During the last few years of drought, I had forgotten just how lush and opulent these mountains are. What an incredible revelation then, after the ample spring rains to experience the unfolding of a real WNC spring. This is the blessing of the drought. When things are easy and beautiful all the time, we begin to get jaded and are not able to fully feel the abundance of our lives.

I had the priveledge of studying with John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga, for the last two weekends. He reminded me that the goal of the yogi is to become comfortable in all situations — both abundance and drought. He used the analogy of the Hindu Goddesses Lakshmi and Kali. Lakshmi is the goddess of beauty, abundance, and peak experience. Kali is the goddess of destruction and dissolution.

Nature moves in cycles of growth and dissolution. Lakshmi, the peak of the cycle is easy to appreciate. She is beautiful and sexy. Kali on the other hand is frightening and fierce. However, we cannot have one without the other. The destiny of the luscious flower is to turn back into compost in order to fuel the growth of the next plant and the opening of the next bud.

Within our yoga practice, Kali and Lakshmi represent raw power and refinement. We need both in our practice, but each in its proper place and time. The best quote of last weekend was when John said that “trying to rush refinement before its time is like sprinkling cilantro on the compost heap”.

For many the current economic crisis is a time of Kali. As everything we once counted on crumbles around us, it is time to tap into the raw power of this destruction. If we can let go of our expectations that life should always be refined and beautiful, then we can take advantage of the possibilities that lie within the compost heap. At a time like this, anything is possible. Look at the incredible shifts that have already taken place over the last year. What else can we dream into reality?

Each of us have the choice to live in fear or to be the change. The time is now. The potential is yours. The shifts that you make in your life right now will reverberate throughout the rest of the world and the rest of your life. Set your intentions clearly, then feed them with down and dirty compost power of Kali.