“A true life passage is not an opportunity to happily and easily rid yourself of unpleasant traits, roles or relationships. A recognition of what is really dying should evoke some grief whether or not it also evokes relief. What transition(s) are you going through? How do you feel about these shifts? What in you is getting ready to be born?” ~ Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin (Animas Valley Institute)
Without being friends with your own self, there’s no way to survive big transitions. There may be times when you won’t find responses outside; we are used to numb our emotions with addictions, stuff, noise, people, dogmas…
In difficult moments, the only place we may be able to find some peace and strength is within ourselves. In times of joy, having a place to relax may allow us to recharge and cherish the sacred in life and give thanks.
True resilience starts when you find your own strength. After many decades (if not centuries) of running away from our souls, it may be time to reconnect and build our own “internal bunkers”: a place where we can feel safe, grounded and welcomed when all around falls apart, or when things just become overwhelming.
This week’s exercise is about building an inner bunker and reconnecting with your own Self.
- Keep a journal. Not a recount or a list of what you did (or have to do) but a true journal that reflects your reactions and emotions to the stuff that happens to you, around you and because of you.
- Use a real notebook and a real pen. Writing with your own hand involves much more than your brain; it is a sensual act that connects you with all your body and senses.
- Journal every week, then every other day, then every day.
- Keep your journal close to your bed and keep track of your dreams and nightmares too. They are a portal to your inner life.
- Ask yourself in your journal: “What do I most deeply seek? In what specific ways am I prepared to surrender to the deepest strivings of my soul, to my unique gifts or power? Who are my people (some may be members of non-human species)? For what do I pray?” (“Soulcraft” by Bill Plotkin)
- What part of you is talking? Acknowledge the critic, the dreamer, the doomer, the childlike, the warrior, the skeptical, the lover…
(Adapted with changes from “Navigating the coming chaos: a handbook for inner transition” by Carolyn Baker)