I’m exhausted. Drained. Done for the day. Ready to stay in bed with the toddler at 8pm.
But – I didn’t do that. I had a promise to keep.
Three weeks ago I awoke from a dream with a chant ringing in my head:
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
The remover of obstacles, given to me as a response to my plea for help. I had hit a wall and couldn’t seem to find my way around it.
I googled the Sanskrit, not remembering what it meant, and found an article stating that one would do well to commit to chanting it each day for forty days. I took that to heart.
The mantra’s effect was immediate and powerful. So I’ve kept my promise, despite late nights writing, solar flares affecting my energy, fighting off a head cold, and all the rest.
A full mala: 108 repetitions daily.
That’s dedication to practice, or tapas. A daily devotion. And damn, it feels good.
Even though I teach yoga and meditation almost every day, multiple times a day, my own practice can slide. Teaching isn’t the same as devoting myself. Any teacher will tell you the same. It tugs at us, drains a bit of our life force energy, when we neglect our own practice in favor of guiding someone else’s.
My devotion is to myself, and to this chant, and the great One-ness to which it is sent. It feels a bit like prayer, or worship, or fiery austerity; and I am glad I have it.
Tonight, I was drained. But I kept my promise, even though it meant I had to sit on the kitchen floor in the dark because the kid was asleep in my room and my husband was watching TV in the other room.
That’s devotion. I get it, now.
Daily practice matters. Mine is everything; it fills an empty cup and gets me out of bed at 8pm. Yeah. I said PM.