This Moody November: 6 ways to survive these dark days

you guys. this november is a moody one. i didn’t mean to drop off into nowhere the past few weeks, but since halloween/samhain i’ve been in some kind of bubble or fog.

first there was the election bubble. i was literally glued to the news. obsessed with the 24 hour updates and the nail-biting, slow-going process of counting ballots. somehow i managed to work during the days + squeeze in some sleep. but, i was a zombie through it all. then came the release of the results and there was a collective exhale felt around the world. and right after, i sank into a deep exhaustion.

this week, i have felt like a thick fog has been covering me. clouds hanging overhead. feeling all kinds of blah. the weather in sweden has literally matched my mood. i’ve had no energy to do anything but wake, bike to work, deal with a looooot of intensity there, bike home, eat, and sleep. and it just feels so dark. all of it. a never ending routine. a never ending pandemic. never ending clouds + darkness.

but, loves, this is november. it is always moody. oh, it’s definitely heightened with all of the 2020 anxiety, chaos, and upside-down-ness. still, this is how the cycle goes.

november is the death month. the time where we are meant to be in the dark. to settle, rest, root, restore, and wait. and, though it can sound idyllic… like a retreat into a cave of solitude + silence. a place to simply be + to allow the wisdom of the dark nights to work their magic in our souls, it is not always cozy. this shit is hard work. being in the dark. facing our shadows. feeling off, down, blah. there is a longing for light, movement, something else. a desire to be anywhere but stuck here.

so, i find myself looking to nature again + again. the leaves are gone. the trees are bare. the fog + cold + darkness has returned. nature has turned inward + gone to sleep. and upon seeing the earth in this state, i remember that this is how it’s meant to be right now. though my soul aches for something different, i know the truth. i know that this is a deeply mystical time that is necessary before something new can be born. this is the quiet, dark, slow transition of what feels like pure nothingness… but, is actually infused with magic + wisdom + deep, deep, deep rooting.

i have to be here. i am meant to be here. and these moody vibes are right on cue.

but, the question remains… how do i welcome + survive this part of the year, this season, this part of the cycle of life, this darkness, this moody november?
1. acceptance.

i have to just accept that this is how it is. that november is moody. i mean, i cannot change the weather, the fact that it is november, or the cycle of life. it is out of my control. it is the natural rhythm of the earth and the annual changing of the seasons based on our revolution around the sun and our place in the solar system. it is science and astronomy. and, ultimately, it is amazing + wonderous when i think about it. i mean. we live on this planet. revolving around the sun. which creates our weather + seasons. now, take a deep breath. we are part of something so mind-blowingly amazing. so, it is what it is. and it is a beautiful, cosmic thing.

2. feel whatever i feel.

sooooo… i feel blah. like i’m in a fog. and stuck. and quite moody + dark, to be honest. i mean, that’s how i feel. and it’s ok that i feel that way. it’s ok that we all feel how we feel. it’s all valid. this is my experience, my story, my life. so, i’m just gonna let my feelings be whatever they are. of course i don’t want to be stuck here forever, but i have got to let myself feel what i feel.

3. listen + respond.

in thinking about what + how i feel, i simply must also listen to how my intuition guides me. if i feel tired, then i need rest. if i don’t feel like writing, then i don’t need to force myself. if i feel uninspired, then i don’t need to create. maybe i need to soak in inspiration instead. if i feel like crying, then i for damn sure need to let out my emotions. if i feel sad, but can’t cry, then that’s ok too. the most important thing is that i respond in the way that is the most true to my deepest self and to whatever moody vibe i feel. that i simply allow myself to be me.

4. be grateful.

in an effort to not spiral down + feel completely stuck, it’s also important to get some perspective. and the best way that i know to do that is through gratitude. it is so very important to me to feel the sad, blah, poor me feelings… but it is equally important for me to actively be aware of all that i have, all that i am, all that is. for me, this is called mindful living. it is being mindfully aware of the tiniest little things that are beautiful, peaceful, calming, and good. because in literally every situation, there is something good to be found. so, as i go through my days, i give thanks for the smallest things that happen or pop up. like, feeling the cool air on my skin even as i bike to work in the dark. like knowing that i have a cozy home to return to every day – something others do not have. like the tree outside my offie window. like the calming patter of rain at night. like the cutest cat i ever did see. like the fact that i live with someone + have the blessing of sharing these dark days with another person. and so, so, so much more. gratitude keeps me grounded in reality + reminds me to be sensitive, mindful, and aware of others.

5. go outside.

if for any reason i feel all fucked up inside, my soul, then the only thing i need to do is go outside. even if it’s just for a moment. it doesn’t solve everything, or even anything sometimes. but, it gets me back to the truth of it all. there is something that the sky, the dirt, the trees, the air, the birds, the water does to me – and to us all. nature’s effect is calming + soothing. a reconnection with what + who i really am as a human being living with + among the earth + the entire cosmos. even simply laying my hand on a tree branch reminds me that all is well, all is as it should be, that i am such a tiny part of this earthly planet, and yet, i am also such an important part of it too. i feel the energy + breath of life. and i am lulled back into a state of pure trust + flow.

6. rituals + practices.

lastly, november’s dark nothingness beckons me return to those things that inspire my soul. in order to stay sane, i find it absolutely necessary to create space to engage in journaling, meditating, and writing + creating. now, that requires a fine balance between listening + feeling as i mentioned above, and pushing myself to find a teensy weensy bit of self-discipline.

honestly, i have always had very hard time with this. so i try to keep it simple. i know that i must have quiet, alone time every single morning. that is a priority, and since i’ve practice quiet mornings for about 15 years now, it is like breathing to me. how i spend that solitary time changes sometimes daily. but, it is almost always used for sitting, meditating, and/or journaling.

as for writing + creating, sometimes breaks of not “producing” or sharing anything just happen. i cannot force myself, and yet my soul longs for it. but, if there is one thing years of writing, blogging, preaching, and photography have taught me, it is that the inspiration will come exactly when it is meant to. like today. this post has been marinating in my soul for days, even for a week. but, it was never the right time, i was never in the right mindset or had the right amount of energy or inspiration or time… until right now.

so, yeah. it’s mid-november, loves. there is nothing we can do about that. for the next 6 weeks in the northern hemisphere we will be encountering the darkest days of the entire year. literally. and it will be tough. all of this year has already been tough, but these next 6-8 weeks just may be the toughest. the nights grow ever longer, the pandemic rages on, and the holidays are officially upon us. how in the hell are we supposed to survive, much less, welcome november 2020?

well, the only thing i have to offer are my own reflections. my own ways of survival, as i shared above. what i do know, without a doubt, is the certainty + beauty + trust i can put in the rhythm of life. i know, deep in my soul, where knowing is something that is mystical + mysterious, that this season is exactly here because of the perfect timing of nature, the earth, and the cosmos. and i trust in the continued unfolding of the cycle of life. this darkness is where we begin again. this is the phase of emptiness + nothingness. this is the time that gives light + hope its meaning.

so, i come home, turn inward, and drop into my soul as the darkness envelops me. i breathe + i trust + i wait. i let the unknown seeds take root. and, as i keep vigil from now until the new year, i intentionally create the space for warm, moody, cozy moments. as often as i can. with candles, food, blankets, fresh air, fire, warmth, softness, and calm. i intentionally make my home into my haven. where there is only soft light, slow movement, and deep trust.

and it just so happens that as i send this post out into the world, there is a new moon over us, ushering in this season of transition and darkness. if we look up, we will see nothing – no moon to be found. but, she’s still up there. but, come monday, she will begin to be a sliver in our night sky again. so it also goes with the seasons. following the same pattern, in mid-december, the days begin to grow longer again, bringing back the light.

but, for now. i am here. we are here. and that, my loves, is exactly where we are supposed to be. one more deep breath. dare to trust nature. dare to believe in life + hope. the darkness is part of the journey. it’s time to welcome her + settle in. there’s so much to learn as we quiet our souls + surrender to the night.

new moon + moody november blessings, one + all. xoxo. liz.

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