come and embrace it fully and even more so, surrender fully..
STANDING TREE & QUIET CHRYSALIS
Today, you're invited to lose yourself and from there, be found. Below is an embodied practice that is simple and designed to give you a much needed experience of surrender. Before you begin, take a moment to read the full practice below and have your journal ready so you may record what rises for you.
Set your timer on your phone to 1 minute
Stand with your feet only slightly apart, arms hanging gently at your sides
Take a deep wholesome breath in then hit start on your phone and gently close your eyes
Relax and notice what happens to your body when your eyes are closed and not working to calibrate your stance. Imagine, if you will, that you are a tree gently swaying in the grove. You are the observer with no sight. Your other senses will come alive and respond with intuition, sensing, feeling. This is what it's like to soften the ego and deepen into presence. As David Whyte tells us in his iconic poem we experience in the prior chapter, "the darkness will give you a horizon further than your eyes can see."
When the timer goes off take one more wholesome breath, move to the floor and fold into child's pose.
Fold in like a Chrysalis and be still. Stay for as long as you like.
A moment in the darkness.
When I close my eyes and surrender to the dark, I feel . . .