April 9, 2022

“She who is Death”: What Kali taught me about Inner Peace.

Easter is a time when many people feel that they have been renewed.

They have given up something for lent that they might continue to abstain from, or they make a lifestyle change that makes them feel like they have been reborn.

This is my short story about being reborn.

When I was a child, my parents used to tell me that life is not fair, that we can’t be everything we want, and that we need to learn to compromise, even if we don’t want to.

I believed them.

Until I didn’t.

When my mother died in 2014 at just 48 years old, I fell headfirst into a complex web of confusion, anxiety, and panic.

Life wasn’t fair. My mum was too young to die. She wasn’t everything that she had wanted to be. She shouldn’t have had to compromise if she didn’t want to.

As I sat in therapy talking about my grief and loss, my thoughts turned to how I wasn’t everything that I wanted to be, shouldn’t have to compromise if it was not best for me, and that my life had to mean more.

My life had to mean more. I was 25. Young. High-achieving. Ambitious.

My life revolved around my work. I thought I loved it.

I thought that was what I was meant to do until I reach retirement age and then I could enjoy my life—travel, write, and have fun.

I had a stable job, earned great money, and was saving toward buying a house, but I wasn’t happy.

As I reflected on my past, my life had felt like survival mode for the most part. Why was I so ambitious? What was the rush? Did I even want to buy a house? The answer was no, not really.

I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, but I knew there would never be a right time. Should I save up enough money and then do the things I want? What did I even want?

I didn’t really know.

One day, I saw a sign “Bikram Yoga” and felt swept in. My legs led me down the street and up a narrow flight of stairs. The pungent smell of socks and sweat wafted to my nose.

This wasn’t bliss.

Why was I here?

There was a drawing of Kali on the wall in front of me. I googled Kali: “She who is death.”

A voice interrupted my Google search before I could overthink what “she who is death” meant.

The yoga teacher—a tall female in a simple top and yoga pants—was waiting for me to come inside and sign up for the next session, starting in 15 minutes.

I wasn’t ready. I had no gear with me. But I wanted to try this yoga!

So I sprinted to the nearest department store and bought a pair of tights and a singlet.

Standing on the mat and looking at my reflection in the mirror, I wanted to cry. I still don’t know why and I didn’t know why I was there, but I wanted to be there. My feet felt heavy grounding down into the yoga mat.

When the class ended, I felt a sense of calm that I hadn’t felt since my mum’s passing.

“She who is death.”

Was I reborn? 

I think I was.

I kept coming back.

I tried other styles of yoga—hatha, vinyasa, and yin.

I quit my job.

I found a new job, eventually trained as a vinyasa yoga teacher, went back to school to study counselling, and started my own practice.

I still don’t have a logical explanation for why I made these big changes.

I know I wasn’t feeling fulfilled, and I know that I just followed my intuition.

Today, I am becoming everything that I want to be—and more.

Today, I don’t need to compromise if I don’t want to.

Today, life is fair.

What would happen if you just followed your intuition? Let me know in the comments. I would love to know.

~

 

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