- Jeffrey Tyler
A Journey Through the Underworld
I have made it back! It’s May and I feel somewhat like I have fallen off of the face of the earth. While I didn’t travel anywhere physically I have certainly traveled since Easter. I had this great idea about how I was going to talk about Easter and the elements of rebirth and transformation. Maybe even Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey in dealing with being reborn and how to handle our transformations. Instead I had my own journey into the Underworld. Like anything it’s a number of factors that combine on themselves and in my situation formed what I am realizing is and was a Crisis of Confidence. Certainly if we are the heroes of our own stories (and we should be) then I traveled into the darkness of the earth to battle all manner of monsters and terrible circumstances and at each turn face myself.
I last talked about toolboxes as the skills, habits and pieces of experience that give us our unique method of dealing with the world around us. I worked on a different way to exercise as well as improving what I thought I could do. I worked my psychic skills with tarot cards and the pendulum as well. I had also said I was going to meditate to have better control of my energy. This is where my journey into the underworld began. The exercise program that I chose seemed easily customizable and one that required little in the way of equipment or any sort of gym membership. Well between that and my continued martial arts practice I managed to wrack myself up pretty well with pain and joint issues. The tarot training and use of the pendulum went pretty well. Most people will tell you the hardest person to read for is yourself. I don’t disagree with this at all. It’s very much true because, we as humans, have a great capacity for self-deception. Luckily I have been doing it for a long time and one of the things in that arena for me is to see as much of the Truth as I can. I didn’t like some of my answers but I tried to keep moving forward. The last piece was the consistent meditation practice. Yeah, well that part just didn’t really happen. Upon reflection, that was probably the most important component to my toolbox cleanup and I put it last and when the pain go the better of me I just became frustrated and didn’t do it.
A rapid and deep downward spiral happened. I found myself sitting in front of the TV a lot and my intuition constantly prompting me to get up and move around and then turn off the TV so I could sit and meditate. I was great at ignoring it. As the weeks slid by I stopped writing and just gave up on exercise and my martial arts training was at a bare minimum. Doubt crept into everything I did and my desire to be successful much less my desire to be kind to myself fled away into the dark. It didn’t help that winter still refuses to end. The days blended together and I became disassociated to many things and people that I care about for the month and some. My energy was still high but no longer positive with a number of electronic problems around my house and some dark moods that followed me.
What changed? I had managed to keep myself going to physical therapy and after several really painful weeks we made a couple of breakthroughs that finally brought my pain level down and I could move around again. I restarted my exercise program again, cutting way back on the things that injured me, shut off the TV or at least watched things that I wanted to see that I hadn’t made time for. I kept working on the tarot cards and explored different layout methods, their purposes and the energy that seemed to go with them. One of the shows was an old series I had never made time for when it was on. Man, I loved it! The relationships of the characters; their personal struggles as well as the ones they faced to help protect what they felt were important and solve the puzzle of the problem. It woke me up seeing people making the choice to be good people and focused on what was important despite the fact they didn’t always want to. Am I advocating TV here? No but I am advocating that our attitude about ourselves and our daily lives can deeply affect us. This was why I had wanted to reestablish a meditation practice again in the first place.
I have come back from the Underworld and still have challenges to face. I have a lot of ground to cover physically to be happy with myself again. Energy I have in spades but if I don’t control it or my thoughts about myself it will work against me in rapid and dramatic ways. Meditation is good, no matter how little and the spring refuses to arrive aside from a teaser weekend. Well, I’m not fool enough to oppose Mother Nature but I can keep exercising and training. I can keep working to improve my energy skills, meditate when I can and keep connected to the people in my life. Journeying in the Underworld is fraught with danger but the hero comes out with wisdom gained and some bit of restored confidence.
And chin up guys, spring will be here soon!