It’s late at night. All around me is quiet and dark. I strike a match; the friction is amplified by the stillness. The match sparks with the wick in a bubble of flame, and shadows dance on the ceiling. The room fills with soft, yellow light. My eyes adjust, and I can make out the edges and contours before me.

I am in a pensive and reflective mood. The close of another year, a year that has sped by with alarming alacrity, is approaching. Top ten’s, enumerated how-to’s and other comparative, self-help measures abound. There is a common stirring among us to take stock and give some thought to what has transpired. Be it birthdays, holidays, significant anniversary dates, we tend to bookmark the beginnings and ends of passages -- remembered moments that are carved totems in the meaning of our existence.

As I sit in the penumbra of candlelight, I realize I’m none too happy with myself. I feel lost and adrift. I feel as if I have been treading water for months. Swimming in the same tight circles, I am weary. I have lost the picture; be is small or big, the screen before me is full of fuzzy static and undulating blobs of gray. There is no cursor to help me find my place, much less take the next step.

Jungian analyst, Marian Woodman, once wrote that metaphor is the instrument of transition. I know this to be true, but, presently, I am without image. There is nothing visible on my inner screen. There is no symbol calling me forward, reminding me of who I am. There is no videotape to reveal frame after frame of my yet to-be-revealed new self.

And the image need not be a literal picture; there are the realms of sound and feeling as well. Yet, on the kinesthetic scale, there are no strong sensations to pull me out of my straitjacketed self. I don’t feel much of anything. There are no archetypal shoes in which to climb or dance or run like fleet-footed Hermes. And audibly, there is nary a whisper to push me forward. There are no resonant tones to realign me into balance.

I am – on every level -- floundering. And as the word conjures, I am flipping and flailing on a wooden dock, off the hook and no where to go, save the ultimate frying pan. Clearly, things aren’t going so well.

It dawns on me that I am in the metaphoric dark. Like the caterpillar in the chrysalis, I am entombed in a woven web that contains me. I feel immobile, directionless and clueless.

The cerebral part of me well knows this is all part and parcel of the process. The journey of consciousness has its fits and starts with the ego repeatedly surrendering to the soul. Yet, at this moment, with blank newness before me, there is little comfort in that awareness.

Curiously, these past few weeks, I have also been experiencing vertigo, as a result of some ear problems. Vertigo is about your world becoming a tilt-a-whirl; you spin. It’s as if you are standing on rolling waves. And when I try to put my feet on the floor, I hold on to my mattress as my world goes somersaulting around me. It gives me that oh-whoa kind of unsteady feeling.

The symbolism of this ailment, hand-in-hand with my flat, floundering, unhooked self, grabs my attention. In energy medicine, ears are all about trusting. And vertigo is, obviously, about balance and, perhaps, even staying saddled as I ride the bucking bronco of the vertigo horse.

Ahhh….a few clues to help me find focus -- and they are good clues at that. I always appreciate the symbolism of what ails me. I thank my body for teaching me, but I know there is more. I can feel the presence of something else lurking, waiting to surface.

As I sit in the muted light, I begin talking to God. It helps to talk. I allow all my concerns and consternations to come burbling forth. Like a babbling brook. I go on and on. And in that process, I feel myself emptied of all the surface layers, and I reach a still point,S as if I have swum to the depths of the pool and discovered clear, illumined water. In that place, unconsciously, spontaneously, I sputter, “But what about the God in me?”

I feel as I have been clobbered in the solar plexus. I am breathless, stunned at the words that fall from my lips. The words are weighty; they feel like a cloak of God-ness has been placed upon my shoulders. There is a sifting and shifting process within my being, and I hear the words, “the cathedral of my being.”

The still point has become a flashpoint of knowing. It is up to me to identify with my God within. In doing that, everything changes; all perspectives rotate. A whole new gestalt slides into place.

Yes, my being does become a cathedral, and, therefore, demand the respect and reverence that goes with same. And my thoughts and actions are not only imbued with a generous heart, but unlimited thinking and doing as well. All things are possible.

Like the vertigo, I am dizzy with this newfound ground. It all fits together so perfectly. From my body to my mind to my soul, I am turned upside down, reminded to trust, trust, trust and to walk wearing my God cloak.

I like wearing this God cloak. It feels warm, protective, honoring, serious as well as joyful. The God cloak reminds me that there are answers within, mastery to be tapped, connections with all and service opportunities everywhere.

Thank you, God, for the talk. I no longer feel like a fish out of water.

© Copyright 2008 by Adele Ryan McDowell.

Author's Bio: 

Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is a psychologist, empath and shaman who likes looking at life with the big viewfinder. Her website is