Kali is the dance of creation and destruction:
one cannot be without the other.
In choosing one and rejecting the other, she appears
as a fragmented sense of self and world.
Day 5 was Sunday. I woke up, lit a candle at Kali's altar, and read this email about creation and destruction, grief, and these two demon kings Shumbha and Nishumbha, who symbolize arrogance and self-doubt/unworthiness within our consciousness.
I really loved the way "demons" were defined in this email, as "rejected parts of ourselves." And in my practice of self-inquiry and dialogue with these demon kings that morning, what I discovered was that although they differ in many ways, what's similar is that both of them want a rest, and they both need to be loved and to feel safe and secure enough to relax and let go, to just shut their mouths and chill. And they need to know they are lovable just as they are.
It reminded me of this:
When I felt complete with that practice, I went to Ecstatic Dance. A beloved community member/poetess/healer/friend/teacher/dancer/beautiful-soul had just recently passed away. And the air was thick with grief. I recalled the poem shared in the morning's email:
Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
if it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
I felt into my own grief, my grief over many losses, mostly recent, some old. And I danced with this grief and those demon kings. I acknowledged destruction and death as part of creation and life. I left dance feeling pretty good. Feeling a sense of oneness and acceptance with all that is.
But then I went to do a move-out inspection at a condo I own, and when I discovered that my tenant, who was breaking her lease early, not only failed to clean the place, but also scratched up the floor, I lost it. If only I'd lost it in an angry, empowered type of way. But no. Instead I lost it, as in I felt distraught and disoriented, disappointed, and stressed out.
That night I went home and re-lit the candle I'd started burning for Kali in the morning. The first 4 days I'd always let the candle burn all the way down. But Sunday morning, I had to leave home before it was done. So i lit this candle again, sat at the altar, started chanting kreem, kreem kreem, om kreem kalika-yai namaha, but I wasn't feeling it. I stood up, walked away, leaving the candle burning, and out of my mouth came these words as a song: Burn, burn, burn away, anything that's no longer serving me."
As I walked through my house taking care of various things, like the dishes and getting ready for bed, these words continued to be sung through me over and over and over again.
Burn, burn, burn away, Anything that's no longer serving me.
I went to bed feeling pissed off, but in a peaceful way, excited to see what gets burned away.
So I'll leave you with these questions:
What parts of yourself are you rejecting?
What's no longer serving you that needs to be burned away?
I woke up to an email from Chameli & The Awakening Women team, with today's practices and was pleasantly not surprised to see that today's practices were heavily focused on wants.
Over the past month or so, I'd been getting more practice than ever in clarifying and asking for what I want, especially in difficult situations. From requesting an face-to-face breakup do-over to stating my terms for allowing an early lease termination, I have been on a roll.
And to top it off, yesterday a hypnotherapy session ended up revealing a need to focus on knowing that not only can I ask for what I want, but guess what! ....I can get it. ;)
And it's true; pretty much everything I've asked for lately, I have received.
So this morning I sat at my altar for Kali again. I lit a candle. I chanted. I stood up and energetically rinsed myself in Bhairavi Kali's fire. And I asked, "what do you want for me?"
Freedom, flow, openness. I want you to step into your magnificence.
I want you to have all you want,
to stop holding back,
to stop playing small.
"Bhairavi, what do you want for me?" I asked again.
I want love, passion, and pleasure for you.
An abundance of peace, ease, and joy,
As well as rage, sorrow, and wild storms.
Bhairavi, what do you want for me?
I want you to hold yourself in the highest regard and treat yourself like the queen that you are.
I want you to drop the veils of separation and illusion.
I want you to be fierce in your pursuit of Truth and in telling it like it is, no holds barred.
Bhairavi, what do you want for me?
I want you to stop with the nonsense, the distractions, the time sucks and energy drains.
I want your focus laser sharp; you have important work to do.
I want your energy clean and strong.
I want you to trust yourself, especially when it comes to walking away.
Bhairavi, what do you want for me?
I want an end to anything that's stopping you.
I want you to fly.
I want you to roar.
I want you to remember, and do, what you came here for.
As I went through my day, I felt a sense of strength and this fiery energy within me. A few things happened that pissed me off or threatened to stress me out, but I kept my cool as this fire burned inside. I knew the right path, the right words and actions to take. I also continued asking for what I want and even landed myself a new meditation teaching gig! All in all, today was a pretty amazing day. Thank you, Bhairavi, for wanting what you want for me.
My conversation with Bhairavi this morning set the stage for tonight's self-inquiry and Sankalpa Shakti activation. But it's late. And I'm tired. So perhaps more on Sankalpa another time....
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a.... drum roll, please: housewife.
I wanted to be a housewife. I also wanted to be Madonna, or like Madonna; I wanted to dance and sing and wear short skirts and lace. And then I wanted to be a soap opera actress and then a sitcom or movie actress, maybe a director, and then a writer-- books and screenplays. As I got a little older, pre-teens, I thought about becoming an herbalist, or a witch. And in high school and college, it was back to wanting to be a writer and perhaps a psychologist, or music video editor. I also had some dreams of one day learning CranioSacral Therapy and studying nutrition with Paul Pitchford. And then I ended up married and in law school, before dropping out and getting divorced of course.
But I never stopped also wanting to be a housewife. Until my divorce, and then I started to question it all.
Who am I? What am I doing? Do I even want to be a mom? And then for several years I focused on getting to know myself, learning how to be happy on my own, building a career, traveling the world, etcetera etcetera. I gave up this vision of being married with children until a few years ago, when I met a sweet little angel who touched my heart and brought that dream back to life. She helped me realize I do want to be a mom, even if "just" a step mom. And that leads to what came up today.
And what came up today was this question: What do you wanna be when you grow up? It was meant to be an innocent, playful, light-hearted question. A joke even. A question I asked the new man in my life this afternoon. But when he turned it back to me, I felt thrown off by the very first thing that popped into my head. I even felt a little embarrassed or afraid to say it out loud.
I laughed before saying it, and then provided a disclaimer that it must be the little girl in me who was saying this, since I grew up seeing my mom model this stay-at-home-to-take-care-of-the-kids-and-house-and-dog-and-husband (not neccesarily in that order) type of life. But why? Why did I feel the need to "blame it" on my inner child?
Partially because it's true; I saw my mom living a lifestyle and having these roles that appealed to me. But also because of fear. The fear of it being a turn off. Aren't men turned off by women who say things like that? The fear of it not happening. The fear of it just sounding like "not enough--" I mean aren't I this independent, empowered, entrepreneur woman? Shouldn't my response be something more like, "I already am grown up," or "I'm already doing it," or "When I grow up, I wanna be a successfully published author who coaches her readers and students and also leads women's empowerment and Sheng Zhen retreats and classes, and that's right where I'm headed!"?? Hmmm....
So I said it. Sheepishly instead of boldly. I said the h-word and then went on babbling about other things I envisioned for my future, almost as if to cover up or make ok what I'd just revealed. I suppose I forgot that who I am and what I want is inherently ok regardless of what anyone, including myself, thinks. I forgot that I really, deeply, truly want this man to see and know the real me. And I suppose I forgot that answers to questions like this are complex, that it's not so black or white, not so either/or; I can want it all and have it all as both a housewife and an "independent, empowered, entrepreneur," but I also don't have to want it all. I can also change my mind.
And as I drove home, I realized that none of my ramblings about the future even specified any of the things that I'm currently doing-- like being a writer or a teacher or a coach. Oops! ;) But I decided not to read into that. Instead I decided I'd just need to ponder this question a little bit more. And perhaps even more importantly, I needed to ponder those fears, especially that first aspect of my fear, that fear of my honesty turning someone off, especially someone I like. So I took all of that with me into a Rebirthing (breathwork) session, and here's what came out:
When I grow up, I just wanna be me. And discovering what that means more and more, what that looks like, is part of the journey, part of what I'm here to re-member and step in to more fully. When I grow up, I want to feel happy and free and spend lots of fun times with loved ones who accept me and love me as I am. I want to spend lots of time out in nature. I want a life full of laughter and a life that has made a difference in other people's lives. That sounds a lot like how my life is now. But when I grow up, I wanna be even more fully me than I am today. What does that mean? That means I want to keep growing and that despite how far I've come, despite how confident and authentic and in alignment I am at times, and all the self-knowledge I already possess, I'm also well aware that there are still fears and doubts and old patterns holding me back, getting in my way, clouding my vision and affecting my behavior. And so when I grow up, I wanna be as crystal clear and truly me as I can possibly be. And from there, from that place of presence, authenticity, and alignment, everything will fall into place.
So, my dear reader, here are some questions for you:
What do you wanna be when you grow up? ;)
Where is fear, rather than Love, running the show?
What's one step you can take this week to feel more aligned with your Truth?
For years I've felt like what I could best describe as "a woman on the verge." So close, but not quite there.
On the verge of what though? Not quite where?
I don't know.
Or do I?
On the verge of take off, of full expression, of fully stepping into myself as a woman, as well as into my passion and purpose. And now, that's what I'm doing. It's a process though. So I still sometimes feel that anticipation and anxiety, and impatience, of being just on the verge...
So yesterday, during an Akashic records consultation, when I asked why I've been feeling so abnormally tired lately, what I was told didn't surprise me.
I won't share all that was said, but the most striking thing was that it's because I'm right in the middle of a take off, like an airplane taking off. Ah, yes. As soon as I heard those words, I heard those other words: woman on the verge.
And then something was said about how for a while I may have been feeling sort of wobbly, or shakey, or ungrounded. Yes. "You know the feeling of how during takeoff it just feels intense. You're very aware of every emotion. And theoretically, takeoff is probably the most dangerous part of a flight. It's a time when everyone and everything is adjusting to this new, higher way of being."
Yes; that made sense too. And it all goes along with "feeling on the verge."
The verge is an edge or a border, and in addition to pushing my edges over the past several years, I've often had this feeling, this image, of standing on the edge of a cliff. Not to jump off to my death, but to take off in flight.
The thing is, to fly, something has to die. Many somethings have had to die over the years to lighten my load so that I could take flight. And in some ways I could see how metaphorically jumping off of that cliff, down into an abyss, is the only step left to take. So maybe this image of standing on the cliff actually is an invitation to jump and fall. It's time to kill off and release anything still holding me back or weighing me down.
No more excuses. No more distractions.
It's time to leap.
It's time to fly.
Rebecca Clio Gould is a Certified Sheng Zhen Teacher and Holistic Wellness Coach. Her specialties include self-love, embodied joy, women's sexuality, spirituality, surgery preparation, and trauma recovery. She is also a Supreme Science Qigong Instructor, Essence vs Form Coach, and Award-winning Author of "The Multi-Orgasmic Diet: Embrace Your Sexual Energy and Awaken Your Senses for a Healthier, Happier, Sexier You."