Life has gotten crazy lately because of my parents illness.  I am suddenly finding myself driving everywhere.  I drive to Tampa to see my dad in his assisted care home.  I drive to the villages to help my mom move out of her house and sell.  I drive to the ER and doctors appointments for my mother, myself and kids.  I also drive to work to teach yoga and do my Assisted Thai Yoga private sessions.  And I drive 2 kids back and forth to school and activities.  At the same time I’ve been trying to sell my house, deal with squirrels in my attic, a satellite roof leak issue and pine bark beatles killing 5 trees on my property.  I’m taking a 300 Hr Yoga Teacher Training program.  I’m in the middle of an online Natural Hygiene course and a book writing course.  Aaaaahhhhhh!  I found myself panicking and a deep fear started to sink in with me.  I realized that I have been completely overwhelmed.  I stopped meditating, I stopped all my self study on spirituality, I stopped going out for fun and I even distanced myself from my partner.  I have been in complete panic of my parents dying.  I have been trying to deal with all of their death planning and also trying to spend quality time with them.  Reconciling with my mother has single handedly been the most healing thing that I have done.  I needed to re-prioritize.  I realized that I can’t do everything.  I found myself crying randomly all the time, when driving in the car listening to a song, when reading, when working.  I’ve been on a high, running on stress, fear, racing against time to maximize all that I can in every minute of the day.  The clock is ticking with my parents death and I can’t stand it.  

Last year I found myself in The Dark Knight of the Soul.  What is The Dark Knight of the Soul?  It’s when you find that what you’ve been doing in your life isn’t working for you but you also don’t know which way to turn.  Something has to change but what?  For starters, I found that I needed to revert back to some of my spiritual teachings and simply stop.  There is no race, everything will get done as it should and I needed to relax.  I’m so glad that I had a meditation practice because I needed it.  I stopped and I sat and I was quiet so I could listen.  I was listening to all that was coming up inside of me.  It’s easy to race through life without an awareness of what is going on inside.  What is going on inside is the foundation of your life and it will help hold you up when life takes a beating on you.  It is important to nurture your inner being.  I realized that I needed to cut back on my yoga teaching hours.  I needed to take my house off the market.  I needed to cut back on my activities and I needed to meditate.  I needed to breath.  I needed to cry and let out all of the crazy emotions that I’m feeling out.  I need it to be ok that I feel all these crazy things so that I can deal with them.  In the past I would have drank, smoked weed, get distracted in my relationships or eat poorly.  I haven’t done any of these things.  I stopped my addictions.  I’m finding that what I need is quiet.  I need calm.  I need time alone for myself.  I turned on youtube and listened to one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Carolyn Myss, Spiritual Direction: Pebbles in the Well – Learning to Listen to Your Soul.  Suddenly I calmed down and went back to my meditation practice and I listened.  Life needed to change.

Last year when my life fell apart after my divorce, the end of another relationship, my son getting injured and I was a single mother of 2 with no real career.  I focused all my energy on my husband’s career, the family business and when my marriage fell apart, I was lost.  I was in The Dark Knight of the Soul.  In Carolyn Myss’s book, Anatomy of the Spirit, she quotes in chapter 7, “The absence of meaning, the loss of self-identity, and the need for devotion are the three strongest symptoms indicating a person has entered into the “dark knight”.”  ” Yet when their root is spiritual, the person lacks the motivation to blame other people for causing the crisis.  Rather, he or she realizes that the cause of the crisis is within.”  I do realize that my life is where it is at because of things that I have done.  I have no-one to blame for focusing on my husband’s career and not my own but myself.  I’m doing my best to  point my life in a higher direction. I have so much to offer.  Somehow I stopped following my passions because I didn’t believe in myself.  I needed spiritual healing to find the confidence to follow my passion.  My passion is healing through healthy eating, yoga and spiritual self study.  Now it’s time to deliver.  They say you can’t be a good healer without feeling a tremendous amount of pain.  I think I earned my badge and I’m ready to serve. 

So many things have changed for the better this year.  I’ve healed by repairing relationships with my brothers, my parents, my friends and cleaning up my act as far as unhealthy habits go.  Most importantly, I’ve learned how to take REALLY good care of myself both my physical body through healthy eating and exercise and spiritually.  I would be insane if I didn’t do this work.  I worked really hard at learning the best nutrition, exercise, spirituality and healing relationships.  A healthy person needs all of these facets in life.  I found my meaning in life, my self-identity and my need for devotion, I simply forgot when life got busy.  I knew I needed help and sought out mentors.  I have many amazing mentors who have really guided me when I was weak.  Even though I did all this work, life can catch up with you and you can forget and slip.  When you slip, it’s important to get back on track with self study and self care.  You cannot serve on an empty vessel.  

I have become a servant in my life, not because I stepped up to the plate and volunteered.  I actually did a lot to run away from responsibilities in my life.  I am a servant in my life because I was available to do the job and I knew how to do it.  I did so much self work that I’m in the best position to help.  I am a servant because I love so deeply and I can help, I want to help.  I can be strong for those that need me.  I have that inner strength.  I worked hard for it but I am human and for a moment I slipped.  My mind slipped into panic and fear of my parents death and stopping, meditating and listening helped me.  As I come out of the dark knight of the soul, which has been horrendous experience, I find comfort in my faith, prayer and my mentors.  I have so much gratitude and I want to pay it forward.  This is my mission in life as I really feel like I have something of value to offer that can really help people.  Things that aren’t taught in school.  Mental, physical and emotional skills that people need.  

My Natural Hygiene and Spiritual mentor Robert Sniadach checks up on me through email every now and then.  I met him when I was in Vilcabamba Ecuador and he has been like a treasure for my soul as he patiently guides me through life.  He runs the 2000 page Natural Hygiene course that I’m taking on  I tell him I have this desire to be alone and he replies: “the most intense psychological and spiritual inner work happens when one is alone.  Relationships are certainly crucibles for big-time challenge and positive change.  But, all relationships require some degree of compromise of one’s natural state.  In other words, you gotta compromise your “deep, true self” to some degree in order to interact and get along with others, even significant others.  That’s why the most intense inner work usually happens alone.”

I still have a lot to go through because the inevitable death of my parents is near.  We work on power of attorney’s, liquidating, consolidating and most importantly spending time together loving.  From my heart to yours.  Please share if you’ve had an experience with The Dark Knight of the Soul and what helped you.  Much love, light and happiness.