aparigraha devotion divine feminine gonika love mother's day sankalpa shakti

Dear One,

The Month of May is upon us and Mother Nature is wearing her gown of stunning blossoms and verdant green jewels.  Her waters are flowing in creeks and rivers and there is a fragrance of possibility with every breath.  She is alive!

It’s no surprise that love and Springtime are intimately threaded together, love, it seems is truly in the air. 

May is the month that we celebrate Mothers around the world.  We acknowledge those attributes associated with a mother’s love, compassion, and devotional caregiving. Metaphysically, in the Vedic tradition, we honor Shakti, the Divine Feminine, as the eternal force of nature in the material world, the energy, dynamism, and receptive medium that creates something from nothing again, and again.

Shakti is alive, she is the sun and moon, the stars and sky, she is the mountains and rivers, she is us.  She is consciousness made real, tangible, touchable, and measured.  Shakti is the reflection of thoughts and desires.  She reflects to us what we see in her.  When we hear that we live in a reflective universe it is Shakti that is the reflector.  The poet Rumi captured this with, “What you are seeking is seeking you”.  When you gaze at the world through your desires without conditioned and limiting beliefs, the universe responds; it gives, demonstrates, and creates on your behalf.

One of my favorite mother-centric myths in Indian mythology is that of Patanjali, the revered sage and author of The Yoga Sutras.  

The story goes…

Gonika, a powerful Yogini, wanted a child.  She was at the end of her life and wanted more than anything to pass on her knowledge of Yoga to a son.  Gonika was deeply devoted.  She prayed daily and performed powerful puja and rituals. She steadfastly stayed true to the desire of her heart.  Others dismissed her desire, claiming she was far too old to bear a child and viewed her devotions as ridiculous nonsense.  Still, within her heart, she remained true to her desire.  One day, while sitting in meditation near the Ganges river, as she quietly finished her prayers she scooped up a little water between her palms and offered it in devotion to the energy of life. 

Suddenly…just like that, splat, a little half snake half boy landed squarely in her hand. Her prayers were answered, and she held within her hands a little boy she would name Patanjali, as Pat means fallen or landed and Anjali is translated as a divine offering.  This boy would grow to know the system of Yoga and the path of liberation becoming the celebrated author of The Yoga Sutras.

What fills my mind is an image of the steady, calm, strong, and heart-centered Gonika in sweet devotion to life, giving what simple offering she could at that moment, and receiving not only a son but an incredible lineage to the teachings of Yoga.

Life is like that at times.  We may have a desire of the heart that has yet to be revealed, and the moment we let it go, and set it free, suddenly, just like that, something arrives in a surprisingly different shape and takes on an unexpected form, more wonderful than we ever could imagine.



  • Find a little time to spend in nature.  Consider an intention, perhaps a heart-centered desire that has yet to be demonstrated.  
  • Allow the feeling of the intention, your Sankalpa to arise. Create a felt sense of the Sankalpa in your body.
  • Create a short repeatable affirmation that is the embodiment of your Sankalpa.  Gently repeat it to yourself in the voice of your mind, three times.  And let is go.
  • Take Pushpanjali Mudra, palms turned up, sides of the hands pressed together.  Imagine offering a devotion of love, compassion, and supreme care-giving, to the mother of your life, it may be your own mother, a motherly being or figure, or a divine presence of protection and kindness.  Just offer.  When you are complete place your hands over your heart and rest in the effulgence of Shakti.







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