This week has been full of moments of reflection for me. You know those times when all the variables start displaying themselves, bringing things to light that create moments of confusion and clarity all at the same time.
I have been thinking about Occupy Oakland and the incredible injustices that continue to happen here in the Bay Area and all over the United States. The struggle for equality continues to be a focal point of so many movements and yet we are not equal, we do not have the same opportunities and this fight is far from over in any capacity.
I have been thinking about the upcoming holidays and how overwhelming they are on the average family trying to survive in these times. The financial devastation of the nation coupled with emotional struggles have increasingly been the story of so many people. My family is no different and we struggle through the financial and emotional saga of living in society today where nothing is given freely and everything appears to take a larger toll on us than we have to give.
I have been thinking about the overall anxiety that the world is feeling right now. The increased crime, increase in need and the decrease in options have continued to strong arm a sense of hope that once was a given in society. I feel it when I am walking down the street or watching TV in my living room; the incredible amount of anxiety that is collectively filtering into the overall energy of the world is tiresome and draining. It is devoid of answers and this brings about an increased sense of need that is going unaddressed as well.
I could continue to sit in this all encompassing reality of today’s reality and then I stop and think about the valuable importance of spirituality and connection to something greater than myself. Throughout time we have carried a belief in the sheer power of belief and that this belief would bring us through, solidifying the immense power of the people that have survived incredible devastation. While the beliefs themselves have varied between several different religions and paths, the strength of the beliefs have not. In the context of cultural considerations and understanding of Black people, this is one element that I would consider cultural within our nature.
So today I have chosen to re-frame my thoughts on the importance of a mindfulness practice that brings about an inner sense of serenity, balance, spirituality and release while embracing the ancestral connection to my spiritual core. While the world around me struggles for some sense of sanity I must be able to find that within myself, especially when it is not there without myself to find. The Charge of the Goddess refers to “if that which you seek you find not within yourself, you will never find it without yourself” and is a reminder to look to the inner most corner of the self to seek solace and understanding. Too often we look outside of ourselves, to others, or even to the Gods, to make sense of what seems to be meaningless or senseless in this world. In reality I am the only person with the power and inner knowledge to reflect on myself and this is one of the reasons that mindfulness can be so empowering.
Maybe this is what my ancestors have known the whole time; the key to true salvation is within oneself. The woes of the world are continuous and have been a source of pain within my culture for so long that they musht have figured out that the only way to spirit was by looking through a lens into ones soul and finding those things that bring about peace in the middle of the war.
I fully intend to capture that piece of knowledge from them to bring into the world around me today. I want to be an example of inner resolve, even when the cops are raiding, people are shooting each other in the streets and children are going without food, clothing or shelter.
So I will start with recommitting to myself, providing space for a daily moment of mindful reflection and work hard to keep the flame of hope burning within myself.
I will start now with a prayer:
“In this moment of stillness I honor all pieces of myself and connect to the collective voices of my ancestors. I speak to the All mother and father to hear my commitment to myself and to the message of serenity. May my heart be open to the lessons of knowledge and my ears be open to your message. So mote it be.”