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Darkness & Light and the message of the Hawthorn

Regarding this theme, I've also recorded a wonderful podcast episode in Dutch. It's not expressed in exactly the same words, but the essence is similar. If you prefer listening, feel free to check it out on Spotify via the link.

Autumn Equinox

On September 23rd, the sun was directly above the equator. The autumn equinox, as we call it. On our northern hemisphere, there is an equal amount of darkness and light on this day: the day is exactly as long as the night. On the calendar, this marks the beginning of the autumn period for us, even though nature has already been transitioning into autumn for a while. This transitional period heralds the movement towards the darker months of the year. From this day onward, the amount of daylight decreases by 4 hours daily, resulting in about half an hour less sunlight each week.

Since we are part of nature, this movement is also within ourselves. Physically, energetically, mentally, and spiritually, we also move towards the darkness, the yin energy, the feminine. What do the terms light and dark actually mean in this context? What does this movement invite within you? Let's take a closer look.

The year and life itself are a dance of light and dark. Together, they make our lives complete. Light is something we like to associate ourselves with in contemporary society. We take pride in ourselves, and ideally, we want others to be proud of us too. Proud of what? Our talents, of course! We learned that in school. A sticker for good handwriting. Thunderous applause for an unexpectedly exceptional expression of art or wisdom. Our eyes light up. As children, we're already engaged in it. "Look what I can do!" We want to excel and be extraordinary; we want to shine like the stars. What we are less empowered in is giving a place to our emotional lives, feelings of sadness and helplessness, "doing something mediocre," leisurely daydreaming, or following our intuition without substantiating it with strong arguments. In this description, you can already see a beautiful contrast between 'good' and 'bad'. Something we can distinguish so beautifully with our judgmental ability. A distinction that we carry in our cells and our DNA. This is our programming, inherent to this polarized world and our human nature.

As outside, so inside: Light and Dark in our Emotional World

You can start quite black and white when distinguishing "dark" and "light" within ourselves. The darkness within represents everything we judge as "bad" or not in line with the established order. And everything that is light is what we perceive as positive and "good". This also illustrates well how we treat ourselves. Discrimination takes place in our inner world as well. The idea that you should suppress your feelings because you are in a professional environment and it would not be appropriate to express them. In this case, your feelings are "dark." And this immediately brings us to a better interpretation of the dark: that which, according to our judgmental ability, "should not be" and therefore needs to be hidden.

Unfortunately, but true: those feelings are not really gone if you suppress them in that environment. There's a good chance that they significantly influence your actions and thoughts without expressing the emotions. For example, if you're sad because of something you've experienced and you don't express your sorrow, you might quickly get irritated when a colleague tells you something neutral. And soon enough, you snap at them. Voila, this is how your darkness operates in your life. And you may think you're leaning heavily towards your light side at that moment, as you behave exactly as expected: suppressing emotions in a professional environment. The contrast between light and dark reveals much about the systems in which you find yourself.

Light takes us to great heights. At least, that's what we think. Upon closer inspection, you'll see that light is nothing more than a source that is consciousness. It is neutral. It does nothing special, except shine. Once it touches a surface, you can say that light is cast upon an object or subject. Not much happens if that object or subject is already illuminated. However, if something dark is suddenly illuminated, then it becomes interesting.

The Natural Urge of Movement from Dark to Light

This phenomenon often occurs in the form of "triggers." Small movements in our external (or internal) world that elicit a reaction from us, which can be objectively viewed as disproportionate. We become aware of something we were not conscious of before, provided we allow it. Another option is to quash it immediately: "No way! We're not going there!" And you let your secondary emotions "rescue" you from the situation until you're safely away from your trigger. What we pushed away is briefly seen and touched. You face a choice: push it away again ("We're not going there!"), or take a look at what that thing is (with softness, curiosity, and inquiry). We can push it away again by judging it harshly. "I'm such a terrible person for making myself small by pushing away my emotions. I need to do something about it." And bam, you punish yourself for your behavior, push those emotions away again, and maybe seek an expert to solve it for you. And darkness returns.

However, you've seen it for a moment. In the undercurrent, it keeps triggering you because the natural movement is from dark to light. What is dark wants to be seen. Often, there's a child part underneath: an experience you found unpleasant, triggering your survival mechanism. Your feelings, thoughts, and actions are unconsciously activated by the pain under the trigger. This happens "in the dark" because you're not looking at it, not aware of it, and have no conscious control over it.

Another option is to ask yourself: "Hey, what's that strange idea anyway? Who says I have to push away my emotions? Let's see how I feel right now." You might start crying immediately and decide to end the day because you can't work like this, or you set boundaries, or burst into a huge fit of laughter. Nothing wrong. And, you've been kind to yourself and taken good care of yourself. This way, you continue with your day. If the dark is truly seen for what it is and nothing more, nothing less, without judgment, it finds its place and can exist without being dark. Then you regain your power and strength, take ownership of your life, and can think, "No, I don't want to think or act like this anymore. I won't let my behavior or experience be determined by this." Without holding a judgment against yourself. It's not easy and requires a lot of self-awareness and self-control. But we do it daily, and everyone can do it.

The Implications of Fear on the Experience of Light and Dark

The darkness that keeps us in our darkness is often a fear: "What will others think of me?" A fear of rejection, on a small or large scale. A tactic that often has no real puppeteer behind it. Seriously, question yourself: "What is the absolute worst thing that could happen right now if...?" The beautiful thing is: more often than not, when we choose our own feelings above 'what we're supposed to do or feel'. And when we choose ourselves. We see understanding and admiration from others.

The Hawthorn says: Stand firm, soften, and surrender to what presents itself

In my collaboration with the hawthorn, I could clearly see the impact of darkness (which is just as valid as light) on me. I noticed in every interaction with the hawthorn that I would go into fight-flight-freeze mode when faced with darkness. Powerlessness took over at the sight of darkness, and unconsciously, I posed the desperate plea: "get me out of here, I don't care how." Something many of us do. What you're doing in that moment is giving away your power to someone else. I'm not taking ownership of my experience, feelings, the situation, or my actions. I felt how darkness was coming to "help" me, and I actually had no control over the outcome. Upon closer inspection, this wasn't pleasant at all. The situation was never life-threatening and turned out to contain opportunities and possibilities for me. What I realized is: the way out is through. The hawthorn said: "Stand firm, soften, surrender to what is. Have the courage to tackle what lies before you and let it bring you to what is possible for you."

Let this message also be an invitation for you. If something makes you anxious or touches you, just stand still for a moment. Sink into your feelings and let it be. Surrender and seize the opportunity that presents itself. It will take you to unprecedented heights.

And tune in to the hawthorn yourself. What does she want to tell you?

The Challenges of This Time

Currently, the contrast between dark and light is growing larger and larger. On your themes, you are being intensely challenged. This can sometimes take bizarre forms, confusing you immensely. It can make you feel powerless and shake your foundations. This is related to the zeitgeist in which we find ourselves. Call it the cosmic spring. We are preparing for a great unknown. The invitation is to find your center.

You will realize how bizarre the contrast becomes, so bizarre that the only logical way out is the inward path, staying with yourself, doing what feels right for you, knowing that it is exactly right for you. And each person reaches this point in their own time. For some, it may cause more confusion than for others, and that's okay. We are looking at ourselves with immense compassion. Aspects that go along with this include: being with yourself and staying with yourself. Genuinely liking yourself. "Not giving a fuck anymore" when it comes to other people's opinions or unsolicited advice. Knowing and feeling your own essence and walking your own path from there. Living according to your own wisdom. Speaking your own voice. Finding all the answers within yourself, even if another person carries different information. So, we are living with paradoxes and contradictions. Both are true. Both are okay. As long as you feel okay and live your own truth.

You are good just as you are.

Much love,



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