Today (Thursday 7 October) is a truly auspicious day!
It marks the beginning of Navaratri, a 9 day festival, regarded by many Hindus and spiritual aspirants as the most spiritually significant of all dates in the calendar year. No mean feat considering the abundance of festivals and occasions for celebration in the Hindu calendar!
So what is Navaratri and what is its significance?
There are in fact four Navaratris each year, one for each season. This one, Sharad Navaratri, is the most well-known and celebrated of all of them. It coincides always with the bright side of the lunar moon closest to the equinox.
It is a celebration of the Divine Mother, the Goddess in all her forms, the Divine Feminine, the universal forces of energy which create, maintain and transform us and everything in existence.
In short, the nine days (nava = nine + ratri = night) represent the hero’s journey of victory - ‘good over evil.’ Stories of Durga, the goddess of transformation and protection, laying legions of demons to bloody waste, abound!
In real terms this is about each of us acknowledging ‘things in our way’ - what we feel we need to let go of, transforming resistance to staying in these old, unhelpful patterns, and reforming new patterns of being which are totally harmonious and aligned with our higher purpose.
It is a SUPER potent time to be doing this!
You may be thinking, ‘I don’t really get this… I don’t really know what I need to let go of.’ This is a perfectly valid response! In this case, ask the Universe this simple question, ‘What is it I most need to let go of at this time?’ And equally importantly, ‘What quality do I most need to embrace at this time?’
And just allow the answers to come in their own timing! Though you can also give a time frame (e.g. today!) for the universe to work to (with the clause ‘if possible!’). Most importantly, trust the answers will come. And they surely will!
The week leading up to Navaratri too can be very intensively transformative too as the energies gear up! I personally have found this last week to be so, perhaps too because my birthday is in a couple of days time! On a side note, I find the week prior to my birthday (and I feel this is the case perhaps for everyone!) is always an energetically intensive time, as the energies gear up for the remembrance and numerology of my physical birth, and the potential spiritual unfoldment for the next human year cycle post-birthday.
So a double whammy for me this year!… Lots to share, ha ha!
FINDING TRUE CONFIDENCE has been the defining theme for me energetically this week!
My process of recording music has enabled me to confront many thoughts in my way of serving my true purpose (in this case, recording music which will transmit deep peace, healing and upliftment). E.g. ‘I can’t get a perfect take!’ ‘I’m not ready for this!’ ‘This is going to take ages to get something I like!’ I could go on!
My inner process was this: 1. Feeling an uncomfortable sensation in my body. 2. Asking my true self in the form of Gayatri (goddess of wisdom and insight) what is the thought behind this. 3. Hearing the damaging thought, acknowledging it, feeling it and allowing its power over me to dissolve by remaining in a witness state. 4. Finding a new affirmation in total alignment. E.g. ‘I am ready! I was born ready!’ ‘I CAN do this!’ ‘Yes we can!’ ‘I believe in myself totally!’ 5. Relax into this new way of being with gratitude in my heart.
The whole process was surprisingly rapid and felt very effective. We can hold the intention for anything we do in life, even the healing process, to be ‘as quick and easeful as possible’… holding this intention I found wonderful for my healing and recording process! I really surprised myself with the rapidity and ease of great results!
The core of all this process was about believing in myself. Having confidence in myself. Or rather BEING confident, as confidence (latin: ‘con’ = with + fides = ‘faith, trust’) is part of who we are, not what we have. It is something to be realised… we simply need to clear whatever is obstructing it!
When I considered what confidence truly is, I realised that it is a quality that probably nearly all of us could benefit from developing more.
Confidence is about having faith that something in the future WILL happen. To quote and acknowledge the wonderful musician teacher Stephen Ridley, confidence is about ETHICS! Our ethics with ourselves. How well can we honour our own commitments to ourselves?
For example, I can say with confidence now: ‘I will record music I am proud of, which will bring great peace, joy and transformation to many people. And I will record every Tuesday and Wednesday until the end of the year.’ This is a commitment to myself. I KNOW I will do this. I have faith in this! This WILL happen! This may present me with innumerable obstacles!!… But I will never give up! I will achieve these goals! With faith and trust and ease and grace… with confidence!
Other examples: ‘I will practice singing EVERY SINGLE day for at least 20 minutes.’ ‘I will go to bed at 10pm today and rise at 6am tomorrow.’
I’m sure you may be reflecting now on what commitments you have made to yourself! And how well do you honour these commitments?!
This is the key to confidence! If we keep breaking our own sacred contracts we make with ourselves (e.g. ‘I’ll do it another time!’), we are weakening our self-confidence.
Isn’t it wonderful when we just KNOW we will do such and such and such and such WILL happen?!
I realised I needed to believe in myself truly! And I feel very blessed that my partner Geeti has been ‘holding the high watch’ as Vincent Martínez-Grieco (Soul Motion conscious dance founder) would say, being here for me as a witness through this process, and holding the vision for me of ‘Yes I Can!’ She was in the home recording studio beaming me love and confidence and I was shining in her presence, singing to her ‘Om mani padme hum!’ I really felt her to be Kuan Yin (the goddess of compassion).
It was a very sweet moment of personal victory as I was able to sing fully from my whole being, with total confidence and heart flow from one to another. I realised to sing totally we need an outlet, and to channel all our awareness and love to that divine source. Thank you Geeti!
And I would also like to acknowledge in deep gratitude Sue Tsigaros, our spiritual business coach, for holding the high watch so beautifully for us at this time.
I also realised, just as Po does in Kung Fu Panda that there is no ‘secret ingredient’ to the ‘secret ingredient soup’ of life! There is no secret ingredient to being yourself / fulfilling your destiny / realising your own greatness! To realise that is to be that! Om Tat Sat! This is true confidence! We realise our own greatness!
And we are ALL great! We are ALL geniuses! We may have forgotten that if we have had the message so often from childhood onwards that there is a ‘limit’ to what we can do, and that only a very few people are ‘geniuses.’ I believe that whatever we set our heart, soul and mind on, with full commitment, in alignment with our true purpose, we CAN achieve this! And whatever this is, we are geniuses at this! THIS is confidence!
There may be lots and lots of mental opposition to this - you may well be thinking ‘But I am limited!’ Or ‘I am not a genius!’ Well, it’s true these thoughts may have created this reality, but this can change if we change these thoughts! Or we may think ‘yes I am a genius!’, believe it on the mental level, but still there is so much emotion of fear and doubt under the surface, which sabotages our chances of fulfilling our goals and dreams.
So what is in the way of our own greatness? And how can we remove what is in the way?
Today and the next nine days of Navaratri is a MAGNIFICENT opportunity to let go of what’s no longer serving us, build confidence and/or fully embody our divinity.
My invitation to you is to make a doable commitment to yourself for the next 9 days of Navaratri. Choose a spiritual practice which resonates that you can ‘do’ every day (defined as ‘sadhana’ in yogic terms). And do it! Every day!
A traditional, beautiful sadhana for Navaratri is to do a mantra practice for each of the nine days, with an intention for the highest good for yourself and all beings, at the same time each day.
For example, I have decided to chant 1 mala round (108 times) the mantra ‘Om Namo Naaraayani’ before breakfast, with the intention of ‘embodying my divinity’ for the benefit of all. This is a sacred mantra which harnesses the sacred power of the triple goddess - Durga, Laksmi and Saraswati!
And I am confident this will happen! I am chuckling as I write this!!… And also confident!!
Another great option for this period is the mantra: ‘Om Dum (pronounced ‘doom’) Durgaayai Namaha’, invoking the goddess Durga, perfect if you want to build your confidence and let go of fear, doubt, anger, frustration.
Wishing you well for this potent time! And remember that commitment is wonderful, and it is a deep honouring of your divine masculine, but also honour your divine feminine equally! In other words, listen, listen, listen, every step of your way! Does this commitment serve me and others truly? Do I need to adapt to keep in balance and harmony?
For example, I committed myself to running to Long Reef headland and back to Dee Why beach without stopping. I was confident I could do it, and did achieve this, and that felt wonderful! However, I was listening in each running step of the way, to my body and energy, varying my pace accordingly and not pushing / forcing myself whatsoever.
And what an amazing time to be working with the forces of divine masculine and feminine in balance in this Libran moon cycle! Much love to you all! xxx
PS I would like to gratefully acknowledge Aceofnet from Kolkata and Murabak Sheik for the Durga photos from unsplash.com
PPS Geeti Julie Rogers and I warmly invite you to celebrate Navaratri with us on the tenth day - the 'Victory Day'! A beautiful way to utilise these amazing energies at this time. There will be mantra, kirtan, dance and sound healing online on Zoom to nurture and uplift your soul. See details below.