So you’re ready for this digging expedition. Let’s get started! For success in any endeavor, we need to be adequately and thoughtfully prepared. If you’re like me, you’re probably familiar with the “blindly jumping in” syndrome. It has taken me years to slow down and take time to prepare for the journey, particularly those into mystical realms. Gathering the right tools for inner archaeology makes all the difference in how deep we can dig and what we will find.
The primary tools for unearthing Radical Beauty are Radical Commitment, Radical Honesty and Radical Willingness. “Radical” is an essential qualifier for each tool. Half-hearted honesty or willingness will get us nowhere. We know now that we cannot expect different results with the same old tools, which only result in rearranging the debris. If we want to transform, we will have to upgrade our tools.
In my travels, I’m astounded by the hardships that archaeologists face in their desire to dig up past treasures. It is backbreaking, methodical and delicate work that few are cut out for. Their commitment to working through challenges is worth emulating. In fact, steady and dogged commitment to a goal is the secret of success in any field. The form of Shakti known as Tripura Bhairavi symbolizes Radical Commitment.
Why is it so hard to commit to effort? The answer is simple. We can only commit to what we really want. Thus, the basis for commitment is desire, which leads to vision. My beloved yoga guru, Yogani incisively distills down achievement to be the result of desire + vision + action. This is true for whether we want to get through college, make a marriage work, or rise to the top of an organization. It is most definitely true for the path of inner exploration. If you don’t want it, you will not be committed. If you are not committed, you will not act. If you don’t act, you will not achieve. Simple. Radical Commitment translates desire and vision into consistent action.
Desire is a loaded word and concept. Many schools of spirituality shun desire as an evil trait that needs to be gotten rid of. I used to believe that too! It is common for spiritual aspirants to try to give up desire. However, trying to rid oneself of desire is a fruitless endeavor. The desire to give up desire binds us in a circular, nonserving argument. It is much more useful to hone down desire into a a sharp focus. When we become crystal clear about what we want, Bhairavi comes to our aid and cuts through everything that doesn’t serve that singular focus. She moves the whole universe to fulfill that desire. Bhairavi’s light leads to progressive refining of desire, which then explodes into love and beauty.
The tricky part of this is to know what we actually desire. We have been fed with ideas and concepts about what we should desire. This is particularly true for women. For example, we may have been indoctrinated into thinking that if we don’t desire a mate, children or stability, there is something wrong with us. Or that our place is at home, or some variation of “good girls don’t do xyz.” In the cacophony of voices that scream in our heads telling us what to want, the unique purpose for which we were created becomes thwarted. In the conflict between innate and fed desires, we can live unfulfilled lives, never discovering our unique gifts and abilities.
In order to sharpen the tool of Radical Commitment that will lead to consistent action toward self-discovery, we will need to tune into our heart’s desire and vision. That is the purpose of this next Beauty ritual.
Radical Beauty Ritual:
To embark on this expedition, I recommend that you acquire a good quality journal. This will become your best friend as you begin your inner explorations.
- Make time to sit still for a few minutes daily. Set a timer so that you can be free of chores during this time. Take a few slow deep breaths and settle down into the chair. This exercise works best if you are in a relaxed state, like daydreaming. Become curious about what you will find. Gently ask: “I wonder what I really want.” Don’t expect an immediate answer! Explore what comes up. If it is something like, “I want a romantic partner,” sit with that. Turn it over in your mind. Wonder why you want it. When the timer goes off, take a few more deep slow breaths before you get up and go about your day.
- Pay attention to how you feel about the different tasks you do on a daily basis. Write down the thoughts you have about the roles you play and the tasks you do. It is tempting to be cavalier and say you’d rather be sunning on the beach. Dig deeper. Beach bumming can become boring if that is all you did!
- Write down the following. What do you really want now? This year? Over the next five years?
*Do share your thoughts in the comments below. What did you find? Have you discovered your heart’s desire? Are you Radically Committed?
Image Source: By Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons