The Darkest Hour

is Before the Dawn

from the August 2020 Star Beacon


By Joanne O'Brien

Dear Readers,

This is a year that will go down in the annals of history as an extreme example of how unpredictable life can be. It certainly seems to have left many people feeling vulnerable. Power, or the loss of it, is certainly a theme. So, too, is freedom.

In many ways a lot of us have had to stop, take stock, and also confront issues that we may have been diligently avoiding for years.

I would like to explore the issue of power and how we can grow our own ways to find our own "truths." Ultimately, your mind can be a haven of the truest freedom you will ever experience, or it can be a self-created prison, where we lock ourselves in with our inmates: fear, paranoia and anxiety.

Everything happens for a reason, and somehow that suits a purpose. Whether that "purpose" is for us or for the Higher Powers that govern our universe, it remains to be seen. I have continued to have contact with Star Beings during my meditations and have held onto what they told me, which is: "Not to be afraid."

If you have read my previous articles, you may recall that fear is an automatic response triggered by the nervous system in response to a perceived threat(s): this response is triggered whether these threats are real or not. Our bodies are automatically put into the stress response and all humans respond differently. Some typical responses are anxiety, stress, anger or fear. The purpose of the response is to protect you.

This brings me to the Higher Purpose of this year and the situations we have been catapulted into. Are we being protected or punished? I believe it is neither; I believe we are being set free, liberated -- and this will lead to a better way of living for all of humanity, not just a select few.

The virus is uncovering many layers of corruption and at quite high levels. We have been forced to stop a way of life that has been comfortable for many of us. Many people have had to confront their issues possibly for the first time.

Ask yourself a question: "What does Power mean for you?" When we went into lockdown here, I wanted to help in some way. I set up a group on Facebook called Hope group: techniques for mind, body and spirit. It is a closed group,but please feel free to join if you are interested; it is free.

The website I had previously used has disappeared and I have no idea where it is. I had to create a new one, so I called it the Messengers. This I felt I was guided to do. Change is in the air and we can resist it or embrace it. My aim was and always will be to empower individuals to make healthy choices for themselves. The power to transform is within you and is possible moment by moment.

Having quite a bit of time on my hands. I found my mind continually moving to the past, where my Shadows seemed to be waking up and demanding that I finally pay attention to them. When it wasn't dwelling on the past, my mind would move to the future, where there was uncertainty, fear and a sense of totally being out of my comfort zone and powerless to control (or manage) events that were unfolding in the present.

Physically, I put on weight and everything seemed to slow down and speed up at the same time. If this sounds familiar. I would like to suggest a way forward for you. We can't change other humans or outside forces and events. This is a fact, but we can change ourselves.

Winston Churchill coined the phrase "our darkest hour" during the second world war, and this feels pretty close to it. The story behind the British SAS and its formation is a fascinating one.

Upon realizing that traditional tactics were not working and we were losing the war, one man, David Stirling, came up with a different type of warfare. Against all the odds and the traditions of British skepticism and reluctance to change, one man formed a new unit.

I am sure there is a correlation in the US to this story. My point is that unusual times call for unusual solutions. One person can make a difference.

Find your "tribe." If, like me, you are a private person, a person who likes their own company, then allow others who are similar to connect with you. I read a lot, I watch a lot, in order to expand my mind and not narrow it.

These times call for unusual solutions and connection to others is one way forward. By connection I mean discussion, sharing ideas or dreams, seeking answers, finding truths that resonate within you. If you cannot connect to the right people for you, it may be that now you have to take the initiative and be the connector, be the messenger, be yourself -- but try a new way.

I believe it is true that misery loves company. Our shadows can reveal so much, and we are what we attract in this life. If you attract negative people, look within as honestly as you can to find your own negativity. Look at your closest relationships; others can act as mirrors for what we have hidden from ourselves. As a therapist I know that I cannot fix or heal what I don't know is broken, nor can individuals.

One reason Star Beings do not approach humans in direct contact is that they are so different to us physically and may also be toxic. We may also be toxic to them. By taking even one small step to liberating your mind, you will allow many others to do the same.

Our beliefs can imprison our minds and make us feel powerless. It's not for me to try to change anyone's beliefs, especially through preaching or doctrine, but limiting beliefs can be damaging.

What limiting beliefs do you hold about yourself that are holding you back and keeping you imprisoned in a state that you dislike?

If you are unsure, watch for when you use words regularly such as "I can't ... I shouldn't ... I would never ... it's impossible for me to ..." What we say and think directly affects the unconscious mind, and our bodies immediately put us in the mode or program that drives that belief.

If you are still unsure about which limiting beliefs you have that are running your life, look at areas where you may be struggling; this is usually a good indication.

"Whether you think you can or think you can't ... you're right," said Henry Ford.

One way to empower ourselves through thoughts is in visualization. The human mind cannot tell the difference between a "real" or imagined image. It also cannot process a negative. When we say, "I am not going to eat any sugar," it literally deletes the negative not! If we say "I am not afraid," it typically only responds to "I am afraid" and will provide the chemical response associated with fear.

Being positive starts with the present moment despite what is going on.

The following technique will help:

Please stand. When we stand, it empowers us and makes us feel bigger and stronger.

In front of you is the future. See, picture or get an image of you continuously walking into the future. Tell yourself to stop out loud. Tell yourself

to turn and face you and hold out your arms and hands to welcome you back.

Whether you see, sense or get a feeling this is happening is fine; the you that is going into the future with worry or fear now comes back and allows it to fully merge with your present body.

Now turn and face the past. Repeat the process exactly as you did for the future self. Notice if there are other selves that you want to reintegrate. There may be a self that is always above your head and is too "spacey" or perhaps a self that is beneath your feet and relies too much on earthy, logical things, practicality before creativity.

Take some easy, deep breaths, carry on with your life, and repeat when you find yourself moving in a direction you know is not good for you.

Can we ever free ourselves from fear, anxiety or stress? No, we need them, they serve a useful function in protecting us from real dangers and threats. We just need to be aware that it is us who are controlling our nervous systems and we who have the power to change.

Nothing lasts forever, even unhappiness. We need our shadows just as much as we need our lighter sides or archetypes.

Let this be your moment before the dawn.


Joanne O'Brien is a Reiki master, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy Master and Trainer from the United Kingdom. Contact her through her website at


This page updated August 19, 2020






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