You know those times when something suddenly shows up to completely throw you off track? Even if this crazy global dark night of the soul hasn’t been too bad for you, think back a few or more years.
How did you manage to get through what faced you in difficult times before this global dark night of the soul? Not a rhetorical question. Maybe you’ve had a dark night of the soul or two of your own. Those dark nights of the soul force us to dig deep and find and build our resilience. What I call your “inner resources” likely kicked in and took over to get you through being thrown off or facing other difficulties. I’ll get to what I mean by inner resources in a minute.
Take a moment. BREATHE deeply into your belly. Get something to write or type with. By the way, your breath is one of your most powerful resources. Yes, it keeps you alive, but just a few deep breaths into your heart or belly can lower your heart rate, ground and centre you, loosen up tight areas in the body and give you access to your Higher resources, and your other inner resources.
When you think back to some of your most challenging experiences, try to remember what you did and what or who showed up to help you get through them. Write down what comes.
Here are some of my Inner Resources that I know you have too. I’ve had 7 major dark nights of the soul so while my life hasn’t exactly been easy, all those difficulties have put me in a state of cultivating resilience as well as my awareness of the resilience I already carry:
💜 Breath. Slow down and deepen my breathing, into my belly.
💜 Body and Intuition. Listen to my body, for sensations and the messages my body or those sensations have for me.
💜 Life Experience. Think of your most resilient qualities. We all have something. For me, it’s things like courage, looking for the bright side, and remembering my gifts and talents.
💜 My voice. As long as you can talk, you can hum. Humming can tune and align your energy, while soothing and calming you, and raising your vibrational frequency, which makes you feel better but also gives you access to ideas and information that we can’t normally access. It unlocks the doorway between you and your spirit.
💜 Your Water Within. Especially your tears… Water carries memory but it also can be programmed with new memories, just by your thinking or saying a thought or feeling a feeling. Let your tears flow. When you feel the need to cry but you don’t, you clog up your system. Clear it out. Honour your tears and the rest of your water within.
For even more, check out the 4 Superpowers You Already Have to Help You Deal with 2020, here on the blog.
SOME OUTER RESOURCES:
- People. Friends and family who are supportive.
- Music and/or musical instruments.
- Nature (and if you are stuck mostly inside like me, nature sounds and videos, opening windows, watching and listening to birds outside.)
- Even technology like your phone, computer and Internet are outer resources for resilience – IF you use them that way.
What I call your Higher Realms Support Team (God/dess, Spirit, Source, Universe, angels, archangels, spirit guides, helpers, clan, ancestors etc. – whatever it is for you) may have dropped some knowledge, resources or people into your world to help you. Pay attention and be on the lookout for that.
You may or may not have followed through with any of these. No judgement here. We’re just exploring. Don’t censor yourself. Dig in and write it all down. Whatever happened, here you are. You are still here… during a worldwide health crisis no less. You’ve got your own inner resources. We all do. It’s time to rediscover and acknowledge them and have them more “on call” for when you need them.
I know when you write, you’ll probably also uncover some of the maybe not so pleasant emotions from the difficulties you have experienced and it might even seem pointless but trust me, it is not., because those inner resources are proof for your ego-mind that you have the ability to get through this! Ego-mind loves to show you proof of how many times you have messed up, so give it proof that you know how to get through this global dark night of the soul, and it will calm down and stop trying to drag you back to the familiar (your dis-comfort zone).
Once you’ve written that all out, sift through the habits and behaviours that have been most helpful to you. Don’t judge yourself for moving into addictions or other behaviours. Not that I’m saying addictions are awesome. They’re not but sometimes coping skills need to be developed in order for serious addictions to be healed, and so that lesser addictions (Netflix, those food cravings, etc.) can actually work for you without taking over your life. That’s where your Outer Resources come in. Get support when you need it.
The question is, with what you have right now, how can you best support yourself NOW? Honestly when my son was murdered, I sought out comfort food. I still do sometimes during this planetary shift. It’s not the best of all the tools and inner resources I have but it’s also not the only one. The key if you have addictive tendencies is to make sure your other tools are top of mind and in your face, so they become your go-to’s instead.
So. Acknowledge and sift through what didn’t work and start a fresh page of the things that have worked for you without causing you further harm.
Now you will have a self-care protocol shortlist of what has worked for you in the past, what has bubbled up from within you and what actions you have taken to help yourself. I don’t care how long or short the list is but do yourself a favour and write until you can’t write anymore. And then come back to it every now and then and write some more. It’s good to get that all out on paper, so you can really see what you have to help yourself. Add more tools as you get them.
By the way, if you can’t come up with anything beyond the basics like breath, don’t give up hope, okay? Instead, keep on digging because you’re worth it. Use what you have and cultivate more.
You start where you are. And then you can build resilience, and awareness of the resilience you already have, from there.
HOT TIP: Your body is a resilience resource. It is resilient by nature and will give you messages all day long. If you listen, you’re tapping directly into your intuition which lives in your body.
What to do with your list? Which of these items on your list are easiest for you? This is the process I took myself through while in shock immediately after losing my son. At first I couldn’t come up with anything. Don’t give up. Sometimes it can take a little time. Eventually I was able to come up with a lot of tools and resources, some inner (within my body, mind and spirit), some higher (prayer, Spirit, ceremony, drumming, singing) and some outer (therapist, homicide survivors group, supportive friends).
It’s good to have a list of simple go-to’s that you can use immediately when you’re feeling sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, angry or anxious.
Think of it this way: What are your top 3 go-tos? Put your list of 3 into your phone, on your mirror, on the fridge or wherever you will see it a lot. This will help you program your brain for resilience and also remember that you do have inner resources that really are forms of resilience.
Still wondering what the best resilience resource is?
Conscious music really is powerful for our resilience and I have a whole 13 moon program for women where you learn and practice rewiring your brain for more resilience and to help you through grief and other difficult life transitions… But the best resilience resource is not music.
It’s YOU. YOU are your best resilience resource. It might not feel like that, and I’m definitely NOT saying don’t get support. Supports are the outer resources you gain access to when you use your inner resources. Make sense?
Let me give you some examples.
As I write this, I am taking my own medicine. Slowing down my breathing after being triggered into an anxiety attack. Listening to conscious healing music. More slow deep belly breathing. A little movement to gently release body tension.
I’ve just spent a few days dealing with an unexpected sudden difficult circumstance that has popped up at exactly the wrong time. It’s put me out on the edge so I know what it’s like to sometimes feel like there is no access to what to do, and to be scrambling for some kind of relief or to just get back into your body.
Thankfully, I have been cultivating my inner resources over the past nearly 5 years of this complicated grief journey, so I was able to bring myself back. The more you practice using your inner resources, the more of an automatic habit they will become.
Then you can get back into your body and access what we all have – the ability to self-soothe.
We can all alleviate anxiety, frustration, stress and frayed nerves. We just need a little help sometimes. If you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, it’s trickier but if you do these steps, they will help you to come down from anxiety attacks and even panic attacks. Please still get professional mental health support any time you need it.
What are your favourite resilience tools and experiences? Drop a comment on the blog, so others can also benefit.
Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman
FOLLOW ME ON SPOTIFY – MUSIC FOR THESE CRAZY TIMES:
- Follow My Artist Account on Spotify.
- Follow my Global Pandemic Playlist on Spotify. The studio (CD, not live) version of the songs I sang in the livestreamed concert are also in this playlist.
- Follow the RENEWAL Playlist for springtime on Spotify