Guest post by Ravensong Phoenixfire
"It is better to live your own Dharma imperfectly, than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection." -Bhagavad Gita
This past August, I sat around a table with my fellow CAYA Aspirants, musing about what we wanted to do for our lunar working for that month. We had agreed to choose a theme and then do our individual workings around the theme, checking in with one another for support. The theme chosen among us was Prosperity. Some mused about creating budgets or saving for a vacation. At first I felt a bit of a disconnect with that particular working, since as a yoga teacher, there isn't a whole lot of money in what I do. So instead of focusing solely on the monetary aspect, I instead chose to focus on Right Livelihood.
The day after, I hopped a plane for Washington State, and spent some much-needed time relaxing, rejuvenating, swimming in natural bodies of water, and connecting with nature. I had precious time there to reflect on what I valued, reassess what kind of work I wished to do in the world, and look at where I had been wasting my energy.
When I returned home to San Francisco the following week, I set to work. As a witch who is a yogini and a devotee of Ganesha and Kali, many of my spells have to do with mantra. I chant in Sanskrit, which is a holy language that has immense power to focus the mind and bring about transformation and healing.
In my studies of mantra, one of the most powerful chants to bring forth abundance is "Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha". In yogic philosophy, Om is the syllable that encompasses all sound and no sound simultaneously. Shrim is the seed syllable for Lakshmi. Maha means "great". Lakshmiyei is a term of endearment for the Lakshmi, goddess of beauty, abundance, and prosperity. Swaha means "I salute you."
Taking a cue from my colleague Edward Vilga, who has used this mantra for years with great effect, I added one more syllable to give the mantra some extra oomph: Gam, the seed syllable for Ganesha, the Opener of the Way, Remover of Obstacles, Lover of Knowledge. The reasoning behind this addition was to invite Lord Ganesha in to open the way for Lakshmi to birth abundance.
For the remainder of the moon cycle, I chanted 108 repetitions every day of "Om Gam Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha". After each day's working, I would either wear the mala I used to track my repetitions, or I'd leave it to charge on my altar.
Mantras wear a groove in our subconscious, thereby rewiring our thoughts and words so that we can bring about change within ourselves. Paired with action in the mundane world, this practice can move mountains! I mercifully let go of a class I had tried and failed to build for two years, as well as a class I was subbing out regularly due to scheduling conflicts. Then I put out a call to my colleagues in the yoga world to let them know I was looking for work teaching Hatha, Yin, Restorative, and Therapeutic Yoga. My colleagues stepped up to the plate and began making introductions to studio owners and managers. Requests for interviews began to flood my email inbox. Those interviews gave way to practical demos. Then the offers started pouring in. The classes I decided to keep from before this working have grown not only viable, but profitable. At one of the new studios where I was hired, I submitted proposals for four workshops, and all four got accepted. It has reached a point where I will need to exercise discernment on accepting any further offers.
I am grateful for the abundance that has begun to flow my way. I am grateful to Ganesha, Lakshmi, all of my colleagues who made introductions, and all the studio owners and managers who genuinely wanted what I have to offer. This is the Dharma in action. When thought, word, and action are in alignment with one's truest and highest self, some potent magic can happen.