Of Gods & Goddesses

What makes a god or goddess divine?  If you believe the old myths and legends, the gods were not above pain, not above sorrow.  They could be hurt, they could even be destroyed.  So what made them divine?  Simply this:  Knowledge of their own divinity, and the ability to transform themselves and others.  Nothing is beyond the reach of a goddess, when she moves from love.

A goddess is present.  Aware.  Open.  Sensitive to the heartbeat, the exquisite touch and texture and taste of the moment.  She accepts it all, welcomes it all, knows that she cannot lose herself in any of it.  She delights in the flow, the movement, the dance.  She is willing to change, to grow, to expand in life, in awareness, in love.  She cannot be found for she was never lost.  She simply is, and therefore is all.  She is in everything and everyone.  To find her within is to find her without, and to know that the two are bound, connected, the same, and eternally now.

We all live as gods and goddesses when we claim our transformative powers.  A mother, turning a child’s tears to smiles with a kiss and a warm cookie.  A boss, turning co-workers into a team.  A hostess, turning an ordinary room into a celebration.  An artist, freeing an image from clay.  A woman, creating a sanctuary out of a house.  Any one of us, smiling at a stranger, spreading light.

Know you are divine.  Know the universe as your Beloved.  Know that you can transform yourself and others.  Move from love, and watch the miracles unfold.

The Nature Of Obstacles

The Hindu god Ganesha, the god with the elephant’s head, is beloved by millions as the remover of obstacles.  His name is often invoked at the beginning of a new venture; he is thought to bring his followers good luck and fortune.

He bears the head of an elephant because one day his mother, the goddess Parvati, asked him to guard the door while she bathed.  He did so faithfully, denying even his father, Shiva, entrance.  Shiva was not pleased that Ganesha was standing between him and Shiva’s wife, and so he cut off Ganesha’s head.  Feeling contrite almost immediately, Shiva ordered his servants to find a replacement head for Ganesha–they returned with the head of an elephant, and Ganesha has been known as the Elephant God ever since.

Elephants represent wisdom, and not just any wisdom, but that of your higher self, the self that exists before and beyond what you think of as your life.  This wisdom is what counsels us to choose love, to create beauty, to forgive, to seek, to trust.  This wisdom is what teaches us that all of our obstacles exist only in our minds.

Ganesha is the Remover of Obstacles, but in this well-known story, he is himself the obstacle, standing between mother and father.  It is his head that is removed, and then transformed into a symbol of higher truth.  This is the greatest teaching of the story:  we are our obstacles.  What stands between us and the love and light we seek are our thoughts, our fears, our resentments.  To be free, we must replace the thoughts that stand between us and joy with the thoughts of our higher selves, our true wisdom.  Only then may we be transformed into all we are capable of becoming.

Only you can remove your obstacles.  Only you are the chosen hero of your story.  You have the power to transform darkness into light, because darkness is nothing but the shadows of empty thoughts.  Trust in your own wisdom, and allow your obstacles to be transformed.

Wabi Sabi

Nothing is perfect.  Nothing is finished.  Nothing is permanent.  But everything is part of Love.

The Japanese art and philosophy of Wabi Sabi teaches us to embrace and celebrate the imperfect, the unfinished, the impermanent.  To notice that it is the crack in the vase that gives it character and beauty; that lets in the light.  We suffer when we deny this, when we try to make things fixed, permanent, perfect.  Those of us who reach for perfection, who want to capture time and hold it motionless, miss the glory of change, the gift of evolution.  The magic that lies in the mystery of transformation.

There is no reason to fear change, no reason to force motionlessness on a dancing world.  If you would be happy, learn to appreciate what is unique, what is changing, what is still left undone.  Instead of trying to capture the world, learn to dance with it.

It is the hidden beauty that connects us most powerfully to what is true and divine.  For who can ever know what is perfect and what is a flaw?  A closer look often reveals that a flaw is actually an object’s–a person’s–greatest strength and beauty.  What we call a flaw is merely an invitation to look deeper.

Can you be sure that what you see, hear and feel is a flaw, and not the very essence of beauty?

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