Shakti is the Sanskrit word for the positive divine energy that flows through everything and everyone in the universe.
It flows through you and me. It is the animating principle behind everything uplifting, creative and inspiring that we do, think, say and feel.
The divine shakti energy, while a single unified flow, shows itself in different ways. It can be seen in the strength of the strong, the compassion of the open-hearted, the kindness of strangers. It is often personified, on the one hand, as feminine creative power with a benevolent, nurturing side. And shakti also has a powerful energetic aspect that eradicates evil and ignorance. Shakti shows itself as empathy, loving-kindness, grace, and gentleness. It also manifests as majesty, dignity, integrity, courage and abundance. And shakti is also courageous and decisive action in the face of cruelty, injustice and ignorance.
The key element to all these various manifestations of shakti is the result. When divine shakti energy flows, the result is abundance, growth, power, prosperity, creativity and freedom. All this has an outward form in society where we see schools of wisdom, art movements, historical renaissance and rebirth of culture, societies whose laws are based on justice and equity, expansive ages of discovery and new learning.
Shakti energy can also show itself in more intimate and personal ways. In the care for children, in an orderly and intelligent classroom, in the inspiration of a poet or a sculptor, in healthy relationships.
And it also shows itself in our inner world of ideas, feelings and inspirations. In our emotional world, shakti appears as confidence, courage and kindness to ourselves and others. And it can also appear as creativity, self-esteem and the resolution to face our shortcomings and overcome them.
Shakti energy is freely available to anyone who wants it. Getting into the resonance of shakti energy pays huge dividends, both to yourself and to those around you. The trick is to align yourself to that divine shakti energy, to join the flow so that the current of universal energy moves through you. On a spiritual level meditation, yoga, mindfulness and breathing exercises all unlock the shakti that lies coiled within.
My own experience and that of other followers of a spiritual path, is of gaining access to inner energy and vibration that flows through the body, mind, heart and spirit. To get in touch with this energy requires a few things. You need the desire, you need to find a method, and you need to get started. And to stick at it! Nothing worthwhile in life is gained without a little effort.
As a simple way to get started you could try this three phase “waking up” project for 30 days:
- Three times every day for a week stop what you are doing, sit somewhere quiet and connect with your body sitting in the chair. Feel its weight, feel your clothes on your skin and the air on your face. Then connect with your other senses – sight, taste, smell and hearing. Do this just for a few moments each time. After you have done this for a week add the next exercise.
- Twice a day for a week sit down and, after doing exercise 1, put your attention on three inward and outward breaths. The idea here is to keep your attention on the breath. Feel the cool air entering your nose and then leaving your body. If your mind wanders, and it almost certainly will, start counting again. End this exercise when you have either kept your attention on three breaths or you’ve started again three times. This exercise should only go for a couple of minutes. After another week add the next exercise.
- Pick a short undemanding daily activity – cleaning your teeth, walking to your car, hanging out the washing – and give your full attention to it from beginning to end. Connect with the sound, touch, sight and taste of it. If the mind wanders just bring it back and keep going. Keep going with all three exercises until 30 days is up.
I can practically guarantee that you will be feeling the difference in your energy, state of awareness, and your sense of Self. This is all the result of unlocking a small amount of shakti energy.
One more top tip for these practices: forgetfulness is common for beginners, and even for people who have been at this for a while. So some kind of memory aid is a good idea. A diary or journal or planner might help. Even sticky notes on the bathroom mirror or scheduled reminders on your phone can come to the rescue. If you do forget a few of the practices for a day or two, you are in good company. We have all been there! Just be easy on yourself and resolve to get back to it with renewed vigour.
Once the shakti energy is building inside you, you can connect with it in other ways in your life. Once you have this energy flowing you will want to enliven other parts of your life and the people you come in contact with.
All of us are called upon to play different roles throughout the day, moving from one to the other and back again. Most of us are well-practised at this. We get up in the morning and we play the role of someone getting their day started with showering and dressing, perhaps we then get breakfast ready and prepare lunch for ourselves and the kids. Then we become a driver/commuter. At the office, or shop or wherever we work we slip into the role of boss or manager or factory worker. This is a fluid natural process of picking up and putting down roles all day.
Let’s look at how we can give expression to shakti energy in the various roles we play throughout the day. Each of these roles can benefit from the increased awareness and energy flowing through us. And many of these roles and jobs have their own special form of shakti energy. If you are the boss, for example, then the energy of leadership will be helpful. As a parent, the nurturing guiding aspect of shakti will come into play. As a friend or colleague, warmth and connection and support will be useful.
How do we connect with shakti energy in the tasks we perform in our life? A story from the wisdom tradition of how one man acquired that energy will help.
In the Bible, Solomon became king after his father David. God asked Solomon what he wanted as a blessing. Solomon asked to be blessed with discernment and an understanding heart. Rather than ask for wealth or power or honours, he wanted wisdom so he could rule his people wisely and well. Solomon was concerned for others. He wanted to be able to fulfill his task of being king to the best of his ability.
God was pleased with this humble request. He blessed Solomon with wisdom according to his wish. But then God also granted Solomon riches and honour. Solomon received this abundance of shakti power because he sought wisdom first, above honours and riches.
This story has guidance for us.
To harness shakti energy in any task that comes our way, we can ask ourselves two questions:
- What skills do I need, to do my job to the best of my ability?
- How can I best use those skills to help those in my care?
You might be the CEO of a major corporation or the janitor in a high school; a parent, or a friend, or a colleague; a customer in a shop, or a commuter on a crowded train. These are all roles that we may find ourselves called upon to play.
We can connect with the shakti energy in each of these roles by asking those two simple questions: What talents and skills should I cultivate to do my job? How can I best be of service?
I’ll give a personal example. For many years I taught primary school children. The shakti energies that I cultivated included knowledge, intelligence, discipline, organisation, good-humour, compassion. These energies and other similar ones helped me with the specific tasks that continually presented themselves to me – teaching grammar and mathematics; maintaining order in the classroom; ensuring that the day, the week, and the term were organised and proceeded efficiently; communicating effectively with parents, colleagues and the children. All of these detailed tasks were made to flow effectively by remembering and cultivating the shakti energy.
So, try the three exercises of the thirty day Shakti program. With a little effort you will reap a great reward. And then you can add a fourth exercise – take the show on the road and let the shakti energy fill out your various tasks and roles throughout your day. This will transform them. I guarantee that it will also transform you. You will feel the change and others will begin to feel it too.