Embracing Your Heroine’s Journey Through the Dark Night of the Soul

Photo Credit: Sistership Circle

Diving Deep Into the Dark Feminine … a Scary Process to Remember Myself

I could barely move. My body wrecked, exhausted. I felt like a truck had run me over and I couldn’t stop crying.

I had just gone through a breakup, but it wasn’t the breakup that beat me up.

“You’ve done all this personal development work for the past 10 years, but you are still miserable, still exhausted. You have been circling around it … now are you ready to go to the depths of your pain and face it?”

Yes. Please help me. I can’t take it any longer. I’m 33 years old, living in a tiny bedroom of a shared house, wondering if I will ever find love, ready to throw in the towel on my unsustainable business, completely burned out and overwhelmed. Ever since I moved back to San Diego, I had lived at my parents house twice, racked up a substantial debt trying to “make it” with Tribal Truth, and kept ruining friendships left and right.

I signed up to work with Barry right then and there, no questions asked. Desperate. Apparently looking for the truth in all the wrong places.

What brought me to this point of surrender was another conversation a few days prior when I said yes to becoming a mother … if I found the right man.

For the next 9 months, I dove deep into the dark feminine. Like Isis in her boat down the Nile, fishing out parts of her beloved’s body – the beloved being herself – I went through a dark and scary process of re-membering parts of myself.

It wasn’t easy.

In fact, for the first 2 months, I continually found myself waking up from episodes of blacking out on my bed in the middle of the day. I felt depressed and unable to do anything.

I had to break through the resistance that came in the form of numbness and sleep. I started with the breath through The Presence Process. With the breath came a tidal wave of emotions. For the next 4 months, all I could do is cry. Buckets and buckets of tears.

Once I hacked through the resistance, my process consisted of systematically identifying all the limited beliefs that made up my “mother wound” and my “father wound” then releasing them through three different modalities.

I slowly killed off the parts of me that tried to please, perfect, prove and pretend.

As I worked through each one, I felt the pain of holding onto these beliefs. Who am I without my identify? Am I worthy of living if I am not doing something?

My whole life I had worked hard to earn love, to prove my existence, and now I was letting go of all that I knew … to get to nothing.

Nothing is death. Nothing is the darkest of the dark, the abyss, the complete unknown. This is the soul of the feminine.

The ultimate mystery. The origin of life. The lack of form. Infinite time and space.

In letting go of all that I had learned, I could finally reclaim the part that I had dismissed, the part that I mistrusted because of its requisite of complete and utter surrender.

My feminine soul.

And in meeting Her, I could integrate all the skills, talents and strengths I had acquired, and rebuild from a place of depth, authenticity, and vulnerability.

This process was an initiation. This dark night of the soul was the death of my hero’s journey and the birth of my heroine’s journey.

Women have learned how to take the hero’s journey to slay dragons and climb to the top of the mountain of success. At the peak, they scratched their heads, thinking, “the view is nice up here, but it’s not really where I want to be, isolated from my family, community and the world. I’d much rather be down there connecting.”

The heroine’s journey is the departure from the masculine way of living, based on patriarchal values of power and accomplishment, and the arrival into the fertile soil of the feminine way of living, based on values of equality and harmony.

The heroine’s journey occurs when a woman sees that the hero’s journey does not fulfill her feminine soul, and she must go into the darkness to reclaim it, ask Her what She wants, and trust Her wisdom.

Emerging from the dark, I met my husband, got pregnant, published my book, and restarted my business and renamed it Sistership Circle. Life clicked into place in warp speed. While it is nowhere near perfect, I no longer suffer from a constant low-grade level of anxiety. I can see clearly. I reclaimed my joy through my grief. I am solid. I have built my foundation to stand on with integrity.

Many women are being called to do this deeper work and are experiencing their dark night of the soul without the tools to navigate it. I struggled for 3 years before I went through the final gate to emerge from the dark. If you are confused, frustrated and overwhelmed because nothing seems to be working right, you are not alone. The way you were taught to operate in the world no longer works. It’s time for a system upgrade, which means shutting down the old system.

The following are signs that you are in your dark night of the soul:

* You struggle to make your purpose a reality because nothing seems to “click”.

* Every time you feel like you are getting ahead, you are hit with another obstacle or challenge. Like getting a speeding ticket when you commit to getting your finances in check.

* Nothing feels satisfying. You feel like you are working hard for no benefit.

* You are exhausted, overwhelmed and burned out.

* You keep seeking for something, but can’t quite put your finger on it.

* Life seems to suck, but you know it doesn’t have to be this way.

* You lash out at loved ones, sabotaging relationships. You are easily triggered by people.

* You want to hide.

* It has become increasing harder to keep it all together. You feel like you are about to fall apart and that’s terrifying.

Here are your next steps on your heroine’s journey to dive deep and then emerge from your dark night of the soul:

* Fall apart and completely unravel.

You cannot keep living under the pretense that everything is ok when it is not. To get to the other side, you must let go of all that you have learned and surrender to the darkness. It is scary because it is unknown.

* Fully feel and express your emotions.

You cannot keep a lid on it anymore. You have suppressed your grief and rage for far too long that they may feel inaccessible. You’ve been taught to numb out and not feel in fear of drowning in your own tears. Emotions are overwhelming and you are afraid of not being able to function. But here’s the secret: emotions are energy in motion, which means that once you feel them, they move out of the body. They are impermanent.

* Identify the difference between what you learned and who you truly are.

You think you know the truth of who you are, but what you know is what you learned, which is far from the truth. Your subconscious programming from 0 to 7 years old runs your operating system. It’s time for a reboot. You learned that you weren’t good enough, couldn’t say it right, couldn’t do it right and need to work hard to compensate for your lack. That’s not the truth. But you can’t see that clearly until you systematically go through all of what you learned and separate yourself from it. This is dads. This is moms. This is not mine.

* Release the learning and reclaim your soul.

To reclaim your truth, you must first release what’s blinding you from it. You’ve been conditioned by cultural norms that do not serve your feminine soul. It’s time to let go and unlearning the limited beliefs that hold you back and tie you down.

* Trust and surrender to the process.

It’s dark. It’s scary. It’s unknown. Which means you cannot see the path in front of you and you need to trust that you are on the path. When you fully surrender to the process and let go of control, something magical happens; you are guided by a power greater than yourself and miracles show up. This is the hardest part, but know that everything is happening for you and your healing, in the name of love over fear. The universe has your back; it’s an invisible force that you must trust is, and always will be, holding you.

* Allow it all to fall away.

It takes tremendous courage to be on this path on the darkest of nights. Not many people will walk with you, and as you venture further away from where you once stood, you’ll feel further away from your life as you once knew it. Which means that your old job, old friends, old activities may start to fall away. This is the most painful part of the process, but sometimes necessary if those jobs, friends and activities were not in alignment with your feminine soul. Allow yourself to fully grieve the losses; this is an important step, otherwise by bypassing the emotion, it will continue hold you back. Again, trust the process; sometimes when we have to let go of the past to make room for the new.

* Perform ritual and ceremony for your death and rebirth.

You’ll know when you start to come out of it; it’s like seeing the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. When you emerge from the dark, mark it with ritual and ceremony. Rites of passages are marked with ritual and ceremony and this is no different. Perform a funeral for your old self. Perform a commitment ceremony for your new feminine soul. Use ritual to make this process sacred.

* Integrate your divine masculine skills, talents and abilities.

While the feminine soul has emerged, it does not mean that the masculine should die completely. The masculine and feminine balance is what makes the human experience whole. Allow your masculine energy to serve your feminine energy. Use the focus, drive, perseverance and power to serve your feminine soul in coming alive in her full expression in the world.

* Create new habits that are in alignment with your feminine soul.

The way you lived your life and the habits you had no longer serve you. It’s easy to slip back into old patterns; the key here is in creating new habits. To create a new habit takes at least 21 days. You need to learn how to set boundaries, ask for what you need, claim your desires, own your worth, be accountable for your word, and take responsibility for the world you are now creating.

Take Action

While the heroine’s journey is one that you take by yourself, you don’t have to go alone. Women who’ve already walked the path like myself can act as your guides through the process. You can schedule a complimentary session with me to explore what my support could look like to take you to the other side.

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