I’m a week back from #Bali where while there this time I had numerous teachers and seers ask me about my dedication to #Saraswati. In many conversations I was encouraged to invoke her as learning is the root of all dharma. And so I bought a #mala where I’ve only meditated to her.
And what I ask myself is “what did I learn that I can apply right now.”
The literal meaning of the name Saraswati is the one who gives the essential knowledge (Sara) of our own Self (Sva). The goddess Saraswati is also considered the Goddess of #Learning, or of education, intelligence, and the arts. As she is the consort of Brahma, who is considered the source of all knowledge, Saraswati is knowledge itself. Thus, many students or even scholars may worship her for her blessings.
She is often depicted sitting on a #lotus, which symbolizes that she is founded in the experience of the Absolute Truth. Thus, she not only has the knowledge but also the experience of the Highest Reality. She holds in her four hands a vina instrument, a mala (prayer beads) in the right hand, and a pustaka (book) in the left, which represents the knowledge of all sciences.
Holding the book in one hand also indicates that this knowledge alone can bring us to the Truth. The vina shows the beauty of learning the fine arts. Playing her vina, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge, and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. The prayer beads represent all spiritual sciences, like meditation and japa (chanting holy names), and, being held in the right hand, that it is more important than the secular knowledge contained in the book in her left hand. Her four arms represent her unrestricted power in the four directions. She also represents creativity, or the combination of power and intelligence, the basis of creativity.
Her name literally means the one who flows, which can be applied to thoughts, words, or the flow of a river.
She is also occasionally shown with five faces and eight hands, representing her additional powers. Other objects that she may hold include the pasha (noose), ankusha (goad), chakra (disc), padma (lotus), trishula (trident), and shankha (conch). Sometimes she is also seen riding on a swan, the carrier of her spouse, Brahma. At other times she is seen riding on a peacock or sitting with one nearby. The peacock represents the worldly beauty, which can distract the spiritual aspirant. The swan signifies the acquisition of wisdom and knowledge because of its ability to separate milk from water when eating, and thus acquire only the milk.
Saraswati is also the shakti or power and consort of Brahma, the secondary creator of the universe. Thus, she is also considered a #motheroftheuniverse. In this way, she is also connected with fertility.
Do You Choose Happiness or Truth?
In yogic terms Truth, known as Satya, can be defined on three levels: (1) that we speak the truth about what we think, (2) what we feel and (3) what we do. When we feel out of alignment, it is usually where there is a conflict between what we think and what we feel. When we aren’t honest we feel unsteady, anxious, and uprooted—everything that happiness is not.
In the Yoga Sutras Chapter 2.36, it is presented that if we are “dedicated to the truth and integrity, our thoughts, words and actions gain the power to manifest.” (Translation from Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi).
Truth is the destination, and happiness is the way to travel to get there.
The Yoga Sutras spell out that if we are not balanced mentally, physically, or emotionally, then we are not living our true, naturally happy potential.
Happiness is our birthright. Yoga teaches us that our true .
Why Do You Hate Me?
By Silvia Mordini
Why does *He hate me? Why do you?
And why do you hate my friends and family too?
The Truth is…
I was not brave.
I didn’t do enough.
I don’t value my vagina or olive skin enough to stand up and be bigger.
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
I totally underestimated how much America hates women, people of color, LGBTQ and disabled people. And I totally didn’t realize that women are as sexist as anyone. I am behind the times in recognizing the monster of internalized sexism amongst “smart” women.
I am inspired to do more by Hillary Clinton whose words below stay with me, “I want everyone to come out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward.
I have had successes and I’ve setbacks.
Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.
For all the women who put their faith in me, nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.
I know we still haven’t shattered that glass ceiling but someday someone will sooner than what we think right now.
To all the little girls, never doubt that you are powerful and deserving of every chance to pursue your own dreams.”
These mantras are summarized from Judith Lasatar’s book Living Your Yoga. This has been a long time favorite of mine so much so we use it as part of my RYT200 AlchemyYoga Teacher Training. I refer to these time and time again.
I have faith in myself
I have courage to act from my heart and compassion to stay open
I am willing to make hard decisions with a soft heart
I have faith in my willingness to have faith
The truth is we have to work at our happiness, have faith, and trust in the process without knowing the outcome in advance. To be faithful requires the courage to live in and maintain faith through the inevitable ups and downs of our life journey.
It’s easy to stay faithful when everything is going well and as expected, but the real test of faith happens when life gets challenging. In the event that your partner becomes ill, depressed, or suffers a job loss, can you keep your faith strong and remain trustworthy while facing problems?
When it comes to our jobs, it’s easy to maintain loyalty during career highs, but when times get lean or the economy turns are you able to stay the course and support the team? How about your commitment to health and wellness; are you able to stay faithful to your diet when the scale shows no visible result? Can you keep your promise to yourself without succumbing to the lure of a short-term fix?
Being faithful in a romantic relationship implies that you find each other to be trustworthy. It carries a promise that you’ll always be there, and through your faith in one another will build a sanctuary of togetherness. I don’t recall my exact age when I first heard the vows, “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health,” but they were imprinted on my young brain. Even then, this public act of faith had a huge impact on me. This promise between two adults created a sanctuary of trust and dependability no matter the ailments or misfortunes of life.
My parents were married until death interrupted them. My father passed away suddenly when he was only 59 years old during a routine checkup. My mother has been my faithfulness role model, as she kept her promise to my father until his sudden and tragic death. Looking back, I realize how difficult it was for her to stay steadfast in her commitment to being our mother first, to my brother and me during this trying period, instead of a widow. In my romantic life, I believe that I will find a partner who holds such conscious integrity that he will remain honorable as a friend and lover throughout my life journey, much like my parents.
Active faith starts with keeping our commitment to loving ourselves by having a healthy diet, promoting good self-care, and talking to ourselves in a positive inner dialogue.
One of the main virtues that my spiritual practice of yoga and meditation has taught me is perseverance. This virtue of sticking to it and not giving up on a pose when it gets tough has served me in all other aspects of my life, since the difficult poses come aplenty. I can think of more than a handful of friends who are currently facing a serious illness, loss of financial stability, or emotional pain and am inspired by their courage to keep their faith strong.
Whether it’s a romantic relationship, your job, how you look after yourself, or your diet, remember to keep true to your promise when the going gets tough. It will inevitably feel impossible from time to time but you must believe, trust, and stay faithful.
Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
Why Fake Your Practice and Yoga Teaching?
In school, you can try to fake knowing more than you do but when it comes time for the test the truth comes out by way of your grade. In bed you can try to fake feeling more than you do, even orgasm, but when it comes down to it you’re only fooling yourself if you think your partner can’t tell. In teaching yoga, you can show up, pretending to be “ultra spiritual” a la JP Sears and act the part of a yoga teacher, even faking happiness and serenity, but eventually one of two things will happen to you:
You’ll fall apart or give up from the exhaustion of pretending Your students will call you out as being a Poser.
You can’t keep faking you have your shit together if you really don’t and aren’t even trying to discern what is real or not. Yoga is like truth serum and it will make you .
6. I realized I am the hero and heroine of my own life story.
-I’m playing the lead role in this masterpiece about my life.
-I quit acting as if I’m the understudy.
-I quit letting myself be disempowered in how I write my own script.
-I practice the mantra: I make my life and no one else makes it for me.
Loyalty is key for me. I wasn’t surprised when I got this word. It serves as a great reminder to revisit what this means, especially as I experienced such profound disloyalty from so many this past year.
What is loyalty? Is it a virtue?Is it value based? Is it practical or sentimental? Is it faithfulness? A moral obligation? A promise? Is it unselfish? Is it earned or is it given unconditionally? Does it require an oath? Is it inclusionary?
What is disloyalty? Is it spiritual treason? Does this look like infidelity? Can one be honorable and disloyal? Is this selfish?
What relationship does Trust have with Loyalty?
And HOW does one practice loyalty?
For further contemplation: Loyalty is defined as “anything to which one’s heart can become attached or devoted” may also become an object of loyalty—principles, causes, brands, ideas, ideals, and ideologies (Konvitz, 108). Royce himself argued that loyalty is the “willing and practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause” (Royce, 1908, 16–17). In response, those who personalize the objects of loyalty point out that we have equally available to us the language of commitment or devotion and, in the case of what is spoken of as “loyalty to one’s principles,” we have the language of integrity.
Konvitz, Milton, 1973, “Loyalty,” in Philip P. Wiener (ed), Encyclopedia of the History of Ideas, New York: Scribner’s, Vol. III, pp. 108–16.
Royce, Josiah, 1908, The Philosophy of Loyalty, New York: Macmillan.
I am not only made of love and light.
As much as I wish the fairytale of riding in on a magical unicorn to exist, it’s only partly true.
I am a diamond, created in part in the darkness by extreme pressure and cruelty.
Today’s lightness of being came at a cost. “No mud, no lotus*” couldn’t be more the reality.
Yesterday, January 1, 2015, a year ago today, I opened my home and heart to friends who would then go on to lie to me, cheat on me, cheat me, betray me, steal from me. It took all of that to realize they are NOT my tribe. Spiritual bypassing had me in this constant undiscerning state of forgiving thereby allowing more hurt to occur. And one thing is for certain, hurt people – hurt people.
So this year I spent yesterday, January 1, 2016 in the home of my Mama. The energy of MA, of nurturance, support, safety, loyalty, honesty. She is my protectress the original Kali that gave birth to me in this human form, the ultimate mother warrior and space holder. She is all of the goddesses put together. And she is fierce, and loving combined together.
Hear this: Just because I’m spiritual doesn’t mean you can use me or abuse me.
I will no longer tolerate black magic. If you are addicted to your darkness I cannot help you. I will separate myself from you physically, energetically, emotionally in this and any next life. I value my Spiritual Happiness over yours and in order to do good in this world I have to keep myself strong.
I love myself first.
This is my space.
Then if you have even a 1% desire to step into the light of love I will do all I can to help you heal. It is my dharma.
Love has boundaries. I am clear on mine.
Are your Love Boundaries clear too? If not, use my life as a warning, short cut the pressure of pain.
You are already a diamond, life doesn’t require you to stay in the dark.
The fairytale is partly true. If you set clear your intention for what your tribe looks like and how they treat you they will be easier to find. Accept no limitations. No pretenders or posers need apply to your life. And above all, stop apologizing for your high standards.
Make sure the unicorn you’re riding is going in the direction of high integrity people. Or better yet, they are along side you enjoying the ride.
How to Set Love Boundaries:
– Be in right relationship with yourself
– Stay committed to your most radiant mental, physical and emotional health
– Do the practices that keep you spiritually connected to source
– Create mutually positive relationships.
*Check in with your inner child. How does this person make the child within you feel?
*Check in with your highest self. Is this person intimidated by your greatness & light?
*Trust any voice, gut feel or spider sense that says I’m in danger. (Danger signs include does this person exhibit jealousy, social comparison, apathy, passive aggression?)
*Grow up and learn to confidently divorce, edit out those that don’t raise your vibration.
*Respect yourself and demand loyalty, honesty and generosity.
– Learn to be comfortable with being alone.
– Stay true to your svadharma it will keep you energized.
– Know what your key values are and how to live by them
– Commit to a Kindness Campaign towards yourself. Let it last forever.
– Stay in your integrity by writing a “promise” letter to yourself to know what this means to you.
Do not remain complacent or make excuses for others behavior. They are responsible for themselves as you are for yourself. There are after all enough magical unicorns to go around.
Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
*Thich Nhat Hanh author, “No mud, no lotus.”
I have asked for help more than most people. I’ve had to as a result of tragic circumstances in my life because of crisis situations. Receiving help doesn’t come easy for me. Here’s where I say “I’m a natural giver blah, blah, blah.” That’s BS. The truth is that for many years I simply didn’t believe I deserved your support. That combined with my distaste for the “damsel in distress” co-dependent, neediness persona that can infiltrate women’s lives made it harder for me to ask for help in the first place. It disempowers women and disempowers me by association. However, there is a way to ask for help in an empowered way. This much I know:
- Asking for help is necessary to live a productive life with less struggle and strife.
- Receiving support is healthy during a crisis and should be part of our regular life too.
- It is possible to remain confident while also being strong in vulnerability.
Asking for help doesn’t have to feel like you’re drowning or waiting for a knight in shining armor to save you. You can save yourself and the means to do that is to communicate clearly how you want to receive resources and support.
To all those who struggle with being vulnerable, ask for help. To those who have shared your stories with me over the decades, and especially to the beautiful woman who spoke to me recently of the shame she carries about her miscarriage and abusive relationship, I applaud your courage. After sharing a struggle, I often share some of my own, and then I tell how I asked for help. Hearing how I have asked for help changes things. People walk away feeling empowered to ask for help from friends and family to help get through a difficult time.
Asking for help is the quickest way to healing. Those who think they don’t deserve help create a more insidious leak of energy that feeds indecisiveness and limitation. This looks like self-doubt, and feels like an unfocused, foggy mind. It manifests as being overwhelmed and shuts us down even more to neighbors and friends.
Today, ask others to help you instead of trying to do it all yourself. Stop pretending to be superhuman.