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The Goddess Who Pauses to Speak


Pause for a split second. Now say what you wanted to say – clearly, concisely, and artfully. Within that tiny suspended moment, your breath shifts, your thoughts coalesce, your mind hovers between this and that, now and then, and finally chooses its self-expression. That moment contains a particular power. Its name is Bagalamukhi.

Bagalamukhi is the goddess who hovers just an inch above an nectar-filled ocean dotted with yellow lotuses, wrapped in a turmeric-colored sari and bathed in her own golden light. She is also called the crane-faced one, the length of her long neck showing that extended moment when the heart’s intention rises to the mouth and is spoken. In her right hand she holds a club and in her left, the tongue of a demon, reducing it to silence. For this reason she is sometimes called the paralyzer, freezing the demons of the mind and of speech. Her own silence accumulates power, so when she speaks, she says exactly what she means. She is that pause before your utterance that makes your words meaningful.

This is a practice of course – one that is not always easy and won’t always function every time you open your mouth, but as you cultivate the link between your mind and your speech, what you say begins to carry more weight and feels more authentic. Your articulations resonate more profoundly with the people around you and begin to create internal change as well, deepening your sense of who you are, where you stand in the world, and how you want to present yourself. When we run ourselves down or criticize others, our articulations are destructive. The more we speak destructively, the more we emanate negativity. Who wants to be around that?

Bagalamukhi is about pausing to cultivate your inner alignment so that what you put out into the world represents your best self. Words shape our thinking and ways of being in the world. As your lips are about to verbalize a thought or an opinion, call on that part of you that is Bagalamukhi, and in that hovering suspended moment, your intention coalesces into the gems of speech that adorn the ocean of your thoughts.

Susanna Harwood Rubin

Author Susanna Harwood Rubin

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