People often ask, “how do I turn my dreams into reality?” One answer would be to understand the power of Shakti. While many of you might be familiar with Shakti as the wife of Shiva in Indian cosmology, Shakti also refers to the immense creativity of the soul and the infinite energy of the physical universe. When you discover the five ways in which Shakti manifests, you can fuel your passion, enhance your love of life, and watch your invisible ideas turn magically into tangible, joyful experiences.
It’s that time of year where I start cleaning up my West coast base in preparation to head south (and east) for the winter. I had come across an old file folder in my office–the perfect size for carrying some updated paperwork on my journey. As I cleared out old files, I came across a greeting card I used to keep in my car a decade ago.
Each morning when I would warm up the engine of my Honda Accord, I would sit in the driver’s seat and read the contents of the card aloud. At the time, I had just finished grad school and my 200-hour yoga teacher training. Despite the uncertainty of my future, deep down I knew the core of my being could thrive in any situation. I felt excited about life and was optimistic about how the possibilities in my life would unfold. The greeting card served to remind me of this inner knowing.
Within a year, I started dating my now-husband, Steve. Our adventures began to skyrocket and I was rarely home more than a week or two a month. Somehow, the card that I was once reading daily was an occasional thought by my nightstand and eventually was tucked away in a drawer for safe keeping.
Photo Credit: Freddie Marriage
The kicker is that also inside of the card was a list of 25 dreams I wanted to manifest during my lifetime. On the backside of the list were the reasons I wanted to achieve or attain such goals. I was stunned to notice that a decade later, almost 80% of my dreams had actualized in my life. Some items on my list included:
- Live within walking distance of a west-facing beach
- Be married in a similar relationship
- Write a book
- Kayak around Lake Tahoe, and
- Host large family gatherings
The way these desires manifested in my life reminded me of the power of Shakti. This incredible life force allows invisible ideas to take actual shape in our lives. Ready to harness this energy to create your amazing life? If so, read on!
SHIVA AND SHAKTI
Shiva and Shakti are the male and female principles of creation. This description of each in terms of masculine and feminine energies are really just ways to help the human mind understand their power. Yet God is unlimited, and Shiva and Shakti are used to represent aspects of a Divine whole.
Just like you and I might see ourselves as male or female in body, our spirits are complete. We also contain both Shiva and Shakti!
Shiva is silent, motionless, and non-attached. He is the ever-present awareness that infuses all things. Shiva–who was given to Shakti in the beginning–is the visible aspect of creation. She represents the loving, cosmic mother. She is often portrayed as a seductress because of her passion. This love demonstrated by Shaki goes far beyond sex, however. It represents the interest and excitement that flows as part of an unending love for life.
THE FIVE POWERS OF SHAKTI
Originally described in the ancient Shiva Sutras, and adeptly applied to relationships in The Path to Love by Deepak Chopra, there are five ways in which God manifests. This essentially boils down creation, and the process of creating, into five steps. They are as follows:
(1) Chitta Shakti
Chitta Shakti is the awareness of God. It resonates with the statement “I am” because it understands you are a spiritual being having a human experience. At your core, you know that you are always connected with God, or Source Energy. When you keep this perspective in mind, you realize your infinite nature gives you endless possibilities to create here on Earth. Each moment is a new opportunity to play!
(2) Ananda Shakti
This second step refers to the bliss of God and recognizes that you, too, are a blissful being. Ananda also refers to the most subtle, yet powerful, creative powers, which are bliss, love, and peace. It is this level of awareness that allows you to celebrate life from a cheerful heart.
(3) Icha Shakti
The third power is Icha Shakti, which is the desire or intention to Unite with God. Said another way, it’s the pulsing desire flowing through your entire being to evolve and expand. When you align with your true nature, and you intend from a place of joy, then your desires naturally dovetail with the Divine. It’s these intentions that provide purpose and direction for your life.
(4) Gyana Shakti
Gyana is the Sanskrit word for knowledge and Gyana Shakti refers to the knowledge of God. When you know who you are and your connection to the Divine, then truth, trust, and acceptance are part of your thoughts. Your mind is actually in communion with Spirit. This means you’re able to understand yourself and life as a whole from a broader perspective.
(5) Kriya Shakti
Kriya means action in Sanskrit. Thus, the final step in the creation process is action. More specifically, it’s action directed toward God, or Source. This kind of action moves away from violence and into peace. It finds a solution amidst conflict. Kriya also considers what is best for all instead of an ego-centered approach. This step becomes effortless because it has its roots in knowing, joy, clear intention, and wisdom.
The mistake people often make is they want to start the creative process in Kriya Shakti. Yet, the priority starts with connecting to your spiritual being first. When you follow these five steps, or powers, the creative action taken every day has meaning and a strong foundation in alignment.
YOU ARE A POWERFUL CREATOR
You have the power of Shakti running through you, and you have an incredible ability to take ideas and bring them forth into your life. Here are some simple steps you can take on a daily basis to tap into that power:
Why are so many business leaders today turning to meditation as a skill that can enhance their profitability and success? Meditation invites you to step away from the thoughts and emotions that inhabit most of your waking-day experience. You discover that shifting your focus inward can increase your ability to experience love, nourishment, and support. And, you realize that these attributes are at the core of your being.
As you practice the skill of meditation, you might even encounter a deep silence–one that is connected with awareness in its simplest form. And you realize that you are worthy, whole, and complete without needing to do or be anything.
Intimidated by stillness? Try this guided meditation to increase your creativity.
Ananda Shakti is the second of the five powers for a reason–from your deep knowing that all is well, you can experience bliss, love, and peace. This starts when you recognize the people and things in your life that bring you joy. Then, carve out time for those things!
- Carve out time for hobbies or charities that uplift your spirit.
- Keep a journal that lists all of the ways you appreciate yourself and your life.
- Take five minutes at the end of your work day–before you leave the office–to jot down a few notes about what you learned today and how you grew as a result of your experiences.
- Do a happy baby pose!
- Do more yoga in general!
Photo Credit: Diane Nicole Photography
Set your intentions
Just like the greeting card I kept in my car listed my intentions for the future, set aside time each week to write down new ideas in your mind. Write down your inspirations, and what circumstances sparked your interest. Sunday is a great time to start fresh for the week ahead. Or, set aside 30-60 minutes one day per week to let your mind simply imagine.
To follow the processed used in the greeting card story, follow the steps below:
(1) Make a list of the dreams you have for your life.
Start a list of all of the experiences you’d like to have in your life. Start broad, and go as specific as you’d like. Then, number each item on your list. Keep in mind they don’t need to be in any particular order–the number is just a way to reference them for the rest of the exercise.
(2) Explain why these dreams are important.
In one to three sentences, describe the reasons you want these people, places, and experiences in your life. Think about what emotions they will bring about. Consider how you will be different if you have achieved or experienced them.
(3) Give a general time frame each goal
Next to each reason for your dream, give a time frame for it. Would you like to have it within the next year or two? Five years? 10 or 20 years?
Then, set this list aside somewhere safe. If you have more immediate ideas you want to put into action, then perhaps also list those dreams in your daily planner or as monthly reminders in your phone. That might help you keep those ideas at the forefront of your mind.
But be careful. Trying to take score too soon of how your dreams are taking shape in your life can shift your attention away from a process-focus to a results-focus. And as the power of Shaki reminds us–action is last on the list of priorities. Stay present. Appreciate life. Just do your best right now. That will keep the creative juices flowing!
Stay Flexible with the outcomes
While creating the life of your dreams can involve some clarity about what you desire, it’s also just as important to keep a loose grasp on how your intentions really manifest. For example, a decade ago I wanted to become proficient in a sport such as tennis or downhill skiing. While I didn’t take up either of those sports in the past ten years, I did take a keen interest in golf (a sport I never dreamed I’d enjoy like I do today).
The best part is that golf satisfies my original “why” behind the goal, which was to foster lifelong activities and relationships with others. Since I maintained a flexible attitude, the end result far exceeded my expectations. Now, I’m having a lot of fun playing courses around the country and making new friends along the way.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Shakti is the perfect example of how you take ideas and turn them into reality. While Shiva remains silent, Shakti takes the infinite energy of the Universe and shapes it into visible creation. When you understand how Shakti manifests–starting with being and ending with action–you can tap into the power of Shakti today to create the life of your dreams.
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