Yes, think of the perfect storm, but with a little something more- the quality of delight. The perfect storm is a storm in which all the circumstances come together just right for a full on, beat down of the elements. A whirlwind of energy both chaotic and ripe. In a small Midwestern town it would be the tornado that rips through, whisking the ground into the air, dismantling the presiding layout forever. On the surface this is a tragedy, as it leads to the destruction of what was– but a storm is a valiant display of life’s vigor, and as this is expressed we are drawn to experience the same ecstatic joy that resides in our depth.
I’ve just made it through the first 4 weeks of motherhood. I can honestly and confidently say that these weeks were pretty rough. And yet I’ve hesitated to say that out loud because I know that it will almost always be misunderstood, disregarded and thrown onto a heap of negativity. Just like when I say that labor was hard. In dualistic thinking this happens automatically because if it’s not good, it must be some sort of bad. But as I cultivate an understanding of my life through the lens of the Yogic wisdom this is not the case at all– it’s not one or the other– it’s simultaneously both. In other words, labor was hard, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
The archetype of the Goddess Kali teaches the lesson of the storm: Kali represents the destroyer, this fierce Goddess wears a garland of skulls and a skirt of dismembered arms. She does not hesitate to take down what we’ve held onto for too long, what we’ve started to become identified with– but she does so to make space for the next experience. Her uncompromising actions lead to needed transitions, from the old to the new, and as passing reality crumbles, her true purpose is to lead us from thinking we know ‘what is’ into touching what underlies everything- the truth and bliss that are at the essence of all things.
This has been extremely apparent in the first weeks with my son- I’m deeply moved by the process of bonding, experiencing extreme love in the unfolding of this relationship between mother and child, but at the same time I’m also terror stricken, realizing how much I am leaving behind as I lose the freedom of being untethered. I’m equally embracing the awesome power of the mother within me while also coming to terms with the physical exhaustion of caring for one so small.
This juxtaposition would be confusing, overwhelming, potentially debilitating for me if I didn’t have the support of my yoga practice. What am I supposed to feel? I’m supposed to feel it all! To be in grief as well as to be in total joy is the state of conscious transition. I’ve stepped across a threshold, there is no going back. So I’m the first to admit that staying in such an expanded state during a life changing transition is easy to talk about and yet it so easily slips out of our reach when we are in the midst of being weathered upon. And let’s not forget that this transition in particular is one I welcome whole-heartedly, many times Kali arrives without invitation (but as her name means time, we can be sure that she is always on point…) It requires steady engagement with the practices to stay connected to our own deep wisdom so that we can recognize and taste the ingredient of delight each time we meet the storms 0f change.
A PS. I just so happen to be offering a course for anyone who is interested in cultivating the Yoga practices for themselves, to have their support in staying connected. Details are here!
Scholarships are available! Email me, Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions or to obtain the scholarship application.