Living my joy

I have always loved to write. Not as a wild passion, but as a quiet presence in the background. I wrote a children’s book when I was ten. It was not published, but I felt proud for trying. I journaled my way through my teens keeping sane through my passage into womanhood. My Master’s thesis, ‘Bringing the Human Spirit to Work’ helped me reframe my transition into working life as one of learning to live a life of joyful contribution.

I straddle two worlds. I have roots into Europe from my Danish father and into Africa from my Zimbabwean mother. I have lived and loved in both countries. They have contributed to making me who I am. Zimbabwe showed me a world of connection, vibrancy and joy; Denmark that I can do whatever I set my heart to. Perhaps these contrasting beginnings enabled me to let my heart and my joy be my guides on my journey through life. Instead of a secure job, I co-created Pioneers of Change, a global learning community of young change makers. Later, I returned to Zimbabwe to co-found Kufunda, a learning village committed to fostering resilient communities. Through all of this I was writing, as a way of reaching out with the questions and ideas, that were living and maturing in my heart and mind.

Four years ago I was in another transition. This one I did not write my way through. I married, became a mother, and made my new home with my husband in South Africa. Four years on I woke up to the fact that somehow my life had become too small for me. My work was springing more from a need to contribute to my family and my colleagues than from my heart. Mother, wife, colleague, these are all important roles, and yet they are far smaller than who I really am.

Recently, we have moved back to Zimbabwe as a family. This time it was us as a family collective who chose to walk out of the normal definitions of success: To walk into another possibility. We don’t know what it is, but we know that there is something more, as we learn to work – as a family – from a place of meaning and possibility. We have moved back to Zimbabwe with the intention to follow simply, as a family, that which makes us happy, and to trust that in that choice we will contribute more fully to our world.

In this simple and yet deeply profound shift, I am finding myself back in a place where my questions and curiosity are rising, my creativity is bubbling, and a stronger more intentional desire burns in me to chronicle and share. I believe that I am part of many across the world who are creating a new world. The old is not working, and we are gradually finding our way into a different way of being human. We are still learning our way into this. We as women have much to contribute here, and for me, writing is a subtle but integral part of breathing the new into life. It is the bridge between the outer work, and the inner emerging clarity. And it is the medium through which those of us, who are building the new, can find each other.

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One thought on “Living my joy

  1. i read all your journal entries this morning Marianne.

    “Living your joy” — the little picture of your chilren …it reminded me of that phrase by Humberto Maturana. “Our children are the change in conservation we seek.”

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