Yesterday I received this message from Melanie who just began the 40 Day Daring to Rest program. She wrote:
"Oh my gosh, yesterday I started day one - day one! Of your yoga nidra program. I did the first fifteen minutes, hmm, around seven or so. Not even close to bed. I didn't hear any soul whisper for a long time, but I was compelled to stay, and then, I just heard this quiet, oh so quiet, "hi". It was so beautiful and touching. And then I had the sleep of my life. I dreamt beautiful deep intense, curious dreams, and yet, it was peaceful - like I was on an adventure and deeply safe and cozy all at the same time. It was incredible. Day one! I felt such a strong desire to share my gratitude straight away."
Oh, how I love when women hear their soul whispers. This is perhaps my most favorite moment when practicing yoga nidra, how easily we begin to tap into that wild voice of the soul. Untethered. Loving. The honest girlfriend. The nurturing mother we perhaps never had. The soul whisper is all of this. When we lie down with yoga nidra, she speaks to us. Sometimes it's a "hi" and other times it's all the "junk from the trunk" that we've been neglecting.
"What a surprising revolution. I think the work you are doing is wild and important, and such a surprise. It is so wild, that I can't help but wonder, and this might sound crazy, but do you ever witness people having a sort of, angry or defensive reaction? I mean, it is so beautiful. I think you have unlocked a very precious resource, and well, I know what the powers that be often do to natural resources, so I am just curious if you've ever had funny responses. Perhaps I am not making sense. I love it! I believed when I listened to your interview in Insights at the Edge, that I would feel relaxed, but I got your book when I heard you say that it brought out the wild. And I must say I am so surprised by the immediacy of it. Like it was just on the surface, and yet so well hidden. Like a wild animal."
Yes, this work brings out the wild. More specifically, your Wild Woman, an archetype beautiful representing that intuitive "knower" in you, brought out in the work of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves. I was so touched the other day when a woman tagged me on instagram to say that Daring to Rest is "adding a practical level" to Dr. Estes' work on the Wild Woman. I hope so. It's time we put the Wild Woman into practice.
Yoga nidra revives your wild woman effortlessly. You lie down. The wild woman arrives. I noticed this very soon after I began to practice yoga nidra, and I see it all the time in the woman who practice with me. I have no magic wand to determine when she will arrive, but I do know that if you lie down for 40 days she will make an appearance. You don't need to will her to come. She will arrive.
The wild woman is key to embodying your womanhood. And this, my rest friends, will set you free.
Melanie makes a really interesting point about whether people get defensive or angry when they practice yoga nidra because this super nap is soul work, it's the lying down to wake up kind of rest. The answer is yes, and perhaps no, it depends. When we are truly at the point of complete breakdown and open for change then anger and defense mechanisms tend to weaken. But yes, because yoga nidra invites you to welcome everything, to feel and awaken all of you, this can mean awakening anger or sadness or fear. It may rattle you, but guess what? You're nestle under a blanket totally relaxed, in the deepest state of relaxation imaginable, so what often happens is you meet it (anger, fear, etc) and then it dissolves.
Rumi once wrote a beautiful poem, The Guesthouse, to welcome all those dark emotions that may rise because...
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
I love to keep this in mind whenever practicing yoga nidra meditation brings up a feeling of discomfort. Often it just wants to say hello.
As someone who experienced panic attacks for nearly two decades before finding yoga nidra and changing that legacy, I understand how feeling a dark emotion or thought feels like a downward spiral. But remember: what kind of high vibration life were you living anyway? Perhaps it's worth the risk to welcome it.
Okay, so I really must share with you Melanie's day two of Daring to Rest. She wrote:
"You will laugh, night two of practice and I wake up at three in the morning with an answer to a creative problem that has been nagging me: I'm an audiobook narrator and I have been wanting to update my home studio. And, there it was, like sent from angels, a design that is elegant, simple, and easy to execute. Hallelujah! "
I smiled. Yes, the answers do come.
But there is also a temptation to make answers happen. To take a yoga nidra super nap with an agenda. Beware. Melanie then wrote:
"I do wonder about your glorious program and the creative process. You wrote your beautiful play Birth. I have had this precious little story in my heart that came to me from the Wild, like seven years ago, and I've never been able to manifest it, though I've engaged discipline, and so many different shenanigans. I am wondering: could one use yoga nidra and night sleep, by lying down with an intention: a plot detail, or a character, for example, sleep and then write morning pages in the morning to create. Is this how you did it? My fear is that this act, is actually an act of colonization of the Wild, something I have done in the past. I get an idea, from the natural resource of the soul, and my ego proceeds to colonize, and consequently and rightly so, the soul goes quiet. Is this taking the rest out of rest?"
Melanie makes a great observation...that trying to get her story to come out by planting a plot detail as an intention and then see if the story arrives is what she calls "colonization of the Wild." It's best to let the 40 days of Daring to Rest happen and don't try to make anything happen. What will arrive is whatever you need to hear. If creative pursuits arrive, welcome them, but no need to plant them. Let your soul whispers inform your intention. That's the first 5 days of the journey - we let our soul whispers inform our intention.
Most importantly, when you do practice yoga nidra, enjoy the deep rest. Yoga nidra is this beautiful "no agenda" space. A blank canvas. Daring to Rest is your opportunity to first bathe in it, and then rise with your wild insights and creative edge. Be sure to have your journal with you...because soul whispers arrive when our Wild is fed.