Gil and I just returned from a six day kundalini yoga training in the Joshua Tree desert. It was an intense and transformative experience. We were up for practice every morning at 6 am and our day wasn’t finished until 6 pm. Both of us had done some kundalini yoga before the training, but it is quite a different practice than we are used to and much of it was unfamiliar to us. It is always an interesting process when we purposefully place ourselves into the unknown. It has a way of bumping us up against all of our edges and we get to see how we show up in what is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Through the course of this training I was reminded of a story of Shiva…
There’s a group of sages who practice in the Deodar Forest. They have practiced there for hundreds of years. Unbeknownst to the sages, hidden in the trees, Shiva is observing their practice. He notices that they have lost their devotion and practice from a place of rote remembrance rather than true love and inspiration. Shiva wants to shake things up and help them reconnect to the true reason they practice. Now, Shiva is known as the God of destruction so his ways are not always subtle. He bursts into the middle of the sages practice and begins to dance wildly. Deeply disturbed and offended the sages throw all manor of forces at Shiva to get him to leave. Snakes, tigers, fire, even demons don’t stop him. Once Shiva makes himself larger than the demon thrown his way the sages realize who is before them and the error of their ways. They return to their practices with a new understanding and a deeper devotion.
This story is a great reminder that in our practice, and in life, it is all too easy to lose sight of our motivation, to go through the motions, to feel disconnected from the love in our hearts. Sometimes we need someone/something to come in and shake things up a bit, to stir the pot, and create just enough agitation so that we may see ourselves clearly.
I invite you to connect to the places in your life where you may be on auto pilot, going through the motions, or acting from a place of unconscious habit. With a compassionate heart, think about how you might mix it up, try something different, or challenge yourself to move out of a place of comfort.
A great way to do this is to have a morning practice. Start simple and keep it in a timeframe you can manage. A morning practice helps you set the tone for your day. When the day throws you here and there you are more likely to react to it, known as FATE. When you take the time to listen deeply and choose the vibration you want to uphold each day you move into your DESTINY.