If you've ever visited the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas, you've seen her smiling face above the benches at the Boutique as painted by Yogini Betsy Schott.
Lakshmi is the Goddess of beauty, wealth, grace, blessings and abundance in material and spiritual matters.
The fourth, fifth and sixth days of Navaratri, are dedicated to her.
We've all spent our fair share of time cleaning, decorating and organizing to keep our homes, well... homey.
We know that if we want our homes to feel truly fresh, gracious and welcoming we can't just sweep things under the rug, light an aromatherapy candle and hope noone will notice.
We need to apply a little "elbow grease".
An effective, "clean sweep" requires a simple three step strategy:
Step 1: Throw out the trash. Move everything. Sweep and scrub. Give away the things you're not using and someone else can.Navaratri is a little like that.
Step 2: Display items which are both beautiful and useful (or at least one of the two!).
Step 3: Arrange them creatively to reflect You. Be sure that there is a place for everything so everything can be put in its place.
First we focus on Durga who clears away negativity and stagnation. This makes space for Lakshmi who radiates and attracts blessings and abundance. Finally we focus on the attributes of Saraswati to guide us in sharing and using our material and spiritual riches wisely.
I always find it feels like things are hitting the fan those first three days - we kick up alot of dust when we start clearing stuff out!
But then we can see what we've got, so during the second set of three days, no matter what I think I'm lacking, I find myself saying "Thank You" alot!
And that's where I was yesterday when I wrote this.
Cooking Roasted Carrots and Beets and saying thank you to the friends who grew and gave them!
Writing this post and feeling grateful for the miracle of technology keeping us connected.
Reading The Yoga of Snakes and Arrows by Harish Johari and thanking the Guru for coming to me in so many wonderful ways!
The yogis say the root of abundance is generosity. Give a little, get a little. Give a lot, get a lot.And they also say that the Siddhi, or superpower of giving is that everything you need will come to you!
Today we begin the three days of Navaratri dedicated to Saraswati.
She is the patron of actors, artists, musicians, spiritual aspirants and creative folks of all descriptions.
I don't know exactly what these three days will bring, but usually it is some wisdom... a creative solution, an inspiring song or poem, a language lesson, a spiritual teacher... who knows?
I'll just keep chanting and stay open. Radiate abundance and gratitude, and it will surely be reflected back!