The Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually Balanced Woman
In my meditation lately, I have been reflecting on the extraordinary changes that have happened in the social life of women during the last hundred years. The gains that have been made, and the road still to travel.
It was 1920 when women received the right to vote in the United States. The word birth control wasn’t part of our everyday vocabulary until the 1930’s. The events of the 20th century have been a continual expansion of those horizons. Decade after decade, women have gained more access to health care, to education, to career opportunities and to political power.
Within my own life, I can see the incredible difference between what has been available to me and what was available to my mother and grandmothers. I am a single, college-educated woman with my own home. By the grace of the Divine, I earn a reasonable living doing something I love and enjoy. All of this would have been more difficult to achieve if I had been born 20 years earlier. Women in my time experience privileges that women for thousands of years have never been able to access. Even now, in large portions of the world, many millions are still denied those freedoms.
Yet sometimes it is easy to forget that even the most privileged woman today carries within her the psychological scars of generations past. The scars that come from centuries of women being considered less than human. While I enjoy economic mobility, education, and legal protections that my ancestors did not have, this does not necessarily translate to having a better emotional, mental or spiritual life. Creating a society that allows women to come out of poverty and dependence is just the first step. When it comes to a woman claiming her full humanity, there are even more steps to take.
There is a great teaching in Kundalini Yoga that when you work on yourself and face your inner-negativity and problems, you liberate seven generations before you and seven generations ahead of you. Why is this true? Because the burden we carry in our subconscious minds comes from the last seven generations. Survival patterns, personality imbalances, belief systems – whatever blocks us from experiencing our pure selves doesn’t start with us. It started seven generations ago. Whatever happened to our great-great-great-great-great-grand parents; whatever traumas they had to endure; whatever coping mechanisms they created; all of that got passed down and refined from one generation to another until it landed in our own subconscious.
When you think about it, it becomes rather daunting. What a person faces in his or her sadhana, the darkness and the shadows, is the psychological burden of hundreds of years of human history. No wonder it can be such hard work. Think about all the wars that have been waged. The times of famine. The rape of women. All the destructive acts that humans have committed against each other. Think about how you are the result of those people who somehow managed to survive all of it. Whatever unresolved pain, whatever defenses they created to survive, live inside of you. The difference is that when you practice Kundalini Yoga, you have the chance to cut through all of it and clear it out of your genetic line.
That is what we do when we develop a steady practice of Kundalini Yoga. That is what we fight every day on the battlefield of the subconscious mind. Can we break through all of those blocks, and experience our pure, authentic truth? Or are we condemning ourselves and our children to repeating the patterns of the past? On a collective level, that fight is, to me, the battle for the future of the human race.
In the last couple generations, we have begun to see what it looks like for women to live with economic dignity and self-determination. But we are still pioneers when it comes to women and men being raised with mental, emotional and spiritual balance. I know this is the work of the future. While I can enjoy economic privileges that did not exist in the past, it doesn’t mean that I or the sisters of my generation escaped other types of abuse and oppression. The work ahead is to create a world where the physical and psychological attacks against women that can happen in the family and at other levels of society become as outdated as denying women access to education.
After spending the last 20 years engaged in my own battle with the subconscious, I wish I could say, “Yes. All of those things are healed now and I am just fine.” But that is not the truth. The truth is that me and the shadows in my mind have come to an understanding of sorts. I know ultimately I can’t get rid of them. Those experiences exist for a reason. But I also know that if I work with my mind consciously, I have many more choices about what to do when the shadows come along and try to take over. I have given up on the idea that mental, emotional and spiritual balance means being fine all the time. Rather, I have come to embrace a definition that being mentally, emotionally and spiritually balanced means being fine some days. And having an amazing set of tools to use when the darkness in myself, which is also the darkness of the last seven generations, decides to visit.
If I can give the future a chance to fight through a little less darkness in their own subconscious than I inherited in mine, then I will consider that a life well lived.
With Divine Light,
Ek Ong Kaar Kaur
International Women’s Day is March 8. Join Ek Ong Kaar Kaur on March 8th for a livestream 31 minute meditation, dedicated to healing the women of the world. Details to be announced.