This week is Halloween and for me this holiday over the last three years has transformed into an eloquent invitation into the darkness. Now, I’m sure the mere combination of Halloween and darkness provokes initial thoughts of evil or wickedness. Yet, this invitation is more about the unknown that we subconsciously avoid because of fear.
As a girl, Halloween terrified me. The whole concept of venturing out into the darkness even for a candy reward was frightening and truthfully not worth it. I usually made it throughout the early evening but by the hours when the darkness would deepen, my Dad would detour to return me home at my request and then continue on with my little brother. At the time, I believed my fear was generated by the spooky stories of what goes bump in the night. What I failed to acknowledge is the fear was rooted in something much more personal.
The darkness that we are invited to play in on Halloween night is a rare occurrence where we are immersed in the stillness of the night. Even with all the trick or treat hustle and bustle, there is always a moment of stillness where you can’t fully see what’s in front of you or behind you. It is the unknown that is frightening, what we might potentially discover that we never knew was true or existed.
It is this same place that we are asked to seek to find the answers about ourselves. Perhaps this is why we reveal our authentic selves piece by piece because the idea of immersion is too overwhelmingly scary. We can’t sit in a space completely vulnerable and open to whatever may be revealed, instead we dip our toe down into the darkness surfacing ourselves little by little.
The practice of Yin is the invitation to stillness, to sit deep within ourselves. It is the meditative state that we struggle to achieve, because we refuse to settle out of fear. For me, I finally settled into the darkness because I became more afraid of the path I was traveling without the knowledge within me.
Our avoidance of the stillness does not dissipate the unknown, the unknown is always before us. It is the outcomes of today that await us. The unknown can be a frightening place when we choose to leave it in a nebulous state. Or the unknown can be a beautiful place that makes the journey of life feel like the path home.
In this episode of The HRart Rise Morning Show (below), we revisit my celebration as I openly accept a Yin practice into my life and move toward my calling of sharing it with others for the first time.