So I’ve had kind of a negative attitude lately (ok, a really negative attitude)…especially this week since it’s been kind of a rough one; well today I read this post on Elephant Journal, and I decided that I am going to try to change that.
“Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In other words, The Always Broken Goddess. Sanskrit is a tricky and amazing language, and I love that the double negative here means that she is broken right down to her name.
But this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror.
It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable.
Akhilanda derives her power from being broken: in flux, pulling herself apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations.
This goddess has another interesting attribute, which is, of course, her ride: a crocodile.
Crocodiles are interesting in two ways: Firstly, Stoneberg explains that the crocodile represents our reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. Secondly, the predatory power of a crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they pluck their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl that prey like a dervish seeking God, they use the power of spin rather than brute force to feed themselves.
By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature, Akhilanda refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water. Akhilanda shows us that this is beautiful.
I love this so much. Somehow it was exactly what I needed to read today.
Between my divorce and recent health discoveries and frustrations I feel so broken. I feel like over the past year that crocodile has dragged me into the river and spun me around over and over and over until I don’t know who I am or where I’m going anymore. I am so afraid; of where my life will go from here, if I will ever get well or rather just continue to get worse and worse until something kills me, if I will be alone forever, if I am too sick and stupid to accomplish anything with my life. Those are just the ones I can vocalize, I feel like there are so many more fears hiding under the surface that I don’t even understand enough to be able to describe them.
So today I have decided to be a goddess; I will get on my crocodile and ride my fears right to something beautiful. I will be never not broken, and it will be amazing.
Akhilanda is also sometimes described in our lineage like a spinning, multi-faceted prism. Imagine the Hope Diamond twirling in a bright, clear light. The light pouring through the beveled cuts of the diamond would create a whirling rainbow of color. The diamond is whole and complete and BECAUSE it’s fractured, it creates more diverse beauty. Its form is a spectrum of whirling color.
With brokenness comes great potential not only for change, but for refining and smoothing and shaping.
So now is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break. Become a prism.
All the places where you’ve shattered can now reflect light and colour where there was none. Now is the time to become something new, to choose a new whole.
Read the full article here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/why-being-broken-in-a-pile-on-your-bedroom-floor-is-a-good-idea-julie-jc-peters/
Pictures from the article, and google, respectively.