My mind has been quite occupied lately with the subject of love; the idea of love; the structure of love relationships, of all the various aspects and ins and outs and ups and downs of love and loving.
I have also been digging into tantra yoga as introduced and taught to me by an amazing tantric ParaYoga teacher, Katie Silcox. One of the fascinating and appealing aspects of tantra to me is the worship and connection to the Goddess; the Divine Mother.
If you haven’t noticed, yoga philosophy as taught today tends to be a little dude-centered. The asana classes are packed with women, but the leaders, the lineages, the authors – mostly men.
Tantra brought me to study the pantheon of Hindu goddesses (highly recommend Sally Kempton’s book Awakening Shakti).
All the various Goddesses and Gods of Hinduism represent various aspects of the energy that is the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva seem to get a lot more attention; but maybe that’s because there are so very many MORE aspects of the Divine Feminine.
Women are complicated. You knew that, right?
This beautiful study of the Divine Feminine has allowed me to appreciate all the aspects of the Goddess within myself; to realize I can be a warrior like Durga; or terrifyingly fierce like Kali. That I can embody the abundance of Lakshmi; the creativity of Saraswati; the anger of Chhinnamasta; the sensuality of Lalita Tripura Sundarii. And when unsupported, as dry and withered as Dhumavahti.
It has also made me realize this: that it is okay to desire, want and work towards finding my Shiva and uniting with him. That I can be a complex, intelligent, strong, independent woman and want a man in my life.
And not just a man in my life; it’s not hard to find someone to hang out with. But it is hard to find someone to love who loves you in the way you need to be loved and allows you to love them to the best of your capability. To be your friend, companion, playmate, comforter, supporter, lover, helper. Someone to adore who adores you right back. Who cherishes you, nurtures you enough to call you on your stuff and doesn’t run when you call him on his stuff.
All that? That’s hard.
So many of my friends are strong, brilliant, accomplished, amazing and beautiful women. They confide with lowered eyes that they would like to meet someone. Yet there is this feeling that everything should be okay if you are all those things and yet have no beloved in your life.
But it’s true, when you don’t, you miss him (or her in some cases); you are looking for that person who brings you to balance; the Shiva to your Shakti; the Divine Masculine to unite with your Divine Feminine. The sacred union that harmonizes you.
Vickie Iovine has these great books on child rearing, and I remember reading them voraciously when my children were little; seeking advice, help, gosh, anything to help me figure out how to raise these little creatures! And she wrote a lot about getting children to sleep in their own beds – a struggle I had with all three children. She writes in one chapter about putting a child to bed with their stuffed animals and the child complaining that they wanted a “live” thing to sleep with – and she proffered the idea that we all spend our lives looking for the perfect “live” thing to sleep with. She’s got a point.
We want a helper AND to someone to help; a playmate AND co-worker; someone we can tell our successes and secrets. Who we can laugh and cry with. Who sees and nurtures the tender little girl that will always live within us, but who can also see the sensual, sexual adult woman and create a safe space for that passionate force to be embraced, enjoyed and explored.
Kriyananda has said that often the closest we humans will ever get to God consciousness is at the peak of orgasm – because the mind stops. We come together in union; there is no mind grasping, no separateness; in that split-second of vibration you become one with your beloved and everything else falls away. Have you ever had that experience with someone? If you’re not sure, I would suggest that you have not. There are many of us who have spent our time being sexual receptacles and the experience of truly uniting with another never actually occurs,
Shakti craves Shiva; I’m pretty sure Shiva craves Shakti; together they become greater than the sum of their parts; or as Shellji would say “two together strongly are as four against the world.”