I am on a life long journey to knowing and mastering myself. This takes immense determination to commit to fully, especially considering I’m not sure you ever “succeed”. It just seems like a on going ride. One that is challenging, confronting, uncomfortable, and downright painful at times. Much easier to avoid this path altogether (cue the distractions, some of my faves are work, Netflix and shopping). But, we can’t hide from our own reflection forever. Turns out you can’t even move thousands of miles away from home to escape it.
To me, the journey to self is a balance of inward focus and conscious relating with others. I’ve enjoyed relating with many cool people on my adventure living abroad so far however I haven’t felt quite as accepted and embraced as I thought I’d be. One of my teachers from my yoga teacher training said to me before I left, “Go out there and spread the light and all your Shakti in Australia”. You see, I’m apparently full of Shakti, or so I’ve been told.
What is Shakti? You may have heard it being spoken of in new age circles or maybe you’ve heard it mentioned in a yoga class. It’s usually referred to as the “divine feminine”. The Sanskrit translation is “to be able”, meaning “power” or “empowerment”, the primordial cosmic energy that represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe.
My guru is also a Jyotish astrologer and when he looked at my chart he said “You have a LOT of Shakti” and then proceeded to give me a Shiva mantra that I use in my daily meditation. My nickname at yoga teacher training was “Shakti Ma”. And most recently, I was rejected for a share house in Melbourne because they thought it’d be “too much Shakti”. Although I think these potential roommates were referring mostly to the amount of feminine energy in the house and that it really wasn’t personal, because of my own insecurities those two words stung nonetheless; too much.
My immediate response is to go through every moment. What did I say that was too much? What did I do that was too much? How can I change so that I will be accepted? I’m witnessing in myself the strong desire to be accepted and approved of by others. I want to change how someone feels about me if its negative and prove my worth to them.
I’ve come to believe this challenge is presenting itself not so that I try to change who I am but so that I learn to be myself, to love, accept, and honor who I am without validation from others. I will always continue to work on balancing the Shiva and Shakti within yet I feel that I must embrace my natural abundance of Shakti. After all, it is why I’ve been able to create and manifest some pretty incredible things in my life.
If I want to be accepted fully for who I am, I must fully accept others for who they are. Sometimes I will get upset when someone doesn’t act a certain way, a way in which I think I would act in a situation, or how I think they should act. That word. It should be removed from the vocabulary! I see now that differences between people’s behaviors aren’t flaws, they’re just differences. If I can drop the expectations and accept people for who they are then there’s little room for hurt feelings, miscommunications, and disappointment. I believe we meet the people we meet in our lives to offer us opportunities to see past our differences and find the unity that lies beyond. I am you, and you are me. Together, we are divine.
I love you all, just as you are.
Elena Rose Davis (Shakti Ma)