From Darkness to Light

The Pathway Out of Suffering

Darkness is the heavy and cold state of inertia. It is dense, very dense. This state can exist in the physical, energetic, emotional, thought, and spiritual planes, or all. It is a part of nature. In the Northern Hemisphere as we enter the shortest day/longest night, we are at the peak of darkness. The past two years of Covid have been years of darkness as well.

All this darkness will pass; this is the cycle of life. We need only witness the turning of the day and the seasons to understand the rhythms of nature. We are a part of nature, not separate from it.

Dispelling Darkness

If we want to release the darkness, we must start making strides towards the light. Our patterns of behavior and thought are what keep us stuck in the darkness. We keep walking the paths of our past, seeing the same scenery, telling the same stories, and wondering why nothing changes. This is not a judgment, it is what happens, we all do it. Brain science tells us that the more we do a thing, the more it becomes entrenched in our neurology, leading us to repeat it. The more anxious we are, the more anxious we get.

The way out of this cycle is to bring in some new patterns – this is the light. When we start, it feels uncomfortable or weird. We find many reasons to not practice because we are going against the grain. The commitment to a new and better version of ourselves keep us going. These commitments are the lights in the darkness.

Light the Candle

Even the smallest light in a dark room changes everything. We begin to see details that were lost and warmth grows in the heart. When we light the candle of inspiration and hope, we create a roadmap to actualize the vision we have been dreaming up and longing for.

Let’s Get Practical

All that sounds great, right? But how do we put that into action? Self-acceptance and compassion. The only way to move forward from where you are is to accept where you are. If you want to go to the grocery store, you need to know where you are and the path to get there. You could just drive in a direction and hope that you come across one. It is much easier to get where you are going when you pull up a map.

Your map begins with being honest with yourself.

  • What is happening right now?
  • What is it that is causing you suffering right now?
  • What are you trying to avoid?
  • What has been left unsaid?
  • What will your life be like if everything remains the same?

This can feel like wallowing and there will come a point where you just cannot hang with the self-reflection anymore. The point is not to wallow, instead it is to accept where you are. When you feel overwhelmed, use garuda mudrā.

Light the Candle

Now it is time to light the candle. This is the hope and inspiration that guides you out of the darkness. Believe it or not, you have many candles, waiting to be lit. Once you start a pattern of hope and inspiration, it becomes like all other patterns, it spreads.

  • What is the energy state you would most like to experience?
  • Where would you like to be in the world?
  • Who would you like to surround yourself with?
  • What would you like to be doing with your life?

Now, take one simple step in that direction.

This can be challenging on your own. I’ll be leading a version of this, a little more in depth, but with some yoga and breathing, on New Year’s Day. Join me for New Year New Vision and we will light some candles!

New Year New Vision -
New Year’s Day Retreat with Rose

About the Author

Rose Kress

Rose Kress ERYT-500, C-IAYT, YACEP, Owner/Director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, and author of Awakening Your Inner Radiance with LifeForce Yoga. She directs retreats and training programs on using LifeForce Yoga to manage your mood.

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What People Say

“This workshop helped me rededicate my energies and begin to work through some of the blocks I’ve felt creatively.” — Steve Mark, college professor, New Haven, CT
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“My personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” — Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
“I have gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” — Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
I absolutely love this stuff! I have been using it with my clients and I am just finding it to be so incredibly helpful. There seriously something for everything. Although I am not as skilled as I hope to be someday, even at my level of training I’m finding that I am beginning to figure out what to do. It just blows my mind! - Christine Brudnicki, MS, LPC
“I have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” — Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
“This workshop has changed so much — my self-image and my life. My own heart’s desire is 100% clear. I gained tools to help myself and others to live life fully.” — Marcia Siegel, Yoga teacher, therapist, Carlsbad, CA.
“I came hoping to learn to move past some of the obstacles blocking my creativity. Over the course of this weekend, I feel I’ve gained a certain measure of faith in myself and in my ability to change. I also had some realizations that I believe will be very helpful to me. I feel encouraged. Both the content and presentation of this program were so well-thought out that I can’t think of any way to improve it.” — Andrea Gollin, writer & editor, Miami, FL
“I feel profoundly transformed, both physically and emotionally. The connection between mind, body and spirit was clearly evident to me, but revealed to me through this workshop as an integrally vital link to overall health.” — Nadine Richardson, program manager at rehab agency, Monroe, CT
“I utilize the LFY techniques in both a class room setting and one-on-one environment. The skills have infused my teachings with compassion, mindfulness, and awareness.” — Kat Larsen, CYT, LFYP
“I began a fantasy during the meditation exercise... almost as if I’d been there. It’s now an on-going work of fiction.” — Serian Strauss, Tanzania
“I integrate strategies like mantra tones and pranayama, but above all I invite myself and those I teach to cultivate svadhyaya, to practice self-observation without judgment.” — Barbara Sherman, RYT 200, LFYP, Tucson, AZ
“I learned lots of ways to reduce the anxiety and depression of my patients and myself.” – Aviva Sinvany-Nubel, PhD, APN, CNSC, RN, psychotherapist, Bridgewater, N.J.
“My life is already changed! I will use the tools I learned in my own practice and in my work. I feel safe and seen.” — Susan Andrea Weiner, MA, teacher/expressive arts facilitator, El Cerrito, CA.
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“I have found the LFYP training to be incredibly useful in giving people specific tools to use in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, and further opening their intuitive abilities.” — Nancy Windheart, RYT-200, LFYP, Reiki Master, Animal communication teacher, Prescott, AZ
“I have gained a softer heart, more receptive mind, and tools to enrich both personal and professional aspects of my life.” – Regina Trailweaver, LICSW, clinical social worker, Hancock, VT.
“I have been reminded that I am not on this path alone, that others are sharing the journey that sometimes seems so difficult. I have also been reminded of the importance of daily practice and I will do that. The whole program has been an incredible experience for me. Thank you!” — Lorraine Plauth, retired teacher, Voorheesville, NY
“A client who returned said, "When I came before, you helped me understand and get where I wanted to go. Now you show me yoga practices I use to help myself understand and get where I want to go.” — Sherry Rubin, LCSW, BCD, LFYP, Downingtown, PA
“My patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” — Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
“Giving my clients a strategy and permission to quiet their minds and rebalance the sympathetic nervous system has been very beneficial to them and in our work together.” — Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT 200, LFYP, Allendale, MI
“Yoga Skills for Therapists is the ideal resource for those who want to bring yoga practices into psychotherapy or healthcare. Weintraub, a leader in the field of yoga therapy, offers evidence-based, easy-to-introduce strategies for managing anxiety, improving mood, and relieving suffering. Helpful clinical insights and case examples emphasize safety, trust, and skillful adaptation to the individual, making it easy to apply the wisdom of yoga effectively in the therapeutic context.” — Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author, Yoga for Pain Relief, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Yoga Therapy
“This program changed my life in a significant way. It helped me connect with the spirit which is something you can’t get from psychotherapy and medication.” – G. W., artist, Pittsburgh, PA
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