Since my Dagara elder initiation in 2015, I’ve been hearing a call, a voice deep within which I tried to ignore, or better yet, redefine in my own terms. The voice had no name, no face, or clear direction. Yet it was insistent. What it sounded like was a call to service, to make a difference, to be part of the change I want to see in the world. You’ve heard the saying many times I’m sure – “be the change.”
Problem was, I did not know where to begin. Should I jump on the bandwagon of fighting climate change? Become a feminist? Stand for Black Lives Matter? Rally against white supremacy? Invite my tribe to get back to their roots?
The intersectionality of being a woman, African-American, earth-based spiritual practitioner, and immigrant, provides a variety of doorways in responding to the call. None of those by themselves seem to move me. Instead, they paralyzed me. The challenge was finding the energy to address them all, or be involved with endless rhetoric within each.
Since that time, I spent hours, weeks researching on the issues looming in our world. My heart filled with uncertainty, and oftentimes, apathy. As you can see from previous blog posts, I shared randomly about topics that touched me, like shooting darts at a blank wall.
In my conversations during the Soul Talk Sister Circle which I began, we embarked on a discussion around appropriation of culture. It ignited a spark in me, soon it felt like a vain topic and distraction. While researching the topic, I chanced upon a web page, featuring an article entitled:
Wasted Energy on the Battles Against Appropriation and Racism: Indigenous Systems are Resistance
In the article, a few passages stood out, including:
Let’s raise our children to fall in love with indigenous systems rather than attempting to destroy colonial systems from within.
Imagine if we put the energy that we use in trying to convince, change, challenge, and confront colonial systems and instead used that very same energy on re-establishing, restoring, revitalizing, and regenerating indigenous systems.
I saved the article and returned to it again and again. Soon a light began to grow in me. The elder was onto something. I decided to rephrase the statement in the words of one of my greatest inspirations, Martin Luther King Jr. :
Let’s raise awareness that… all [men] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
It feels to me that the network of mutuality and the single garment of destiny envisioned by our esteemed ancestor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., intrinsically invites us to heal, restore, protect and nurture all our relations. Not destroy, capitalize, endanger or dominate others and the natural world. This I felt was affirmed when reading the book: The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism by Andrew Harvey. I read the book because I needed something which spoke about hope instead of despair. I must admit that the book became heavily highlighted despite the reference to Christian symbolism emphasized throughout, references which triggered me. I embraced that shadow as I hope to acknowledge all paths to wisdom, including the ones I felt promoted some of the issues we face. I acknowledge that ideologies misinterpreted and misunderstood are the root cause.
Slowly, Aamirah’s World begun to take shape. A way to explore and share what I am discovering on my own path. An exploration beyond black and white. Beyond the isms – racism, feminism, colonialism – into recognizing and living our “single garment of destiny”.
I am going to talking about the #globalgoals as defined by the United Nations. I am going to be talking about #sacredactivism as defined by Andrew Harvey. I am going to talk about indigenous technology and wisdom as defined by Native Peoples of the Americas and African elders. I am going to talk about the #Ghandi effect, the #Mandela effect, the #MLK effect, the #NannyoftheMaroons effect and the #MotherTheresa effect, amongst others, people who have inspired me.
I have no rule book. No definitive path. I may be all over the place. My hope is that the journey will coalesce into something cohesive and practical. However it unfolds, I hope you will support me, bear with me, share your thoughts, and offer your own guidance and wisdom along the way.
This, my beloveds, is Aamirah’s World.