The page I opened in the Devi Mahatmyam today is the story of Dhumralochana ( The Smokey Eyed one -representing ignorance). My earlier post on this myth is here https://freeingourselves.com/2016/09/14/true-empowerment/
As he rushes towards the Goddess-beautiful & resplendent in all of her finery-she stands up, squares her shoulders, and lets out a deep breath with the sound “Hum.” The demon crumbles into ash before her eyes.
It is my favorite image in the myth-a powerful woman standing up fully aware of her power & destroying ignorance with a deep breath. Reaching deep into herself with that breath, confirming her power to herself & letting it flow out of her without fear. The consequence? Ignorance & evil crumbles into dust before her eyes.
Powerful women become powerful when they learn to reach into the power within and stand comfortably in it.
How do we teach our young girls to do this? How do we show them that they have power? We do it by not teaching them to be “nice,” most importantly, by not always being nice ourselves. How often have we as spouses, mothers, and coworkers bit our tongue and let comments that offend us, diminish our effort or outright dismiss us pass with a laugh or a shrug because we do not want not to be nice? We want everyone to like us. It is hard not to be liked, especially if the only way you know that you are worthy is if other people like you. To demonstrate and live with the power that the goddess displays in this episode in the myth, we have to show our young daughters and granddaughters that it is possible to survive not being liked; that if we like ourselves enough – no person outside of ourself can make us feel less than. The affirmation we want our daughter, daughters in law, granddaughters and mentees to repeat is “ I am a powerful woman & I proudly stand in that power regardless of how it might make someone else feel.”