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“When our roots are deep, there is no need to fear the wind.” ~ African proverb

I tend to align with schools of thought that bring together separate parts into holism and offer evolutionary paths through interconnectivity, radical inclusion, interrelatedness and can be framed through the lens of transpersonal philosophy and psychology. You could say I have a deep reverence for imagining that all of life lived and the paths that each of us take – whether personally or culturally hold the necessary meaning for our selves and souls to fully awaken within. In other words, we are never off of our paths and there are no wrong answers or turns to take. All roads lead back to self, back to soul, back to relationship, back to potential and possibility.

In this imagining, I am suspending the paradigm of duality and inviting myself to know and trust that all is well and good when experienced through a shift in perspective, frequency and dimension, and from within a mystical experience of non-duality. I am also stepping out of my comfort zone to live a life of transformative change, a new story that I am proactively authoring because I believe change is an inside job, and that how we live as individuals impacts the whole.

Bitterroot National Forest photograph by elizabeth izzo 2017

Mountainous Looking Glass, photograph of Bitterroot National Forest by Elizabeth Izzo 2017

Are we all related interconnected life forms dancing among each other?

Are we experiencing ourselves as separate and distinct because as co-creators of our reality, we can? If so, how can we reimagine ourselves and community in new ways in order to unify and become the creators of the change we want to see in the world?

Recently I was asked to describe, what does community mean to me? It was the first time I realized and stated that community is an experience wherein I am not feeling separate.

Yet to be human is to experience separation. Separation from parts of ourselves, each other, nature, and dominant power structures. I won’t pretend to speak to the extensive themes of oppression and marginalization in the modern world. Although I can speak from my own experiences of marginalization of living within the stigmas of having a mental health diagnosis as a survivor of complex trauma, living in poverty, living as a unmarried women, and outside of traditional norms. All of that marginalization is only as powerful as I allow it to be for me. I am an innovator, so I am never without choices.

For me, no matter what oppressive forces there are in my life (and I have known many traveling into the underbelly of many corrupted institutional powers, and repeatedly being initiated through the travels of entering one rabbit hole after another), I know I still have choice, and that my liberation is within my creator given right to evolve into integration, authenticity, and to heal my wounds of separation, to discover and recover purpose from all that life presents to me. It is my creative evolutionary path to know myself as whole. From this place, all is possible. In this place, community lives and thrives.

“I choose every moment whether I am going to be a victim or I am going to be a victor”.  Karambu Ringera

If and when we don’t have answers for the mysteries of life, we can still choose to respond to life with the intention of what we want to bring to life. We don’t have to know the outcome of our day to choose what intention we will bring forth for it.

small medicine shield for new moon by elizabeth izzo dec 2017 chalk pastel on paper
Becoming Whole / For A New Moon. Shamanic Art by Elizabeth Izzo 2017

For Karambu Ringera, community is important because it is where she is fully human.  Ringera, activist, visionary, change-maker and Founder and President of International Peace Initiatives and a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi works with women afflicted with HIV/AIDS, and the children orphaned because of the disease. In her course through The Findhorn Foundation’s Living the New Story, Reclaiming Your Power: Inner Listening for Outer Action she describes the tragedy of a person or of a people to be not knowing their power, (not) knowing who they are, (not) knowing who they are or their story.  She questions what the story of the world would look like when told through a feminine lens? When reflecting on her Kenyan society, wherein there is a deep sense of separation for those that are marginalized, she states, “Brokenness at whatever level, individually or community, is about living outside of oneself, disconnected and separated. And (this) community then marks us, we are named. And it is up to me to choose whether I am going to accept the mark, the marking and the naming of a community that looks at women as they shouldn’t be listened to, they are weak, they are victims, they are this and the other. I choose every moment whether I am going to be a victim or I am going to be a victor. And when a community, a society, the tradition, the systems, the institutions within which I live mark me and name me, it behooves me to sit still and remember who I am. Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter“.

Her purpose living in this broken community is to reclaim herself which leads her to find where she stands, and to discover what she stands on. She knows that her situation is there for her to remember/re-member who she is.

“Maybe the journey is not so much a journey ahead, but a journey into presence. The farthest place on earth is the journey into the presence of the person nearest to you”. Karambu Ringera

To diminish a path taken, or any part of our selves inherently creates separation, lack, disconnect, judgement, conflict and dismembers us and takes us out of community. As a response, I intend to remember to hold space for it all – for whatever comes up for me and is me in my entirety. In this space, I can experience flow and I can meet unfoldment for the mystery and the presence of what is (being-ness) – a place of encountering life and the living – community, in new ways.

 

This post was written partly in response to an inquiry for reflection in conjunction with enrollment in Findhorn Foundation’s Living The New Story workshop.

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