Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Your children are not your children

As their characters and personalities emerge, I'm inspired and directed by a text written by Lebanese philosopher Khalil Gibran on children.

He says: "Your children are not your children, they are the sons and the daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you but they are not from you and though they are with you, they belong not to you.

"You may give them your love but not your thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams."

I consider myself privileged to be raising two gregarious, inquisitive, caring and hilarious boys; both still under age five! They offer me unconditional smiles, hugs and cheer every single day.
As a mother set on nurturing self-affirmed children who are fully equipped to deal with tomorrow's world, I draw upon my heritage and ancestral cultures to provide a strong foundation for life.

Diaspora family
Living as Diasporan family on the African continent, we share a myriad of cultural heritage which we use to construct life-nurturing and community-building experiences.

Through the many valuable lessons learnt from my mother and all women in my female lineage, I remember they always gave me freedom of choice built on strong values and knowledge of self. This provided a strong backbone which enabled me to spread my wings and fly through my life journey.

As I spread my wings as a mother, I, too, make conscious choices in cultivating my children in an 'enriched heritage' community. This makes for a world view rooted in their multiple histories. This approach shapes balanced, loving and giving people who are able to live in and fully participate in the global community of diverse cultures.

As I look to the future, I remember Khalil Gibran's words and dream of tomorrows world where children of the African diaspora boldly affirm their enriched heritage in multiple, fabulous and notable contributions to humanity.

As we celebrate Mother's Day, I remember and honour the matriarchs whom I have known and those I am still getting to know and thank them for enriching my life with love.

What's playing in your head?

Judging from the impassioned responses I received on the man scarcity column last week, it’s clear we (sistas and brothers) need to engage each other on a deeper level about what’s really going on.

It’s so easy to get distracted in the drama but should we but step out of it for a moment and dialogue to future truths; we may be surprised at what we could create. For whilst we wallow in self-pity, we remain locked in a scarcity consciousness that is all pervasive.

Look around you, the energy circulating through the earth is laced with scarcity consciousness. It’s difficult not to get sucked into the vortex because it’s a global phenomenon. The thorny subject of ‘good men’ or the lack of them, is just one facet of a roughly cut diamond life that seems to be slipping out of reach.

The pessimism about the economy, life being tough and the other current laments, escapes from panic-stricken tongues to permeate our daily thoughts and terrorise us while we sleep.

From the lady at the supermarket till to the newspaper vendor, it seems most people are finding it almost impossible to grasp the zest for life that seemed so readily available just the other day.

Last weekend I spent time with my favourite matriarch Mama Toni. As she spoke to a gathering of women about what it takes to be a ‘sister keeper’ – one who looks out for her sisters - she also told us about the power of one.

I learnt that by simply raising our ‘frequency’ to a more loving space, one person can positively impact multitudes of people. Citing the works of author Dr. David Hawkins, Mama Toni pointed out that it takes just one person who is optimistic and chooses not to judge others to counterbalance the negativity of 90 000 people who vibrate on lower, pessimistic levels.

It gets even deeper and more scientific! In a nutshell, what Mama was showing us was that we all have the capacity to make the decision to be kind, show love and see beauty in all no matter what our circumstances. By doing this we collectively create positive energy.

Easier said than done when you’ve just been made redundant you may say? What happens so easily and often unnoticed are the stories of lack, pain, and injustice that are with us from the moment we open our eyes and terrorise us in our sleep.

We hear of scarcity consciousness but it’s probably more accurate to speak of scarcity un-consciousness. We can force our lips into a smile through despair but if the story in our in our hearts and minds are wet with tears then the disconnect can be devastating.

Take some time to tune into your headspace and listen to the narratives that shape your truth. Do they still serve you? In these times, it is important that we are clear and deliberate about the stories we tell ourselves for scarcity is a state of mind.