Friday, February 3, 2012

Burn It Down.

Stereotypically speaking, there is a drive for stability among women that inspires us to root deep, settle in and give birth to beautiful things...art, gardens, babies, community. Not all the women I've ever met are like this, and I must admit that I used to be baffled by their apparent ungroundedness. Those who know me know that I love cozy nesting and nurturing, and that I am very grounded and steady.

That was until about a year ago. Something happened to me and since then I am repulsed by the mere idea of staying still and growing anything. It feels so fundamentally wrong for me to be tethered to where I am that I have spent the last year resisting any attempts to stay put.

Since this is so contrary to my nature, it's been a disorienting year. I have been extremely confused by and frustrated with my own resistance. I've meditated and prayed for clarity: Where am I supposed to be? What should I be doing?? I have researched  moving to different places, applied for jobs all over the world, and the longer I go without clear purpose and direction, the more crazy I feel.

Enter Kali. Kali is the Goddess of Time and Change, and the consort of Lord Shiva, the Destroyer in the Hindu Trinity. On Monday night towards the end of Rusty's class, we were asked to sit in meditation and open to the Beloved, not to talk but to Listen. In this quiet space, who should appear in my mind's eye but Shiva, followed immediately by a ferociously beautiful Kali. Startled and bemused, I asked Kali what she was there to teach me. She glared and hissed, and with eyes bugging told me that it is not a time to build, it is a time to destroy. It is a time to step into my power with absolute royal courage and radiance. It is time, as Yogiji once told me in meditation, to "stop bullshitting."

Like the song says, there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven. I am reminded of the Bishop pine, whose cones are only able to open and spread its seeds after a forest fire. Sometimes destruction is necessary, even healthy and vital, for continued survival. If you want to grow a gorgeous garden you have to till the soil first. So we begin at the apparent end, with the spark that burns the forest down, with a shovel breaking open the earth. You're creating a rich loam for future seeds by first destroying old structures and patterns. This is the message of Kali: Burn it down, dig it up, work it out, build a better foundation.

Have faith. Everything you tear out or burn up will be replaced, like the inhale that follows the exhale.

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