In Hinduism, Shakti is a term that refers to the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe. Shakti is associated with the divine feminine – “The Great Divine Mother” and is all about source energy, connection, creation, inspiration and transformation.
Shakti is balanced by Shiva. Shiva represents the divine masculine. Shiva is all about strength, planning, structure, goals, will power and “getting things done.”
We all (men and women) possess both masculine and feminine energy, and we need both in our lives to keep us in balance. Shakti to inspire us and shiva to motivate us.
If Shiva is the boat, then Shakti is the wind.
However, in typical Western society, we are living utterly out of balance. We are overwhelmingly driven by our Shiva – masculine – energy. Everything is about achieving, pursuing, planning, striving, attaining and winning. The feminine energy of creativity, magic, openness and connection to all is downplayed, minimized and often even ridiculed.
The result of this imbalance is a society that is so stressed out, unhappy and disconnected that more than half of us rely on some form of prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication to get through the day.
We also tend to approach our relationship with food and our body with primarily Shiva energy. We have goals, plans, charts, rules. We spend enormous amounts of time in an energetic state of pushing, grasping, forcing and striving to change what is.
This will never work.
It will never work because it’s an approach that is so unbalanced.
A bountiful, healthy garden is not grown simply by planning, mapping, fertilizing, and measuring.
A bountiful, healthy garden also requires the magical, interconnectedness of sunlight, rain drops, bumble bees, worms and the warmth of the earth.
The same is true for your body.
Yes, paying attention to what you’re eating and how much is important. But, a healthy, happy body can never be created through rules and structure alone. Some rules and structure must be balanced with love, joy, connection and inner fulfillment. You must love yourself, your life, your body and your mind enough to want to treat it well. That is Shakti.
The meal plans and calorie counting methods of Shiva can be useful tools, but without the Shakti energy of connection, love and faith in yourself and the universe, true health and vitality can never be achieved.
When I start to feel myself leaning too far into Shiva energy around my body and food (“I have got to lose weight,” or “I shouldn’t eat that,” or “I need more willpower”) I remind myself to stop and embrace Shakti – the divine feminine.
I remind myself to eat like a girl.