Last September, Spirit Voyage, the internet hub of all things Kundalini yoga related, issued a 40 day global sadhana challenge for women: So Purkh. So Purkh is a prayer from the Sikh faith that women say for men (read more about it and listen to it!). It is a great blessing for a man to have a woman say So Purkh for him, and has the benefit for the woman's relationships of healing negativity, encouraging resolution and manifesting true love...among other things. With the support and encouragement of my dear light sister, Siri Shakti Kaur, I bought Nirinjan Kaur's recording and began slowly fumbling my way through the lengthy Gurumukhi prayer.
Because I'm an imperfect human being among other imperfect human beings, I have had a fair amount of hurt written on my heart. Many of those little wounds have been related to relationships with men, and as such, doing So Purkh seemed to be an appropriate choice for me. If I ever wanted to get married, at some point I would have to come to love and trust men who were not gay (no offense, gay men friends- you know I love and value you, but you and I both know we're not getting married). My intentions at first were simple: bless my dad and brother, and gracefully resolve any left over energy from relationships past. I dove into the practice and began dreaming of ex-boyfriends almost nightly, working out old issues and experiencing deep healing and letting go.
Although while doing the challenge I was enraptured with So Purkh, for the next month my practice became irregular. Until! I was once again inspired by the lovely Siri Shakti Kaur when she appeared, like the magic fairy goddess she is, at my family home on Thanksgiving (what a blessing to be thankful for!). That night we practiced together and a curious thing happened: I intended to dedicate the practice to my dad and brother only, but when I went to send the prayer out, the face of a man I had met during my first 40 days of So Purkh appeared and asked to be included. In the following days and weeks, more men cropped up to the point where I was praying for all the men in the world. In this time I have had the incredible opportunity to attend the Level 2 Authentic Relationships course with Dr. Yogi which has also helped me do extensive internal and external work with the men in my life, forming friendships, exposing and healing old wounds and establishing a better relationship with myself...which, it turns out, is pretty important in relating well to others.
In Kundalini yoga, we believe that it takes 40 days to change a habit, 90 days to confirm a habit, 120 days for the new habit to become who you are and 1,000 to master the new habit.
Today is my 90th consecutive day of So Purkh.
Today, as I was waiting to cross the street at Fulton and Masonic, a man came up to me, gave me flowers, told me he wanted me to have a good day and walked away. Later on, when I was trying to get off BART balancing my bags, my flowers and my Papalote leftovers, a man offered to help me, told me I was adorable and wished me a beautiful life. These acts could be attributed to many things, but I like to think that it's because, through my So Purkh practice, I am coming to love, trust and appreciate all men (not just my long adored gay boyfriends). And because I am relating to them in a more gentle manner, men are responding by being very sweet to me. Whatever the case, there is a transformation occurring.
And like all learning, this is a process. In the midst of this growing/glowing new habit, I managed to have a massive communication breakdown with a man, behaving in a totally unconscious and reactive way, falling back on old hurts and habits that I thought were long gone. While I did maintain a respectable amount of grace and composure, I was not as kind as I could've been to him. We all have these little (or major) sore spots that sometimes seem healed over but can take us by surprise when accidentally brushed by another. It was a sharp reminder about how important it is to remain fully conscious at all times while operating this human vehicle- we can do some damage to each other if we don't! And the last thing I want to do is wound men, who carry far more hurt than they let on and they don't even get to discuss it at length with their BFFs. I want to prayerfully provide nurture to all the men who are, as Thoreau put it, "lead(ing) lives of quiet desperation."
And so I chant So Purkh. Every day. For any man who asks and sometimes for men who haven't. I am cultivating a long absent adoration of the masculine, which, I'm learning, has so many excellent qualities and so much to offer. Interestingly enough, learning to love men has helped me integrate the masculine in me, making me the Lover and the Beloved- increasingly content and complete within myself. Isn't it convenient when giving the blessing also blesses the blesser?
Here's to 90 days of reverent commitment...to 120...to 1,000!
Man or woman, I remain holding you in your highest light.
((here's a beautiful So Purkh testimonial))