This year marks 15 years of devotion to daily meditation as part of my spiritual practice.
I can’t believe it’s been that long, but it has. By no means was this easy. It was freakin’ hard, but I’m so happy and proud to not only have reached this milestone but to see it’s effects so clearly in my life and work.
There were plenty of times when I felt like I was too busy, too tired, or too overwhelmed to do anything, much less meditate, but I stuck to it.
When I was pregnant, it became even harder. In order to make space for the new life I was carrying, I had to be flexible and do what I could, when I could.
Which brings me to…
Any spiritual practice requires our devotion AND it also asks us to be malleable, honor our cycles, and tune into what’s working for us and what’s not.
In recent years, I’ve noticed, that we’re being marketed meditation and committing to a spiritual practice as a means to “manifest” the perfect life. These tips and tricks guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong, as long as we’re positive and focusing on love and light 24/7.
To me this misses the point, and feeds into the racist-patriachial system that breaks us and then sells us stuff to fix our brokenness. No thank you!
Slavery, genocide, world hunger, hate crimes were not manifested by the victims. Heartbreak, loss, illness can happen to anyone, regardless of mindset.
So much of what we experience is a result of systems of oppression, created by those who abuse power, and leverage pain and suffering for their personal gain time and time again.
Can we still consciously create our experiences? Yes.
However, ignoring overarching systems conveniently blinds us from the injustices that exist, and keep us from confronting these systems. It’s detrimental and dangerous to ourselves, our families, our earth and all of its inhabitants.
If we find ourselves constantly needing to shut out the bad stuff, and focus solely on love and light, it’s actually an invitation to do deeper work. When we’re unable to be with the pain and suffering in the world AND the goodness that exists it creates a world made out of glass. In this world, everything can shatter at any moment, it’s only a matter of time.
The need to disconnect from reality is deep and we’ve all experienced it. Sometimes we need to spend days binge watching Netflix in bed as a way to tend to our grief and pain, and that’s okay.
However, if our default is to live eyes wide shut, much of the time, we miss the opportunity to heal and connect with our deeper purpose. We also miss the opportunity to be better leaders and ancestors.
KEY LESSONS FROM 15 YEARS OF MEDITATION
As I honor this milestone, this is what meditation has meant to me…
Meditation to me is a connection to what’s true about us. It’s attuning to the part of us that doesn’t want or lack anything. It’s remembering over and over again that we are whole now and always.
Meditation is about clearing the path so that we can not only speak to spirit but so we can also hear spirit speaking to us. (If the word “spirit” doesn’t work for you, feel free to sub it out)
Meditation is about surrender and surrendering some more.
Meditation is about being the student over and over again so that we can lead with integrity and audacity.
Meditation is about love. Cultivating a relationship with self-love, so that our cup overflows.
It’s easy to get lured by the shiny objects that promise us a perfect life. But think about it: Has this promise ever been delivered?
I’m more interested in building our muscles of resilience and courage, so we can face personal and global challenges knowing that we’re all sourced from something deeper.
I’m more interested in creating a life that feels beautiful inside and out and expanding our capacity for joy, so we can bask in the sweet moments.
This week, during my meditation practice this message came through:
Meditation creates the container so we can be with it all. The absolute peaks of joy and the moments of despair. The numinous lives even in our darkest and loneliest hours.
Immediately after, one of my moments of despair came into my awareness. I saw myself on a stretcher. It was three days after giving birth and due to a combination blood loss, sleep deprivation (which is very dangerous for anyone, but especially new mothers), childbirth trauma, among other factors I was on my way to the hospital.
It was one of the hardest moments of my life.
However, I remember, even then, there was a part of me that was operating on a deeper soul level. This part was unchangeable and unbreakable and knew that no matter what I’d be okay. I felt a greater power reaching out to comfort me. I felt the prayers of my elders and ancestors bolstering me, shepherding me, healing me and creating a way.
My devotion to spirit has also, opened up an extraordinary amount of goodness to flow in my life. My family, my home, love, sisterhood… I fully celebrate all of it however, I’m clear on this…
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” ~Audre Lorde
We are the micro within the macro AND the macro that contains the micro.
We are all powerful creators AND there are things that occur in our lives and in the world that’s outside of our control and understanding.
We are both student AND teacher.
We are both holy AND human.
That’s the beauty and the challenge of this experience called life.
Expanding our capacity hold life’s paradoxes, while still working to create a world that works for all, is our work. When we’re able to be with the paradox it begins to dismantle the binary lens and opens us to an infinite amount of possibilities and solutions.
It was during a meditation practice in the fall of 2006, that I heard my purpose: To illuminate. The process of deciphering what that meant was another journey. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to refine this initial message using my soul as my compass.
Today it means…
Guiding womxn to reclaim the parts of themselves that we’ve lost, forgotten and long for. I believe as womxn heal themselves, the world also heals.
I may not finish this quest in my lifetime, but I’m going to try to make the biggest impact possible.
One of my favorite Haitian singer-songwriters Belo wrote a song called Wozo that I love based on a popular saying that I heard growing up.
This is the chorus…
Ou se wozo, ou se wozo
Ou mèt tandew pliye ou pap kase
Nou se wozo, ou se wozo
Ou mèt tande’w pliye, ou pap kase
The English translation is…
You are a wozo (a reed found in Haiti), you are a wozo
You might bend, you won’t break
We are wozo, we are wozo
We might bend, we won’t break
This love song to Haiti, is also a beautiful reminder to all of us…
Our spirit is unbreakable no matter what life or the world may throw at us.
I’m looking forward to another 15 years of insights. 😉
OVER TO YOU…
What’s your current spiritual practice? How do you feel about it? How would you like to explore/expand this area of your life?