The Joy Revolution

Yesterday, thousands upon thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets to express their desire for Mugabe to step down. Invited by the war veterans to show support for the defence forces and their actions, this was not a typical invitation, and for many Zimbabweans, these are not our typical allies. Which is perhaps part of what makes it so exquisitely beautiful. We gathered, black, white, mixed race, indian, young, old, rich and poor, street kids, students, activists, war veterans, women, men, civil rights workers and military. 

It was to ask Mugabe to resign after 37 years in power, and yet it was so very much more than that.

What was most remarkable was the absence of hatred and anger. The overwhelming feeling on the streets was joy. My being fills with tears as I touch back into it. I don’t know that I have ever experienced such a collective well-spring of joy. Joy and love and unity that transcended decades of fear, division and hatred.IMG_0384

We were dancing in the streets. We were connected. It was not so much a connection against Mugabe, as it was a connection for our country, for our freedom. It was a day of spontaneous meetings in exuberance. I would catch someone’s eyes, and we would smile, sometimes laugh, and then clasp hands, or high five. Over and over again, these moments of meeting in joy and celebration and coming together. This joy transmuting decades of fear and grief. How extraordinary that such darkness could result in such an outpouring of light and delight ;-). 

We tasted something yesterday that is now a part of our story. Something released. Something shifted. Whatever comes next, there has been a fundamental shift in the field in which we live and breathe.

And it was made possible by the military, They held space for Zimbabweans to step out after fear – and a sense of futility – had held so many of us back for so long. The outpouring of gratitude for the military was extraordinary. Whatever lies in their past, yesterday they had an experience of the gratitude and love that can flow when they hold space for the free expression of their people. Whatever happens next this will have given an experience of what it feels like to be loved, which will hopefully mean something when this moment of opening begins to close down, as it undoubtedly will.

Because life is a process of breathing, expanding and contracting. We are in an expansion. Contraction will at some point follow. As we move on from this day, I hope we go with questions of how we can work with what yesterday made possible: How can we nourish the social field that we are a part of, to support the fertility of this moment? How might we continue to connect across our diversity? 

Yesterday we joined in the march and celebrations with our children. To me this is testament to the deep faith Paul, my husband, and I both have in the fabric of this country. There was a deeper knowing that we would be safe. Yes a little jitter and wondering whether we were insane, but at a more fundamental level a knowing that this impulse is one of peace, not of violence. Service stations and shops were open to sell water, drinks and snacks to people joining the march, rather than shutting down in fear of looting. Women came carrying their babies on their backs. No violence erupted. The only property destroyed were the street signs for Robert Mugabe Road, and some posters with his face on it. It makes me proud of what is moving here. It makes me believe we can find a way. Our ability yesterday to reach out and clasp the hand of the military yesterday (by their tanks!) makes me believe that we have learnt something so vital that we must remember whatever happens.

I met and engaged with more Zimbabweans yesterday than I possibly ever have. I went home enriched with faces and souls. Beautiful old women who beamed like solar constellations; young men drunk with exuberance; the old man who walked behind us, seeing our children and repeating several times ‘they are safe here. Your children are safe here.” And I know he meant in this march, but I also felt him say in this place and country. The old white man with the enormous Boerbull dog who was so proud to be from Zimbabwe. So proud to be here now. The war veteran who was walking with his son, and who wanted a picture of our children together: “our future.” The street kid who looked like his heart was alight. The soldier who in response to my thanking him said “It is done now, it is over.” And my sense was he was speaking of the past that has been holding us back.

We returned home, and while we were uploading our photos we found that our children and their friends were spontaneously erecting a flagpole to hoist the Zimbabwe flag, which we bought in town today. And this morning when we were outside sitting beneath it, my daughter quietly said, “I love the Zimbabwean flag.”

flag

I love Zimbabwe.

And her people.

And what these days is teaching me about the love and joy that lie deep in our collective. 

I will end with the words of a friend, Amanda:

“Yesterday, after decades of living with fear, oppression and division, Zimbabweans, in one day, countered all that with love, freedom and unity. True UNITY – not a veneer of politically correct, well marketed, lets make it look good for the cameras crap but a deep sense of real oneness. We purged all that heavy negativity that we’ve been carrying around for far too long and replaced it with liberating, laughing, smiling Joy.

The most important thing for me yesterday wasn’t about getting rid of an old man or flipping the middle finger to SADC or showing support to the people that led us onto the streets. It was about each and everyone of us remembering that we really, fucking truly are all ONE. What an empowering realisation that is. Whatever tomorrow holds we will face it together and we will triumph because what happened yesterday has made us strong again.”                       

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Women are Medicine – Men are Magic

Another beautiful piece on our retreat by Bev Reeler

Something happened at the end of the year in our Women are Medicine workshop at Kufunda.

Well many, many things happened………
but the story that stays with me at the end was about the men.

Some of the Kufunda men said they wanted to be part of this workshop
so they offered to cook for us……………………

A group of young men and boys from the youth group
gathered in the kitchen every day
chopping and laughing and singing to loud music
a different harmony

It was the best food we have ever tasted at Kufunda
and for 4 days, we were nourished by their extraordinary care and generosity

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On the closing morning we invited them into the circle
and they stood in the centre
in a circle facing outwards

We welcomed them with a Hopi Indian salute
and the women spoke to them of the gratitude they felt
for the nourishment and care they had given.

Their eyes shone
one of the younger boys shot his fist into the air
‘YES’

Then we asked them to teach us aikido
(for they have been doing it for years now)
to ‘make the cut’……..
to draw our swords and cut our place into the present
cutting away what was no longer helpful and bringing our power into being

Young boys teaching their sisters and wives and grandmothers
how to draw our swords
bringing, with deep focus, our intention in the world

When we were ready we came back to the circle
and as each woman made her cut
there was a young man holding our back

They brought their warriorship
fed us
held the babies

IMG_0240As I drew my sword
a young man 50 years my junior stood behind me
it was an extraordinary experience
some new meeting of energies
combining into a powerful force

Something magic happened
Something that we have never touched
in all years of gender circles
about equality, abuse of women, rape, wife beating
some new energy shifted into place

as they made their cut into the centre of the circle
to ‘hold our backs’
bring their support to this co-creation of feminine and masculine energy
and a new possibility opened up

roll on 2014

Gogo Bev
Gogo Bev

Journals from a Soul Dancer

The dance continues – it is now 115 days of dance. Each day another dance, another step into a new experience of being Alive.

It has changed my life. I am a different person, woman, body. Weight has been shed, I think it is not only weight, but also emotional density that has loosened and flown away in the movement. My mind and emotions are lighter too. My whole being is full of Joy. Vibrating joy. Light. Space. Invited in as I join in the motion of all things.

Yesterday I read a reading of a psychic friend of mine. It helped me see more clearly why the dancing journey has been so incredible.

“If you can love yourself wildly, then you have done everything that is required to begin, a life of divine expression.”

Angela Deutschmann

We enter our divinity through love. Love for self, and love for Other. Even as we see something that we do not approve of, can we love it? Can we truly love it?

“The only way to miraculously transform or improve or heal something is to love it deeply, exactly as it is. As all of you do that, you are aligning with your god-selves, and that’s why the miracle occurs.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Angela

In the dance I love myself. It is that simple. It is not an intellectual ‘should’. It simply is a feeling of delight, of appreciation for Me, for Being here, in this Body, on this Earth, in This Moment.  In this place gratitude flows, abounds – and the world as I have known it begins to change. Subtly, almost imperceptibly at first, yet profoundly, and here I am 115 days later in love with myself, in love with my life, connected to the land on which I make my home, connecting to my husband in a way that I haven’t before.

The dance  springs from love. Love for myself, love for this body, love for this earth – and knowing in my bones that I have found a practice that keeps me connected to these. I have found a practice that opens my body, my heart, my mind – and let’s the oxygen of love flow through me as barriers dissolve.

Perhaps I should add that the dance is changing. Deepening. Becoming more sacred. Inspired by Movement Medicine, I am now dancing most days a dance in which I invite in and dance with the four elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air.

I can – literally – dance the world alive. My world. My body. My connection to the earth that holds me, the fire of the sun that burns in my cells, the waters that cleanse, and the wind, the breath of life – that allows me to soar. As I dance, I notice where there is flow and movement, where there is stuckness. I touch it and dance with it. After the dance I marvel at how much I have shifted, moved simply through the grace of the movement of the dance. Creating new space in me. Healing space.

“The moment you realise it doesn’t get better than this, it does. In other words, the moment you let yourself, against all the arguments from your ego, the moment you let yourself fall completely in love with reality as is, the miracle begins. Not because you have earned it, not because you have attracted it, but because you have chosen god-mind.”

“Divine-mind can both love what is completely, and desire something even more beautiful.”

And here I am in a practice that offers me this naturally. Simply. Almost automatically.

I dance on – filled with gratitude for this body that transports me through this life in its fullness and beauty.

Join me?
Join me!

Dancing Soul – Day 5

Today I entered into madness. But it came from the music. Such MAD music – it almost scared me. Perhaps because I had to surrender to it.

Madness when it arises naturally from within is simply nature expressing – wild nature expressing Wildness.
What when I am bombarded by mad music and I recoil in some fear, because I feel I am not ready for it?

But then I enter it, stumblingly, awkwardly, uncertainly.
And enter and enter and find that I move funny, strange, ugly. Not elegant, beautiful, graceful…?
But I keep entering and suddenly all the labels fall away.
And I am simply the Dance.
And the music simply is food to spur me on.
Wild. Released.

I love myself in the dance.

And I have moments when I love the Moment so much I have to gasp.

I love myself and I love the moments that I am moving in – in the dance.

Aaah! I say and Dance on.

Conversations dominated by Mind

Conversations
dominated by mind
busy busy busy mind
dominating
everything
suddenly it is about convincing
the other
of my view
which is of course
the right
One

Losing balance
losing centre
blood begins to boil
‘why are you arguing with me?’
‘why do you not see my point?’

Do we even disagree?
finding ourselves arguing fervently
and yet somehow speaking the same
just with difference in nuance
perspective

Yet we are still arguing
because mind is divisive
likes to pick apart
dissect
break down

And then we stopped.

Sat on the land
hugged
breathed
touched hands
and returned to be with each other again

This time there was Softness
Open heart
Joy
in finding each other
Common ground
Connection

Be still
Pray do be still

And let us feel each others breaths
and hearts
and join in that place

In that place
love resides
in that place we are all
One

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