This one is a bit long, but worth it. I’m about to share some parts of my life story I’ve never shared publicly to this degree — specifically about heartbreaks and Dark Nights, and how they can remake you into a Queen. As they have for me.
I also have a free workshop next week, which I’ll share more about in a moment, but feel free to learn more and reserve your seat now:
Mining For Gold in the Dark Night of Your Soul
How Life’s Hardest Heartbreaks Can Remake You Into a Queen
OK, deep breath. Back to sharing All The Things.
A little over three years ago, I waved thank you to the UPS driver and carried the hefty cardboard box into my office. Using the edge of my house key, the clear tape easily gave way. Out of that box, I lifted my book, its cover velvety, its title fiery: Feminine Genius.
I felt a little goofy, but I clutched my book — my book! my beloved book! my first book! this book that I wrote and published with my dream publisher — to my heart like I previously held my infant son.
I have to tell you honestly, for me, writing that book was harder than having a baby — and to get my actual baby into the world took a racking 22-hour labor and an unplanned c-section due to a rare complication that had both me and babes perilously close to dying.
It was indeed a triumphant moment to hold my first published book against my breast. That book has helped tens of thousands of women love themselves and their bodies after lifetimes of self-warring.
But, here’s the thing: I wrote that book from the very depths of my first Dark Night of the Soul.
Parts of me died in that Dark Night, and I know (now) that it’s no accident that it took a particular, potent, and prolonged brush with “death” to birth that book.
Or better said, to become the Queen who could birth that book.
I know now it’s my job to help women move through the hardest shit of their lives, and become Queens.
I also know that it is IF — and HOW — we each are guided through the hardest shit of our lives, that will determine WHO we become as a result.
I know all of this because of WHAT I discovered as I made my way through the hardest shit of my life, and by supporting thousands of book readers, clients, and course participants through theirs.
It’s not just my job, it’s my honor to share what I discovered.
There are so many reasons why I got plunged into the Dark Night. One of those reasons for me was a tectonic heartbreak in my relationship world. (Like it is for so many of us)!
One morning almost a decade ago, I came down into the sunny kitchen in the house that my partner and I shared with another family. I joined a familiar scene that had, for three years held so much joy for me: my husband making hand-pressed coffee, laughing, and bonding over some business win with our long-term girlfriend.
But this morning, something was different. The bright, strong energy that had connected us three, had shifted. I felt that it was now only between them, and I was not included.
A few months earlier, I had started to feel very, very unwell. Insomnia. Panic attacks. Brain fog. Body aches and uncontrollable shaking.
I entered the kitchen that morning steeped in an ocean of exhaustion, depression, and self-doubt, like a dark cloud passing over the sunshine of their connection.
(I’ll pause for a moment to say that throughout our two decades together, my then-husband and I had thrown ourselves fully into living a life of personal growth, exploration, and adventure. Which included consciously creating an ethically non-monogamous relationship world. And included conjoining families.)
When I tried to talk to them, to share the dramatic shift I felt, and to share that I felt it was contributing to my being so unwell, what I remember that morning was that the two of them — the two adults I felt most lovingly connected to in the world at that point — backed away from me the way you would back away from someone with Ebola. They moved physically (and emotionally) as far away from me as the kitchen walls would allow.
I felt excluded. Shunned. By my main support people. It was devastating, to have my doubts confirmed that there was something wrong with me and that people couldn’t stand being around me.
My physical health got worse. And then worse some more.
My self-doubt, my self-loathing, was real and constant.
When I would try to focus my foggy brain and get some writing done on my book, I would write one sentence, and my vicious inner critic would respond, “who are you to write this anyway? It’s all been said by a better writer than you. Better to stop now than be proven an embarrassing failure.”
More than once I nearly threw my book in the trash.
But there in the depths of my misery and self-doubt, I did something extraordinary.
What I did, and could only have done in the crucible of the Dark Night of my Soul, was, instead of running from my doubts, collapsing from their weight, or even believing them, I went eye to eye, toe to toe, with them, and loved the shit out of them.
I’ll bet you yourself know of (or want more of) these kinds of miraculous moments, when instead of turning away from a part of yourself, you turn toward it.
In those kinds of miraculous moments, I began to rebuild myself as Queen.
Instead of throwing my book — or my self-esteem — in the trash, I kept writing.
I got in touch with what I was more devoted to than my doubts. I realized that doubts are an important part of any creative process, and in fact, what we create will be better because of our doubts — and because of how we relate to our doubts.
I no longer believe that self-confidence or any creative venture requires the absence of self-doubt. We will be waiting a really long time if we wait for that.
I now believe that self-confidence — as well as conviction in what we know, courage in what we have to say, and the strength to birth a creative project — takes a powerful relationship with our doubts.
Let me be clear: my beloveds didn’t cause my self-doubts. My self-doubts were, and always have been, mine.
True, my self-doubts loomed larger and more convincing because of the relationship rift, but this isn’t about what my beloveds did or didn’t do. (In fact, there are so, so many ways they helped me emerge as Queen). This isn’t even about that creative, adventurous relationship configuration that arguably contributed to me getting sick and landing in The Dark Night of my Soul.
No. Listen closely.
This is about what gets revealed to us in The Dark. And only in The Dark.
It seems that a strange and painful passage through the Dark Night of our Souls is required in order for certain things to be revealed to us …
What aspects of ourselves we have been running from that we now must turn toward and love the shit out of.
What parts of us need to die, so that newer parts, truer parts can be reborn.
How our own emotional collapsing has also collapsed our raw creativity, and how to forge a stronger bond with the wild creative process so we can create what our souls long to create.
The inner demons we need to transform. The feelings we need to feel. The self-trust we need to regain.
And that it is only and ever our own selves that can put the crown back on our heads and ordain ourselves as Queen.
For me, and for most of us, this seems to be true:
I could only have written my book from inside of The Dark Night.
I could only have remade myself into a Queen from inside of The Dark Night.
I could only have written a book that helps other women ordain themselves as Queen, from inside of The Dark Night.
I could only have transformed my inner demons, learned to feel my feelings, and regained self-trust from inside of The Dark Night.
I could only have developed an uncanny ability to walk others through their own Dark Nights from inside of my own Dark Night.
I don’t know why this is. I wish there was a less intense way for this to happen.
If you have similar questions, please take up your worthy concerns with the Universal Bureau of Shitty Life Events.
(Granted, I’m still waiting for them to get back to me, but if you get a response back before me, please enlighten me).
I also know it’s scary to be around someone who’s in a Dark Night of the Soul, or depressed, or grieving. I know it was terrifying for my beloveds, friends, and community members way back when.
We all want to make it better for our suffering friends, and yet our efforts to fix and help, often make it worse.
We get confronted with how deeply uncomfortable we are with our own pain, which makes us unable to be present with their pain. Or we just don’t know what to do, and in our awkwardness, we feel like we are failing our friends, and doing nothing seems a little better to us than failing them.
Most people aren’t yet “educated in the ways of The Dark,” as I put it, especially if they haven’t yet been to a similar place themselves. It’s a wacky initiation.
If you are in a Dark Night of Your Soul at this very moment, I see you, I feel you, and I’m sorry you’re going through it right now. We truly can’t do this alone.
And even though it’s disorienting and painful and this may be hard to hear right now, I know there is a part of you that knows this is happening FOR you, not TO you.
Part of you knows that you ARE going to emerge from this and that you will emerge with an exquisite, unshakable self-trust that redefines every aspect of your life.
Part of you can taste or smell or sense your QueenSelf, coming closer and closer.
Part of you knows that as difficult as it is, a Dark Night of the Soul isn’t a punishment, it’s an INVITATION.
As your intrepid workshop leader and underworld sherpa, I will walk you through:
*The five undeniable signs that you are in a Dark Night of Your Soul.
*Why the trains of our lives have a stop in the Underworld, and how The Dark is a potent form of Feminine medicine.
*How to see The Dark as the crucible that will forge you into a Queen, and the transformation of your body, mind, and soul that is possible as you do
*The key attitudes and actions that turn crap into gold, as well as the mindset most of us mistakenly use that will actually prolong and intensify your time in The Dark.
*The surprising truth about fear, and other “negative” feelings like anger, jealousy, and grief.
*One of my all-time favorite exercises to transform Inner Demons, which will also help you stay upright as things fall apart.
How to join my upcoming 22-Day Immersion, “Mining For Gold in The Dark Night of Your Soul.”
*The best ways to prepare for what is waiting for you on the other side of The Dark Night of Your Soul: Confidence and clarity. Radical self-trust. Inner knowing. Wholeness. And fabulous fucking freedom.
Please do what you can to join live, but yes, it will be recorded.
Invite a friend. Send them this link: bit.ly/DNSworkshop
Invite an Inner Demon or two. All are welcome.
My dear friend, when it comes to the hardest shit of life, I have discovered over the last decade that it is my job to GO FIRST.
And then come back and share with you the way THROUGH — with the least floundering and the most grace possible, always in support of WHO you will become as a result.
Your next step is to join me.