Celebrate The Goddess Within
This is the season of honouring and invoking the power, divinity and grace of the Goddesses – from Durga and Kali to Lakshmi. In most of our homes, it’s mostly women who toil hard preparing for worship of the goddesses and the associated festivities and celebrations. They clean, cook, decorate, fast and are also expected to look good during the days long Puja and festivities. But little do they have the time, resources and inspiration to realise the qualities embodied by these goddesses within their own selves to emerge as their own goddesses.
Most of the Goddesses that we pray symbolise the divine energy, feminine strength, inner power, the triumph of good over evil, courage, strong character, creativity, passion, wisdom, knowledge and financial empowerment besides many other qualities. Over the years, the goddesses as per varying perceptions of the divine feminine in different cultures are celebrated for their fierceness, fertility and motherhood to sexuality, courage and independence. In Navaratri celebrations, each day is dedicated to a Goddess, embodying aspects of creativity, sustenance and destruction — the fundamental guiding lights.
But while we women worship and honour the goddesses, we often fail to recognise, celebrate and honour our inner goddess. We are so caught up looking after other’s needs, adhering to norms, accepting toxic people and behaviours, following energy draining practices and being subservient and controlled that we fail to recognise the
Of course, it’s ironic that while we fervently worship the feminine energy and power – Shakti – rarely do we acknowledge, celebrate and respect the same within the women in our families and society. While the Kanya Puja during Navratri worships nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga, we know how young girls are physically and mentally violated everyday in our society. The same goes for women.
The depiction of angry, wronged, vengeful, destroyer women as Durga or Kali is confined only to celluloid made popular by Indian movies. Rarely do we see women being positively portrayed akin to the strengths, courage and fierceness of a true Goddess. But that’s perhaps because we women hardly see ourselves as our own goddesses to be acknowledged, honoured and celebrated.
But it’s high time we awaken our own divine superpower, harness it to become our best selves, stand up for our own selves and for others. Women often tend to forget or underestimate the force within themselves. They are often dismissive of their opinions, feelings and intuitions, a reflection of the way they have been raised in our society and culture.
The divine feminine embodied by the goddesses is a powerful force, the energy that creates life, nurtures and fights against odds. It’s up to us to channelise this power strongly into our other identities as well so that we are able to exert our own power, realise our full potential and fight the negative forces. So know your power and activate your goddess gene to take charge of your life.
Besides the external demons that woman struggle with, there are the internal demons that restrict us from realising our full potential and happiness. Let’s destroy the negative within – the doubts, fears, reservations, low-self-esteem, misconceptions, pettiness, myths – to rise as the mistresses of our own destinies, the drivers of our journeys and the champions of our lives. Start slaying the internal demons and raise your voice to vanquish the external ones.
Don’t forget to surround yourself with other goddesses. We all need them to understand us, support us, fight with us and celebrate in our small and big triumphs. Surrounding ourselves with other goddesses not only boosts our confidence but also lends us the necessary support to become the best versions of ourselves.
Quite often, people tell women that they are either too little or too much of something. Or nothing at all. We are often limited and made to feel guilty because of this. Some people find us too different or difficult, especially when we choose to become who we are. It’s time to detach from the negative forces who dampen or dim our sparkle, mettle and glory. Sorry, I am the Goddess of my life, I am the creator of my destiny, I am moving on. Banish all the negative thoughts and move with a force that’s inherent in you.
Goddesses are not subservient and never hesitate to retaliate or take action when the situation demands. Be wise, astute and act at the appropriate time, but do not always comply, acquiesce and accept. Or be restrained, subjugated or abused. Speak up, stand up for yourself and others too.
Many times we are told our dreams are not ours and that we are selfish to harbour ambitions and foolish to nurture aspirations. Remember, goddesses are their own beings and persevere to realise their wishes. So, sharpen your confidence and awaken your chutzpah so that you feel the power to fulfil your dreams, aspirations and ambitions.
Importantly, the symbol of Goddess is closely associated with the female body and its cycles and rhythms. This gives us the power to celebrate our own female body, including the cycles of menstruation and births rather than limiting ourselves through false notions of taboos and impurities.
Goddesses are affirmative symbols of the legitimacy and beauty of female power. It’s for us to interpret and harness these symbols. As a divine energy that inspires and protects us, as a symbol of our own power or simply as a natural force in us.
So, let’s learn from goddess Lakshmi to be the creators of our own wealth and to appreciate and enjoy the gift of abundance, to be financially liberated, empowered and self-sufficient. Let goddess Saraswati to show us the path of learning, knowledge and wisdom to realise our dreams and goals. And from goddess Durga let’s learn to be fierce and fearless and to slay the demons both within and outside.
Let’s manifest Goddess Kali in us to harness our inner strength, channelize the wild in us and to defend us and others. Let goddess Parvati inspire us to be treated with equality and respect as a partner.
In fact, I find goddess Kali to be a true feminist icon who is unapologetically herself – raw, beautiful, fearless and fully aware of her own power. She is not uncomfortable to be herself, doesn’t seek permission to be herself and is a complex figure of contrasting characteristics.
The goddesses in our lives manifest in various forms in our women friends, supporters and family members. Let’s surround ourselves with our own band of goddesses and detach ourselves from people and practices that dim our power and shine. Let’s not be compliant but firm, not be subservient but assertive and let’s not be limited by the boundaries set by others but thrive in a world created by us. So this season, awaken your inner goddess and celebrate the goddess within.