As we move into autumn and the shortening and darkening of the days, the shadow themes have still very much been circling in and asking for attention. Where previously this might have brought unease, I’ve been consciously shifting my perspective to see what might happen if I embrace the shadow aspects before they become catastrophic. You know the point at which that happens? Usually when you are so stubbornly forging ahead, either not willing to let go of something or being reluctant to embrace the change you know you really need, that the only way to bring you back to your true course is to smash you to pieces to get you to pay attention. Ouch. I have been pretty familiar with this in the past.
So this time, as I have felt Kali get close to me, I have instead reached out to her lovingly and invited her in. Every day, I have been chanting and praying to her, the Goddess of Transformation, of Death, Destruction – and Liberation. I have willingly, daily, invited her to weave her magic of surrender and release, to reveal the truth and the essence of what really matters. At a time when everything is flowing beautifully, rather than waiting until everything has gone to pieces. As we embrace Kali, we invite ourselves to strip away whatever no longer serves us. It’s a daring move, as it often means surrendering things we love or are attached to. And it’s one of the most powerful practices I have ever done.
What I’ve come to realise through this practice is that I’ve been holding back for a long time from offering my deeper experiences of yoga, meditation, ‘spiritual practice’ – from fear that people might think it’s whacky, hippie or inauthentic. I was judged quite hard as a teenager for this, and well, it sticks. So in the end what I have been offering is in some ways what feels to me a fairly ‘kosher’ practice of yoga. But what I realised recently is that I have been holding back from sharing what have been some of my own most profound and transformative experiences. And many of these sit in the realm of the ‘mystical’.
So my daring is to offer what is closest to my heart, to not hold back. After all, yoga isn’t really about alignment and inversions. Yoga is about the deepest inquiry into life, the greatest bravery of the soul, the passionate unbridled revealing of the heart. This is what I want to share, because this is what I think is really important. It doesn’t mean that the functional and structural bits will be thrown out, but they’ll just be put into perspective.
In honour of Kali:
Aum aim hrim klim chamundaye viche swaha
May the bonds of ignorance and ego be severed, may we rejoice in transformation, wisdom and truth.
If this calls to you, I would love to explore together this passion for life, mystery, truth and bravery. It’s the theme of my Bali winter retreat “Radical Freedom” (1-6 August – early bird ends 30 April), and it’s what we will explore in my upcoming workshops in May and June.
Ahhh …. different experiences/learnings and evolement … though so so true … such a blessing Mei Lai to encounter you .. your wisdom and joy, thankyou xx
<3 This has touched me deeply Mai Lai.. x
Am thankful to hear your of your daring to offer what is closest to you heart. I was drawn to you because I felt this in you. Kali practice to me is completely inspired and profound. Reading this my Soul sat up for attention. THIS. Thankyou beautiful one x
Thank you so much Tjinta, what a beautiful message to receive from such a beautiful soul! Sending much love and gratitude x
Dear beautiful Mei Lai ❤️ When I met you in Paros last year, I saw a powerful women sharing from her heart – you inspired me so much with your way of being, the songs you sang and your presence in the shala.
I saw this post a long time ago and for some reason I saved the link to read later, and later was today. I’ve been struggling with sort of the same situation- feeling like an outsider in the modern yoga world, afraid to fully step into my power and offer what is true to me. Thinking there’s something wrong with me for not wanting be all colorful leggings and complicated asanas 😉 Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But I feel I have so much more to offer and that beneath the surface there’s a mystical and truly life changing practice I long to share with whom ever cross my path – but just thinking about it makes me feel exposed and vulnerable, and at the same time raw and very real. At my side we are now entering the darker seasons – autumn equinox in a few weeks. So that’s why I saved the link! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! It is time to embrace Kali 💫 I even bought a bicycle a few weeks ago with the name Cali printed on the side – she’s coming to me in so many different forms. Blessings on you journey, and again thank you for your honest sharing ❤️
Ah, thank you so much Linda, so beautiful to receive your sharing – yes feeling so grateful to be on this journey into greater truth, and not being afraid to express 🙂 It’s so good to hear your similar journey, and to know that we can speak our truths and support one another to shine more fully as exactly who we are, no apologies!! Sending great love, keep shining and being the beautiful mystical being you are! <3