Follow along with Roger Gabriel, Chopra's Chief Meditation Officer, in this new article series on the Vedic Yugas.
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.
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!
We’re living in a time that is reflective of imbalance at every level, whether it be in physical and tangible space, or reflected in the depths of energies within us. What the Western world has created is a society that favors specific qualities, often related to masculine energy, and shies away from other qualities, related to feminine energy. This carries out into our personal lives, in our relationships, actions, and interactions, and can also be seen on a much larger scale. The Western world has defined narrow lanes of existence, for all of us to participate in, through the lens of imagined binaries.
In this human experience, it can be easy to get caught in a world of binary 'truths', a world where two opposing forces or qualities exist with little to no room in between or outside of. We interpret these two sides to be unwavering qualities of opposition on a linear spectrum. With certain limitations in our ability to understand, this way of interpreting the world makes a lot of sense.
Everything grows in one way or another. Growth is the development or change we see in the physical universe around us. While growth is happening constantly, spring is when we usually notice it more in nature. The growth that had been resting and dormant during winter, suddenly bursts forth, as if it’s trying to make up for lost time. Some things grow and regenerate quickly like the plants which flower and seed, ready to return the next year. Others, like trees, grow more slowly, often taking many years to reach their maturity.
In today’s world, everything that we have ever known has changed.
The change of season, whether you’re moving from winter to spring or summer into autumn, is always a good time to reassess your life and clear out what no longer serves, making way for new exciting opportunities to enter. This can be done on all levels, physical, mental, and spiritual.