View Shakti's recently published work: "The Face of God: Musings of a New Mother," in Evolving God-Images edited by Dr. Patrick Mahaffey.
This collection of reflective essays explores spirituality and its changing relationship to culture, individual identity, and society in our increasingly globalized, postmodern world.
"As a yoga teacher and new mother, Rachel Shakti Redding muses on the mystery of the existence embodied by her daughter. The birth of her child, she tells us, deepened her contemplative sensibility and experience of love."
~Dr. Patrick Mahaffey
photo: Third Eye Visionaries
The current challenge is to simply be truly Alive.
What is Aliveness?
Being Authentically Human.
—Not a normative human.
—Not an idealized human.
...but a radically authentic human,
deeply connecting the experience of BE-ing ,
through brokenness, wholeness, suffering and joy,
and through it all,
or never at all,
truly realizing one's Inner Power.
photo: D'Antonio photography
So, I am deep in the research and weaving ideas for school when my mind demands a break. Generally, my favorite diversions include an outdoor excursion and/or playtime with my kid. But Marley is gone and it happens to be raining (or is that snow?). So instead of stretching into a second yoga asana practice for the day (or eating a second breakfast), I decide to watch the latest episode of Once Upon A Time. Sometimes a good movie or television can inspire the flow of creative nectar.
The season finale is premised with time-travel. Our heroine, Emma Swan, gets pulled into a portal to the past and must find her way back home. It isn't long, of course, before Swan's actions trip a chain of events that radically effect her future. Dun...dun...duuuuuun!
Yesterday marked two years since my mama had a stroke
with her subsequent cancer diagnosis and prognosis to live three months to a year.
Tomorrow is Mother's Day.
Today, I celebrate my mom's resiliency and spiritual strength. After traveling 20 hours and 1300 miles to visit her last week, I feel blessed to live so close. After all, we are still on the same planet.
In fact, I am celebrating an official shift of awareness from thinking of my mom as "dying from cancer," to honoring her for "living in gratitude." She is an inspiration. Emerging into the light, I find her already there—grateful, joy-filled and unconditionally loving.
But...Sadness is certainly among the emotional sediment found in the cave of the heart, along with faith and hope. To prepare my heart-mind for loss, I had to rest in the darkness for awhile. I had to spend some time with the notion that my mom is "dying from cancer."
Do you remember Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
Who doesn't, right!?—Matthew Broderick as that lovable smart-alec who plays hooky from school and ends up crashing some parade. He cons his way through the best day of his adolescence, and has to race the clock (and a host of shenanigans) to return to his bed before getting "busted" by the principal or his parents.
I bet half of you will be pulling that movie up on Netflix tonight, because if you've never seen it, you should. And if you HAVE seen it...it's probably been a couple decades.
Those were the 80's, a time when films portrayed kids on GIGANTIC adventures of hijinx and an even bigger quest to "pull off" the entire affair in time to get home before dinner. Think: Adventures in Babysitting, Back to the Future, and the Goonies.
As a kid, I loved those movies, especially towards the end when the clock was really ticking and there was a very good chance that time would run out for our hero (or heroine). Eyes wide, and at the edge of my seat, I would silently root for the wild dash to end in victory.
Since then, I have been living like I am in one of those films.
I wait till the last minute to do things, pack my schedule beyond what's manageable and pride myself at being able to "pull it all off" in a reasonably professional manner.
I'm like a chef on one of those competition cooking shows, sweating as she juggles the pans. I try to keep my toddler's needs simmering on the front burner while making time for my husband, writing graduate school papers, building yoga teacher training modules, seeing private clients, keeping up with friends, cleaning my home, and personal hygiene, all get shuffled around the stove. It's a wild, hijinx, mad-dash adventure...
...and it's cray—cray!
It is the day after your birthday. You wake up, do a little yoga, drink a little tea, make some oatmeal and open your laptop. It's time to get back to work...
What do you find?
Facebook messages from people all over the world, dropping into your page, just to say:
And that is (channelling Kelso from "That 70s Show") AWESOME!
When we stop for a moment to appreciate the technology of mass communication, the ridiculously amazing gift is obvious:
The ability to organize a Festival in Goa with
Wild Yogi friends in Russia; the opportunity to giggle at reception (awkward dancing) photos from my cousin's wedding; the means to rally a campaign for the micro-finance of women in war-torn and poverty stricken communities, world-wide—these magic tricks are nothing less than miraculous.
They are (I repeat) TOTALLY AWESOME!
But the beauty of Facebook goes deeper than its ability to connect us. It also has the power to remind us of who we are—each one of us, as authentically differentiated individuals.
One of the most precarious places to be is a pedestal. Have you been there? Standing high above your friends, afraid to look down, feeling tipsy— imbalanced—and asking yourself, in the famous words of David Byrne:
"Well... How did I get here?"
Or maybe you don't even realize that you have gotten so high, until you come crashing to the ground—hard and fast—like a hangover; or the boulder from that insane You Tube video.
Today, I received a message from an STF. She admitted that she had put me on a pedestal, and was disappointed that I had let her down. My first response was defensive. Why had she put me up there in the first place? That is one of the most predictably destructive things you can do to a friendship, after all.
Webinar Series in three parts. 6:00-7:00 p.m. MT
I am so excited to be offering my first ever webinar series in three parts on Yoga Psychology for Mamas.
My PhD program in Mythology and Depth Psychology has completely transformed my approach to yoga and after 12 years of teaching, I feel more inspired than ever.
Inner Power Yoga programs offer an opportunity to honestly examine the personal myths that influence your life: your beliefs, behaviors, and ultimately your experiences. This first Inner Power Yoga webinar series addresses one of the most complicated challenges and joys on the planet; the adventure of being a mother.
Over three sessions in 6 weeks, you will explore your current personal motherhood myth. Whether you are a seasoned mother, a brand new mom, or a mama to be, you have a story that begins before you were even born. Does your story empower you? Does it inspire you? Or perhaps it really doesn’t serve you as much as it could. By the third session of this webinar series, you will have had an opportunity to revision your story as a mama—in a manner that is truly authentic and personal to YOU. NOV. 6 PART ONE:
Our first session will be a fun and illuminating introduction to four mother archetypes (or universal images) that speak to you and through your psyche. NOV. 20 PART TWO:
In session two, we’ll dive deeply into four common and limiting myths that constellate mothers today; including the contradictory voices of “I am the only one who can care for my child.” and “I’m the worst mother ever.”DEC. 4 PART THREE:
Our third session will be a time to recreate and rebirth our myths of motherhood.
You may be surprised to discover how powerful you truly are. ALL THREE SESSIONS ONLY $25 WHEN YOU REGISTER BY NOV 1. ($45 after 11/1)
(REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS WILL RECEIVE ACCESS TO RECORDED WEBINAR) REGISTER NOW!!
What is an inner guru?
Unlike English words, which generally objectify, Sanskrit words describe the essence of something. The essence of “guru” is associated with many different ideas: master, weighty, large, respectable, great, serious, parent, teacher, valuable, venerable, and difficult to digest. Guru is associated with heaviness in the stomach and is used to express pregnancy or a pregnant woman. The guru principle, in yoga, refers to the teacher that guides one’s awareness towards the Infinite. According to the Siddha Yogis, the guru principle is “The universal power of grace present as the inner Self of all beings.”
When we speak of the Inner Guru in Inner Power Yoga®, we are talking about the quality of consciousness within. This is the source of one’s unique and authentic inner vibration which includes emotions, thoughts and inspirations when these are pointing toward a deeper or higher truth—beyond ego absorption. The Inner Guru is the Soul. It is the source of the Soul. AND it is the creative spark that turns an everyday human into a Soul Artist.
The Inner Guru is the voice you hear from the stillness of the lotus heart, when all obstacles and limitations are removed and you listen. What is an archetype?
Archetypes are observable aspects of the mysterious universal vibration that unifies humanity as a deeply connected tribe of individuals. Archetypes occur as images, symbols, thoughts, patterns, expressions, motifs and ideas that have gathered from the collective unconscious and may be recognized by personal awareness.
Throughout the years in his study of the inner-workings of the human psyche, Psycho-analyst, C.G. Jung conceived archetypal components which play important roles in the psychological and social development of each individual. These unconscious personalities are the soul images of the ego, persona, shadow, anima and animus. They accompany and inform the attitudes and behaviors of a person throughout the stages of his or her life. They serve as the guiding force into the nebulous world of the unconscious; the realm that Jung recognized as “the Unknown which immediately effects us1.”
What is a guru archetype?
When these two terms are used together as “Guru Archetype,” they may be considered the conscious and unconscious patterns that inform one’s personal, inner teacher. These particular symbols, ideas, and energies inspire the teachings that resonate with a particular person as they recognize them arise. The Guru archetypes may present themselves from within the still center of meditation, or from the chaos of a dance party. They may be found on the movie screen or in a novel. Guru archetypes are living energies that “haunt” every day life. When they are identified as the motivating factors that inspire a particular Soul Artist, that archetype (and its teachings) become even more accessible.
When you know your guru archetype, you may hear the voice, see the beauty and discover the meaning in everything around you. Four guru archetypes.
The same archetypal energies that have informed the world's greatest mysteries throughout history, also empower the authentic expression of your own deepest truth. Explore these mythic characters as they radiate, vibrate, soar and roar from the collective unconscious and within you. Let the qualities of your inner guru amplify your heart's desire, reveal your life's purpose and illuminate the beauty of your soul.
There are many many archetypal patterns for the Inner Guru.
The Guru Archetypes workshop series offers introductory insight into four re-occurring archetypal patterns that may be of inspiration for you. LEARN MORE