Tools to Embrace Times of Darkness

This blog is broken into 3 main parts: the background story || coaching tips || further support, including a meditation. Click on the previous links to jump right to that content.

I was already nurturing the theme for this post and this month’s content when, in a universal twist of irony, my mom’s house had an ice storm that took out our power last week for 24 hours. That week, already full of energetic ups and downs, was capped off with a day where the hum of the house stopped, darkness took over, the sound of tree limbs crashing down under the weight of ice echoed, and many layers of clothes were worn. 

Instead of focusing on what couldn’t be done and stomping my feet that I couldn’t access the internet and get my work done, I felt gratitude for what I did have and then shifted gears to what could be done under the current circumstances. I was blessed with a roof over my head, a car to take me to hot coffee, money to pay for that coffee, and a knowing that the amazing workers were doing all they could to restore power as fast as possible. 

What could be done on a powerless day? The master bedroom in my mom’s house needs a prime and paint facelift after years of the wear and tear of life. Fortified with a newfound confidence thanks to absorbing tricks of the trade while helping my boyfriend and his mom work on his kitchen reno, off to Home Depot mom, doggo, and I went. It had the added benefit of warming us up and entertaining my stir-crazy 10 month old puppy. 

My point of all of this? Had I focused on what couldn’t be done and the dark and cold all around me it would’ve been a pretty horrible never-ending day. Periods of darkness are incredibly hard to stumble our way through, especially when we don’t have a timeline as to when the light will shine again. But if we shift our gaze to what can be done, express gratitude for the goodness that is still there, and take inspired action in spite of all the unknowns we will eventually find ourselves blossoming out of the darkness. 

Tidy up and neaten are synonyms of prune, working on the master bedroom was pruning and cultivating all at once. Gardeners prune to make room for and to cultivate healthier growth. One cannot happen without the other. Well cared for soil nurtures the bulbs and seeds planted within it. 

How do you trust that the seeds you’ve planted in your life are held by healthy soil and will eventually blossom? Channel your inner gardener: prune, tidy, care for the soil of yourself and your life, and trust in the cycles of life.

Below are six simple practices that are always in my toolkit and used regularly if not daily.

A journaling practice: If you found your way to this post from my email, I offer a journal prompt to support the process of pruning. Journaling in and of itself is a great example of pruning. You’re getting out what’s in your head by putting it on paper. Even if I only do this for one minute a day, I have more clarity and less anxiety. *journal prompt shown in image above

Tidy up your inner dialog: I am like a dog with a bone on the power of inner dialog. The words we use and how we talk to ourselves shape our reality. Health coaches everywhere know that if we use words to demean our body, our body will make choices to stay that way. What’s one negative story you still tell yourself? Can you replace it with something more positive?

Purge excess stuff: As a former NYC dweller this is something I did regularly. You could not bring something in without first making room for it by getting rid of something else. My time back in the midwest has shown me this is not the norm here and stuff begins to pile on top of other stuff. I can sometimes even feel the heaviness the homes feel, like they’re about to burst at the seams. Think of your home, let one area come to mind that feels heavy. What’s one tiny thing you can do to begin to lighten this?

Cleanse your energy through meditation and/or body movement: A lot of newer science is surfacing about how our bodies hang onto stress. And if anyone remembers freshman year biology, we learned we’re all just energy, just a bunch of atoms moving all about. Meditation resets your nervous system allowing your body to release any energy that’s weighing it down. The same can be said for body movement and exercise. All are great options to dust ourselves off regularly. Here’s a link to the meditation I created for this month. 

Shift an unhealthy habit over 30 days by replacing it with a healthier one: Do you find yourself shopping as a way of avoiding feeling hard feelings? Or doing for others but never doing that thing you promised to do for you? Or watching TV or playing games until the wee hours of the morning even when you know you have an early meeting? It takes 4-6 weeks to grease the wheels of a new habit in your brain making it effortless to do. What’s one habit you know doesn’t serve you? Is there a super simple healthier habit you could replace it with? For example, if shopping makes you feel less lonely, you could replace that by meeting a friend for coffee or tea.

Reframe a mindset: Our inner beliefs, our mindset, shape our inner dialog and how we view the world. If you think money is hard to come by, you will make choices that prove to you that money is hard to come by and you will tell yourself you don’t deserve to live a fiscally abundant life. If your life isn’t yet where you want it to be and you believe you’re a failure, you will continue to make choices that prove you’re a failure. What’s one belief or story you tell yourself about the world or you that when you really think about it isn’t 100% true? Can you replace that with a more empowering belief / mindset?

Not sure where to begin but know you’re ready? Try this guided visual meditation designed to support you in trusting in timing and gain an intuitively guided focus for each day.

Know you’re ready for even more support? Hire the metaphorical version of a landscaper. Coaches and therapists are amazing at holding space for others in the dark and guiding you to hear and act on what’s best for you. In my coaching method we have a whole session on incompletions, ie tree limbs that are long overdue for trimming and will break if a heavy wind or ice storm comes through. 

A fellow coach sends simple email tips a few times a week that I think everyone should sign up for. They are powerfully simple life detoxing (pruning) tips to help you get started. 

Learn more about working with me here. And if you know someone who would benefit from this post or is ready to spend an hour or so a week with me to design their life, please pass on and send me a note. 

You deserve to live your best life and the world needs you to, now more than ever. Oh, and as someone who’s been helping prune and purge the things earlier generations were determined to hang onto, I’ve vowed to not do the same for those that come after me. Consider the work you’re doing now on you, nurturing the soil for your life and those of later generations. 

Feb 28, 2023

Habits, Health, Leadership, Meditations


**Many of my posts contain affiliate links. These products I share are ones I use time and time again after choosing from the heart (and also earn income from, at no cost to you). They have changed my life and I hope to ripple that out to you. Thank you for supporting me!

comments from the community

  1. […] past few months I’ve talked about the power of vision, trusting in the seeds you’ve planted, and intuition, discipline and grit felt like the perfect next chapter in this series. Without a […]

tell me more by leaving a comment below!
did you try the above? how can we support each other?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *