As the days grow hotter and the world looks to put itself back together again, finding the space and time to catch our breath has become one of the more daunting tasks. Much like Humpty Dumpty, who apparently had a great fall, according to our storybook time, so too do we look to renew and reclaim a sense of security and joy for life. As we each put the pieces of who believed ourselves to be in 2020 into a new way of moving forward in 2021, we find ourselves navigating life with a deeper awareness of our soft and cracked spaces that still feels all too raw.
This year the arrival of summer coincides with the perfect time to expand your life. A difficult year has created problems that have gained publicity like increased anxiety and depression. But at a deeper level, even noticing no symptoms, almost everyone has experienced contracted awareness. When awareness contracts, you are less optimistic, see fewer opportunities, and fear that normal life has grown risky.
In yoga, we learn this sacred practice is a practice toward the liberation of mind, body, and spirit. We learn that true liberation arises from the unification and embodiment of our true nature, the Self that exists beyond space and time, eternally connected to Divine Source Consciousness. And yet, as powerful as the practice of yoga may be, many of us can still feel restricted, unsafe, and many other things that do not quantify a sense of freedom.
Every month, Roger Gabriel, Chopra’s Chief Meditation Officer, will be answering questions from our followers. If you have a general question for him around meditation and spiritual practices, please send an email to email@example.com, and your question may be one he answers next month.
Our world can be a divisive and polarizing place. Recent times have been a testament to this as we have collectively witnessed what feels like an ever-growing rift in our society. Disparities in race, gender, sexual identity, economic status, and ideology are like open wounds that have been unable to heal.
I recognized at a young age that when I expressed myself in ways that were seen as ‘different’ it wasn’t received well. As a trans kid in this world, you learn pretty early on what folks around you believe to be right and what they believe to be wrong. Because difference in the Western world is often used as a substitute for wrong, I knew that to survive I’d have to hide parts of myself away. This experience, unfortunately, is not exclusive to me. There have been moments in all of our lives where we’ve sacrificed pieces of who we are for fear of being seen as different or ‘other.’
Oprah fave and much-loved author Dr. Shefali Tsabary is making a case for revolutionizing the concept of "femininity."
In a world that is constantly telling us who we should be, to hurry up and wait for the manifestation of that narrative, it is no wonder it took a pandemic to slow us down and provide us an invitation to become. It was, and has been, a harsh and yet necessary pause; a diversion in this road of life to bring to our attention what has been wholly out of balance and what is looking to be birthed, nurtured, and manifested in its place.
As we embark upon our personal journey inward we’re often met with the concept of connecting to our inner voice. We all have a unique way of connecting with and expressing our voice and no matter how we get there, we feel it once we arrive. This voice is a calling that transcends what words are capable of, it speaks in the language of our heart.
I grew up in a home where we learned a lot about Hindu mythology. It seemed there were an endless number of gods and goddesses and it was easy to get caught up in a literal interpretation of their stories. In all honesty, it never really resonated with me. In my analytical mind, I never connected to the idea that worshipping a particular form would somehow bring things into my life. And the representations seemed flat and simplistic. Were these actual beings? What did it mean that Saraswati was the goddess of knowledge? And couldn’t I have knowledge without making an offering to her? I didn’t know how this all fit into my life.
"Only when Shiva is united with Shakti does he have the power to create." - Soundarya
My consistent spiritual practice began about six years ago, after I gave birth to my son Genesis. Like so many new moms I was exhausted, but the depletion was more than physiological; my spirit was shot. I needed to do something so I could continue to be a good mother to my children, partner to my husband, and friend to myself. My homegirl Erika suggested a Kundalini yoga and meditation retreat. She explained that kundalini energy rests in the base of your spine, and this practice would help creative, healing Divine Feminine energy rise through my body. Well – okay!