Week one: Pausing as we begin darkest season

Think of this week as one, long, deep breath. A much-needed pause just before setting off + settling in. Like standing in a field, on the edge of a dark forest, preparing to take off on an unknown, but much anticipated, journey into the woods. A journey of adventure, beauty, fear, and inspiration. That’s what this first week of October is all about. Pausing for just a moment, before we enter the darkest season of the year.

Earlier this week I announced a month long journey that I’ve created for October. An inward, spiritual journey to help us prepare for the darkness that is creeping in. I decided that October, a very magical + mysterious month, would be the perfect atmosphere to focus on sinking deeper into our souls, as we move ever closer to dwelling in the coldest + darkest season of the year.

But, before we head off into the dark forest, into the depths of our souls, we must stop + take a beat. We need to gather our thoughts, and maybe even more importantly, gather our courage because we don’t know what’s out there. We don’t know what’s waiting for us. But, we do know that it will be dark. And, if you’re like me, all of that unknown shit is scary.

I mean, yes, the adventure + mystery is exciting. And every time I face a new adventure, a new challenge, a dark + scary moment, I am also fueled by the sheer adrenaline pumping through my veins, causing me to bubble over with excitement. But, of course, there is always that “Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into?” thought as well. It’s just one big ole combination of mixed emotions in that moment before beginning an unknown journey.

So, right now, as we stand at the edge of the forest, as we stand ready to dive down into the darkest, most mystical, season of the year, we stop + take it all in. We ground ourselves. We check our bags, check our mindset, set our intentions, ponder our wants + needs, tap into our intuition, and nail down our expectations. Right now, this week, we get our bearings, gather our courage, and prepare to set off on this month’s deep soul quest.

To help us prepare, I’ve chosen 4 words for this week. 4 words that are meant to help us find some breathing space, to ready our souls, before we walk deep into the forest, before we sink deep into dark October.

This week’s prompts are:

→ calm

→ gentle

→ home

→ ritual

We need these 4 words in order to work on slowing down before we head out. I think that it’s so important to focus and know where we are, where we stand, how we feel, and what we need before we leave on any journey. For, how can we know where we want to go + how can we ready our souls for transformation unless we know where we are right now? How can we tap into our brave souls, that will lead us through the dark, if we don’t spend a little time reminding ourselves how bad ass we are + how freaking ready we are for this?

Before embarking on any journey, anxiety is always high. It’s the unknown, the out-of-control feeling that freaks us out. And October is an unknown journey. It’s a journey toward the darkest, coldest, most empty, lonely, frightening time of the year. Or so we often think.

Typically, we don’t know what to do with the dark, with the mystery, with the unknown, with the supernatural, with the hidden spaces even inside our own souls. So we avoid it all. But, October, autumn, winter, and darkness come anyway. No matter what. Year after year.

So, instead of being afraid of the dark + spooky this year, why don’t we embrace it? Why don’t we dive deep into it as a way to evolve + grow + discover a higher perspective?

And the first thing we need to do is to simply stay calm. That’s it. To stand on the edge of the forest, the edge of the darkness, the edge of the unknown, the edge of any scary moment, and just breathe.

We need to be gentle with ourselves + each other. We need to slow down to get our bearings. It’s ok to take a breath. To recognize how we feel. And to acknowledge all of our fears. In being gentle + sitting with our feelings, we can also love ourselves where we are. It’s ok to be afraid. And it’s ok to take care of ourselves.

Being gentle also means knowing that we have all we need. That, even facing the unknown dark journey ahead, we are equipped + empowered. We can surrender to the journey. But, being gentle also means that we allow ourselves a few moments to soak it all in before we begin. And it’s a fragile moment. Quiet. Fleeting. And a necessary pause to gather our strength + courage just before we set out into the deep, dark forest.

And once we feel that we have slowed down, gathered all of our courage, found the calm within our souls, and acknowledged the need to be gentle with ourselves, then we are just about ready to begin to walk the path. We have but one more thing to do to prepare…

One of the best ways to prepare, to be in this moment just before we head out, is to celebrate the beginning of the journey with a ritual. A way to mark that it is time to leave home, time to let go of what has been + where we have been, and time to surrender to the dark, unknown journey that lies ahead. This is the time to commit + to say to ourselves that we are willing to embark on this dark journey home. This is the time to say to our spirit that are fully aware that the darkest season is upon us + we want to embrace it and participate in it. Why? Because we know that it is all part of the cycle of life + death + seasons + renewal.

This is how we evolve + grow + transform. This is how we find wild + sacred ways of living even in the midst of everyday life.

And, come the 8th of October, with October’s new moon, we will be ready to set out. 

Remember, there is a wellspring of calm within us all. Put your hand over your heart right now. Close your eyes. Breathe deep. Feel the calm settle your fears.

You have everything you need for this journey. Be here. In the calm. And just soak it in. Don’t move. Just be. And breathe. And believe.

Pause. Feel. Breathe. Trust.

xoxo. liz.



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