My Inner KaliWritten by Administrator
I was reading one of my favorite authors from Yoga Journal- Sally Kempton, who recommended doing a Kali exercise called Talk to the Inner Goddess. The exercise was aimed at helping us when we are, “putting our wishbone where our backbone should be” so to speak. I have always struggled in my relationships with finding balance with being overly sentimental and compassionate, and between being truthful and genuine with myself and others, especially when I’m feeling hurt. I find I usually swing, sometimes rather wildly, from one polarity to the other, and this was causing me a lot of repeated pain and confusion. Not to mention the pain and confusion I inflicted on others as well. So, one day I sat on my bed and gave the Kali exercise a whirl. Let me preface this by saying it is purposely, and may I say wisely designed to get you out of your left brain and into your emotions. So don’t let the word “exercise” fool you.
I sat and summoned my inner Kali while picturing her fierce strength and wisdom, and asked her, “Who are you? “What do you want to express?” and “What is Kali saying to you?” The full explanation of the exercise can be found in Yoga Journal.com. With my dominant hand I wrote my questions to Kali, listening patiently for her answers to come. As the answers came I wrote them down with my left hand (less dominant hand). Seeing my stream of consciousness in my childlike scribbling immediately brought a surge of emotion and compassion for the little girl pouring over her pleas. I felt stunned, taking my time before moving forward. My next question was, “Who are you?” My responses came easily, and I was surprised how many positive attributes I was able to list, but the one that stood out the most was the same answer that has been my fiercest friend and foe; “I try really, really hard.” The next question and answer followed almost organically, “What do you want to express?” Kali’s responses betrayed this tough minded, egoic yogini, and with embarrassment I took in her insight: “I want to be able to feel and want without feeling guilty or unspiritual, as though I need to refine my emotions in order to process out all the impurities. When I feel taken for granted, I want to ask for love and attention and not feel ashamed of my fear, anger or loving feelings.” Sometimes I want to be able to just scream, “How could you?” I still cry when I read this, and sometimes I have to remind myself not to discard that piece of paper, rather save it as a reminder to love myself gently, and with all my heart.
As instructed I wrote the last question with my dominant hand, “What is Kali saying to me?” A strong, maternal voice quietly and gently replied, “Stop settling for less than you deserve. There’s so much more out there for you Lori. Embrace your feelings and empower yourself with them. Stop wasting your precious love and energy on people who can’t give you this in return, and take care of yourself instead. Watch what will come back to you in return my beautiful child.” Tears once again streaming down my face, I pictured myself saying these exact things to my daughter, and I realized that this is the universal, defining connection I believe we all yearn to have with all human-beings. I wept with the realization that just as I’ve imparted this advice whole heartedly to my daughter, loved ones and clients, I have not considered myself to be as equally worthy of this gift.
I wish I could tell you my life was changed instantly with endless self-love, but it wasn’t. The balance between compassion and understanding for others, and compassion for my own emotions is still wobbly at times. However, this exercise was a tremendous epiphany on an alarmingly visceral level that continues to remind me to love and listen to my heart, and to continue to feel my way through life. There are more loving and gentle moments now where I surrender my “little engine that could” to the Kali inside.Last Updated on February 11 2012