Your community can help you more than you realise. But how can a community help you with the dark night of the soul? How can this group of people help you get through moments of depression? It has been done, it can be done and it is here to help you.
This week on the podcast, we had the amazing Julie Punshill to talk about the important of finding your community as you recover from depression and are looking to discover your own gifts.
Julie has been one of my private clients for nearly six months and she is now also part of my Goddess Embodiment Sisterhood. We were introduced by a common friend on Instagram. If you’re curious to learn more about the story, listen to the full episode.
Julie is here to share her vulnerability and with courage her own healing story and how finding the right community has been instrumental to being able to live in alignment with her own gifts.
Julie is a sacred space holder, guide and teacher. She uses her highly tuned intuition, empathic gift and learned tools to act as a loving mirror for women to see who they truly are, learn to love themselves and manifest living their lives truly in authentic alignment.
What is a dark journey or dark night of the soul?
The term dark night of the soul dates back centuries. It is described as a metaphorical rite of passage in the desert. Many report similar journeys of deconstructing their identification with the ego, limiting beliefs, and religious, social, and cultural conditioning of their time.
It is about going down the spiral. It is when everything is strepping away. When what we thought had meaning, falls apart.
Dark nights are often triggered by a catalytic event such as an illness, the death of someone we love, the loss of a job, relationship, or a significant way of contributing that previously brought fulfillment and purpose to our lives, a life transition through the wheel of life such as matrescence, menopause - just to name a few.
How a dark night of the soul is a blessing, not a curse
For me, I like to define it as a shamanic death and rebirth, an immersion into the unknown. Dark nights are here to guide us towards more wholeness, however, when we’re in one it can feel anything but “whole”.
A dark night invites us to embrace the process (metaphorically speaking) of deconstruction and resurrection. It is a journey from “death” to rebirth. It is a time to shed what no longer serves as so we can step into who we truly are.
At times, our old ways of operating need to die in order to make room for a more authentic life. Navigating through this dark time is a chance to use our wounds to reclaim who we are. What feels like a loss turns into a more awakened version of ourselves.
When you are in it, it is hard to trust that it is for a greater purpose, but it is. I have so many examples from my clients. Let me share some experiences from those who came on the podcast already:
Julie mentioned in the episode, the death of her father and how through her journey she learnt a lot and now can serve others with that knowledge.
Mariah on the first episode of the podcast mentioned her own journey through cancer.
Tracy in her interview mentioned how losing her dad at a young age shaped the way she lives each moment fully now.
The 3 simple practices that can help you while going through a dark night of the soul
Of course, when it comes to the dark night of the soul a level of surrender is needed. But there are a few things you can do to make this time an opportunity to connect with yourself.
Connecting with the elements daily: it is essential to go back to your senses to bring back yourself in the present moment. You can look at my 5 day course on aligning with the elements. Overdoing it with food, drink, social media, or simply too much activity pulls you away from your natural state of balance, the elements present in your body and Mother Nature, Gaia.
Keeping a daily practice of meditation: being present even if you’re in deep discomfort. In silence and in meditation, you can connect back within and around you. You can learn more about the power of meditation in this article.
Trusting the process at the same time as doing the work: If you really want to move forward you have to be comfortable with discomfort, do the work as well as trust the process as you're taking each little step.
How finding your community can help you on your dark night of the soul
When you are going through a dark night of the soul, you are feeling alone. But you are never alone.
When you start connecting with your community, your teacher, your guide, your mentor and your spirit guide, you will realise that you have such a light within and around you.
At times this can feel overwhelming, but what I have found in my own community is that everyone is always going through the same. We are all here to support each other. Your words also become medicine for someone else.
The power of community has been covered on a dedicated blog, read more here.
My personal experience of a dark night of the soul
Everyone had their own experience with the dark night of the soul. For me it has been my burnout 7 years ago. An experience I have shared a lot with you in my content, but the podcast is the best way you can hear more about it.
I couldn’t see the light. Everything felt heavy. I didn’t know who I was anymore as I didn’t want to do this job, I didn’t want to always run non stop. I wanted to reconnect with my younger and wise self. I spend time in meditation, resting, reading daily to nourish my soul until I find my next step.
Now, years later, my pain and healing journey have become medicine. I’ve transformed it through helping other women and men in finding balance between being and doing and embracing creativity in a different way.
If you are in the dark night of the soul it is essential for you to reach out for support, to find your community, your guide and taking time for ritual practices. Don’t hesitate to join a safe and sacred space such as the Essential Shift Membership.
What about you — what is your dark night healing story? Our personal stories of triumphs and resiliency are often a light in the darkness for others who may be traversing something similar.