solstice, samskara, surrender

As we enter the winter solstice, I’m in awe of nature’s rhythms. Last week, my city was struck with back-to-back severe windstorms and heavy rains. It was evident that Gaia was doing some serious clearing and cleansing.

The dramatic weather perfectly mirrored my internal state as my frustrations, irritations, and limitations thrashed about. I felt uncomfortable and angry, like a caged bird. A prisoner in my own home, and in my own mind.

It took all my might to tune into a quiet, still voice from within. Is this how you want it to be? Do you realize you can let some of this go, once and for all?

A beautiful solstice labyrinth created by my friend G.

A beautiful solstice labyrinth created by my friend G.

The comments from my last post got me thinking about attachment to our emotions, particularly our pain. To me there’s no question that to become whole, essential beings, we must feel all our feelings – the light and the shadow, the joy and the sorrow.

But some of us get so comfortable processing the darkness that it becomes our identity. We don’t know when or how to give ourselves permission to stop. We drown in our samskaras, our karmic patterns and habitual tendencies. We can’t tell if we’re healing or wallowing.

Even though we want to feel lighter, brighter, and more carefree, we’re more at home in melancholia. Heaviness feels real, because we’ve practiced it for so long. The ‘light’ feels unknown, an empty space. For some of us, this emptiness evokes annihilation.

We don’t want to shun the darkness, but we would like some relief.

Obviously it’s a personal journey and one that demands radical self-honesty. Only we can know for ourselves when we’re avoiding painful emotions, when they’ve become a crutch or habit, and when we can let them go. This knowing happens in the heart and not the mind. It has many subtle layers.

For me it’s required a higher level of trust in something beyond ‘me’. It’s required humility in acknowledging that I can’t navigate the journey alone. It’s required the acceptance that I am not in control, I don’t know why things happen the way they do, and that I’m totally Spirit-dependent. It means having to let go of who I thought I was, and be willing to start anew. My ego hates all of that.

View from my apartment window

View from my apartment window

The thing about the howling wind and pouring rain…there was no question that it would pass. It had to. The real question was, would I allow the light that was sure to follow? Am I going to take myself out of my present hermitage and isolation, and embrace the love that’s all around? The love I once judged as ‘not good enough’, because I myself felt ‘not good enough’? Am I going to trust that grace exists?

I recently completed a 40-day meditation as part of my Kundalini Yoga homework. My samskaras – chronic anger, frustration, and reactivity – rose to the surface in a big way. As did the realization that it is totally in my power to release them, if that’s what I want. It may take time, discipline, and commitment…but it can happen.

I feel blessed to have lived on this island for the past few months. There aren’t words to describe what has opened for me. It was here that, fifteen years ago, I first discovered I was an angry woman. I’ve come full circle, and I’m ready to move forward.

It’s time to unburden ourselves from the weight we no longer need to carry. We’re allowed to surrender it to the light…the light of the solstice, the light of the Divine, and the light of the collective consciousness. We can trust that what’s ready for release will be transformed for the highest good. Once and For All.

26 thoughts on “solstice, samskara, surrender

    • I think it is a life-long challenge to let go of pain. We’ve been conditioned to accept it as an unavoidable fact of life…to honour our pain an suffering. And while that’s true to some extent (i.e., life has pain and joy), many of us resist happiness because it’s so foreign, or we fear that something negative will happen if we let ourselves be happy – if we let our guard down. That’s a stubborn one for me! Thank you for commenting. 🙂 Aleya

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  1. So true…there are some that drown in their shadow and keep ‘working on it’ on and on and on. Just spoke to a friend of mine this morning and she said she wants to get through all the suffering in this lifetime. I suppose she thinks she’ll get to a point where she is ‘clean’ and free. Instead though, she is so focused on her clearing and cleansing that I wonder if she can ever really let go of it?
    I see the world a bit different and it feels like she is (re)creating her suffering, her pains the more she wants to get rid of them….
    On a totally different note: how do you do a 40-day meditation? Sounds awsome. I may have missed something in earlier posts but it does sound like a great challenge and yet a great gift. I have a friend who has done ‘dar room’ for a month …several times. He says it is the most powerful experience he has had – in a good way but also in a painful way. I would guess integrating all your experiences and insights will take a while yet.
    Blessings, Gia

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    • Yes, we can get so addicted to the process of ‘doing the work’ that we don’t know what it’s like to reap the benefits of doing that work! This is where I find myself now. I can see where your friend is coming from but I’m learning for myself that it’s really not up to me. We have free will to do the work or not, but so much is happening on a different level that our perspective is limited. A healer I was doing some powerful work with last year advised me to take a whole week off from anything spiritual related – meditating, reading spiritual blogs or articles, emotional release – and it was so freaking hard for me! It’s just what I ‘do’! But the body definitely needs some time off to relax and integrate. The spiritual search is so enjoyable for me but it can get to an extreme where we forget how to just live in, and enjoy, the world.

      Re the 40 day meditation, I was given three different meditation/mantras/breathing techniques to do, for 40 days in a row (about 45 minutes total). It really was amazing and so helpful to have the structure of a community. You’re right, the integration happens over time, but some of it I could feel immediately. I personally find the Kundalini chants so effective. They’re like magic in burning karmas and bringing stuff to the surface. December was quite the month! 😉

      Thank you! Namaste and Happy New Year! Aleya

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  2. Hi Aleya,

    Embracing the whole self, I breathe deeply in love for process and all of its twists and turns. Here’s to a spirit-led life!!

    Happy, wonderful shiny clean New Year to you in 2016 ~ I feel that it may be the most magical year yet.

    Much Love and deep Respect for you sister,
    Ka

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    • Dear Ka, I feel the same way about this new year. 2015 was a big year, lots of unearthing of stuff and not the most pleasant – but yes to the Spirit-led life! No doubt 2016 will be more of the same transformational adventures, but it does have a lighter, bouncier feel. Much love to you…I’m grateful that our paths have crossed. ❤ Aleya

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    • I agree…the unknown can be scary and many of us hold on to what we know, even if it’s painful. But it’s time to let that go and experience the joy in life. There is much of it all around. Thank you and Happy New Year!

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  3. It is truly a powerful time to release old burdens; what better time when they become too heavy? Even in the summer solstice I felt a rush of fear and anxiety, old childhood responses that felt odd but familiar. Through and out the other side…

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    • Yes, that’s it…releasing with the rhythms of nature. And I don’t think it ever gets done but over time the feeling of peace is more constant than the old fears and deep heaviness. Wishing you a happy, happy new year Sara. I think that it’s midnight for you as I write this! Aleya

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    • Absolutely! Thank you! Sending you much love and many blessings as we complete this year and begin another. I know it will be amazing and I'm so grateful for the feminine resurgence, which you so brilliantly wrote about in your last post. ❤ Aleya

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  4. What a beautiful post about both embracing our darkness and then allowing the light to shine through. We so often get stuck in either place, trying to shut out the darkness never wanting to enter that space, or getting stuck there and not wanting to see the light. Beautiful words, and happy Solstice to you as well.

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    • Thank you…this year has been challenging for many and I’m happy that the light is returning to this part of beautiful planet earth. Many solstice and new year blessings to you…I look forward to reading more of your insightful posts! Namaste, Aleya

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  5. Every single bit of this. Every single bit…was more than just words…it is and will always be an everlasting reminder!

    Thank you for this! Sending goodness and love for this day, everyday, and the upcoming winter solstice…
    Kelly

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  6. Beautiful post, Aleya, with deep insights. I like what you wrote about that only we ourselves can know whether we are avoiding an emotion or drowning in it or when it is time to let it go. Nobody else can do that for us. We have to rely on our own guidance system.
    Blessings,
    Karin

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    • Dear Linda, thank you for your loving support. I’m glad we can share our journeys. 2015 was quite the year wasn’t it? Sending much love and many blessings to you for a wonderful rest-of-December and miracle-filled, magic 2016!! xo

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