I like tattoos. I REALLY like tattoos. I have several and they all have meaning to me. This is my most recent one (I got in February) and it is Om Namah Shivaya OM. There is no direct translation of this mantra, but it roughly means “Om and salutations to all that I am capable of becoming.” Pretty groovy, eh?
For very long time, I saw this and chanted the mantra honoring and acknowledging all the GOOD I am capable of becoming. After all, my future is in my hands. I can be whomever I choose to be. It was a celebration, and it still is. The longer I sit with it, however, the more it encompasses. I am capable of becoming light, but I am also capable of becoming darkness. I am capable of freeing myself, but I am also capable of enslaving myself. I am capable of being love, but I am also capable of being judgmental. Every moment of every day, I choose who I am becoming by choosing my thoughts, my actions, my words. It is a celebration, for certain, but it is also a warning. While there are no wasted steps on a yogic journey, there is a cause for mindfulness in every breath.
I am reminded of an old Cherokee legend:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
What will you choose to become? Which wolf are you feeding right now?
Om Namah Shivaya Om. The choice is ours.