Yogic mythology is full of gods and goddesses who teach us valuable lessons and guide us
along our life's journey. Different deities have different qualities, stories, and lessons for those of us who wish to engage.
Kali is a dark goddess, known as the destroyer of the ego and the divine protector. She is said the have arisen during battle from the goddess Durga while she was being attacked by two demons. Kali quickly defeated those demons and others, then she danced on their bodies. She is said to embody Durga's fury. Kali also stands for time: just like time causes all things to change and develop, Kali symbolizes transformation. She is the goddess of destruction, but with that comes new, higher form of life. She teaches that if we give up our attachment to the ego, we will gain liberation.
One of the characteristics of Kali that interests me most is her fury. Like most kids, I was taught to keep my emotions under control, and I've really internalized this over the years. I've been the type to keep my emotions hidden, especially those 'ugly' emotions such as anger and distaste. Of course, this always eventually leads to a blow up where I scream at my spouse for a minor offense or cry in bed for hours for no apparent reason.
As I've grown in my yoga practice and become more comfortable in my own skin, I've started to accept and express these traditionally more taboo emotions. And guess what: my life has gotten so much better! Of course, I'm not spreading anger and hatred across all of Denver. Rather, I'm channeling these emotions towards making positive changes. When my husband 'forgets' to meet me at the car to take up groceries, we have a conversation about it. I'm furious about what is happening in our country right now, so I'm getting involved and fighting for what I believe is right. Sometimes it's the powerful emotions, such as fury, that will spark the fire in you to take action.
To remind myself to be bold, I have a Kali statue at my desk at home. She reminds me that anger is not an ugly emotion - it can be the beautiful transformative energy that causes a shift that needs to happen. So, friends, be furious - let's make that positive change!
I'd love to hear your stories on hiding or showing your fury. Please comment!