GloForward Feature: Goddess Kali
Goddesses as Guides: Facing Midlife’s Storms
by Paulette Bodeman
April 30, 2021
I imagine that when future generations look back at this particular time in history, it will be remembered as the “season of women rising.” Women globally are energetically standing together and collectively using their voices in order to reclaim their lives.
Yet, for many of us who are moving through midlife’s changes, we might be feeling more like women sinking. Hormones shifts and overwhelming stress can divert all our available energy to staying afloat.
While intellectually we realize the potency of feminine empowerment, we may never have experienced role models who provided a roadmap on how to navigate this transitional period of midlife with gusto and grace.
If you’re approaching what I call the badass and brilliant phase of life, or find yourself already steeped in it, you might be feeling a bit out of control and not quite so luminous.
Let’s be outrageously honest…our bodies are changing, we’re beginning to notice the crinkles around our eyes and mouth, that no amount of expensive skin care product is capable of reverse engineering. People look at us differently. And most days we feel invisible.
I remember the first time a clerk at my favorite boutique called me Ma’am and I looked around wondering, who are they talking to?!
This transition period of life can either be debilitating - drowning you in self-pity for the inevitable cycles of nature, or this time can be powerfully and deliberately freeing.
No question it takes courage and a commitment to rediscover the innate beauty and brilliance of being a woman. The good news is you have the power to redefine yourself.
Were you blessed with strong positive female influences who taught you…
~how to be courageous in the face of fear
~inspired when you feel your creativity and inner fire waning
~how to discover your eternal resources of health and abundance
and perhaps most important of all…
~how to access the well-spring of your divine feminine essence, the Source of all Life?
Universal Feminine Qualities
In the Hindu Goddess tradition of yoga, we’re offered many mythological female figures that display both human and spiritual superpowers.
In this series, I’d like to introduce you to three main Goddesses that have served to guide me through the ebb and flow of my life. Kali, Saraswati and Lakshmi. May they provide you with the wisdom and power to join with your global sisters and reclaim yourself, no matter what stage of life you’re voyaging.
Goddess stories are a foundational principle in the many streams of yoga, especially Tantric yoga. Tantra means to warp and weave. Tantra is a tool for conscious expansion. It offers you strategies and tools to expand your idea of midlife transition. Tantra urges you to own the change.
Feminine lore offers a way to see the deeper truth of who you are. Beyond the superficial youth focus that western culture has promoted.
The Goddesses are not idols to be worshipped, but rather serve as archetypes that represent different qualities and aspects of the universal feminine that never go out of fashion.
The Goddess myths give badass and brilliant women, like you, the tools to shift into new leadership roles. Claiming your place at the table, the boardroom or the bedroom.
Goddess super-powers have always resided within. Since their energies already exist, the invitation then is for you to learn how to access and utilize their powerful wisdom, when the waters of your life are flowing smoothly, as well as when you need extra support or guidance.
The cycles of nature occur in every woman’s life. It’s up to us individually and collectively to claim our badass and brilliant wisdom that these changing years bring. And then celebrate it.
In many schools of thought the Goddesses appear in a specific order. However, what’s important to note, Goddess energy is much like having an invisible support team that is available to you in any order you deem appropriate.
In fact, Goddess energies cohabitate, it’s YOU who has the ability to call one or more forth when you’re desiring their agency.
Kali, The Great Mother of All
We begin with the Goddess Kali for she is considered the great mother of all. Kali is recognized as the Goddess of the great void; with her blue-black skin she represents the unlimited vastness of potentiality.
Kali is the ultimate primal life force of creation, and dissolution, where all differences dissipate into the crucible of boundless space.
She is the wild women whose hormones are a raging fire. During the dark night Kali awakens drenched in sweat to pace the floor, breath rapidly beating against her heart like an indigenous drum, each beat a creative spark.
The Goddess Kali holds your deepest desires in her vessel of fierce love. With her no-nonsense and tough love approach to transformation, Kali’s focus is to move you from the ego mind (limiting and false beliefs, negative thoughts and emotions, defense mechanisms) to the innate wisdom of the heart.
Kali reminds you that in order for newness to arise in your life, something needs to die away. Like it or not Kali is the badass truth teller. She pounds on the door of your heart demanding that you let go of your blood years with the same fierceness you claimed it.
She screeches loudly to make certain you hear, “it’s time for a change. Now, own it!”
Kali helps you to get real with yourself and is the courageous force you need to bring your shadows into the light.
When you gaze steadily into the mirror and no longer see the young woman you once were, Kali shrugs and prompts, “so who do you want to become?”
For the contemporary woman Kali also represents the power of audacious freedom that has historically been denied. Accessing Kali’s power helps us to stand up for ourselves and discover our own ferocity of love. She awakens or reignites our ability to express our sexuality and sensuality as only we can.
The Only Way Out Is Through
Because of her no BS attitude, Kali is not always an easy goddess to embrace. For she demands commitment and the discipline to look straight into the eye of truth. No by-passing. No buffering. We’ve probably all heard the mantra “the only way out is through” – that’s pure Kali.
Perimenopause and menopause can strip us to the bone. We’re taken down to the essence of who we truly are without any defensive actions at play. As a result, we have the opportunity to become radically badass and brilliant. Trembling limbs perhaps, yet willing to face what scares the hell out of us.
Kali is the perfect Goddess to assist you during this transformative time of your life.
You might imagine yourself standing tall dressed in a black leather body suit, thigh high-boots, waist-length hair blowing in the wind, arms raised overhead, legs sturdy and strong, lips parted and grinning like only a wildly badass woman can, and shouting, “I am powerful beyond measure. I got this.”
Stay tuned for the next in our series - Saraswati, the Goddess of flow, sequence and sacred order. She reminds you that there is power and truth to change, and supports you in creating something new.
Paulette is a highly regarded yoga teacher and trainer, and long-time student of Tantric philosophy and the stories of India. She is also an Amazon best-seller, Certified Professional Integrative Coach, the founder of the Breakaway Academy and the Badass & Brilliant Method. For more than three decades students have praised the whole-hearted and transformational power of Paulette’s teachings, coaching, and personal development retreats. Paulette is a life-long learner who continues to crave knowledge. She’s earned a B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology and has studied with renowned yoga scholars. She continues to up-level her coaching skills by studying with internationally recognized business and life coaches.