Monday, January 03, 2011

be your own shiva

There are a thousand ways to describe the Hindu deity Shiva and his qualities. I like the simplest version where Shiva is the God of change, both in terms of destruction and death. When I first heard it it sounded weird; why would there be a god for destruction and who would worship him?

There's probably no change without destroying the old habit, form, thought, relationship, belief, method, … All that has a beginning must also have an end. The death of one thing creates the birth of another.

We all like happy beginnings, surprises. Hardly ever we take the endings well. We fail to realize that the more we hang on to the old, the less the chance to create something new, fresh and inspiring.

Every new year, we make big resolutions for changing things in our lives. We wish to lose weight, find the prince charming, become richer, and whatnot... We want all that to come without getting rid of the old. It doesn't happen...

A snake doesn't hang onto his skin, worrying whether a new skin will come, or if it would be as beautiful as the old one. The snake just helps this process of change by slithering on rough surfaces so that the skin will come off faster. The new skin always comes, and it's always stronger and more protective than the old one. Had the old skin stayed on, the snake wouldn't have space to grow...

Sometimes it's good to get rid of the old to create room for the new. Sometimes one needs to take bold step to kill the useless or the dysfunctional so that the new, exciting, valuable and useful has room to be in our lives. Once in a while, try being your own Shiva; take a bold decision, take ownership of your own life, bring the death to whatever is no longer needed, take it off and watch the beauty to come to life and shine with a light you've never seen before.