As we come to the end of an era, and the earth enters a time of transition that is sure to be a rocky ride, hold on tight and breathe because the only way to get through this time of change is not to fall victim to the fear and uncertainty that is inevitable. When any system goes through a change, there is sure to be some kind of fall out. We are experiencing this in every country on the planet in some form or another, but in South Africa, things are pretty rocky. The latest crisis is rolling blackouts due to a shortage of electricity. This is something the people in the energy sector saw coming decades ago, but due to all kinds of indecisive and unwise choices, no proper plan was made and a lot of money (billions) just went to waste due to corruption and all that goes with it. So here we are, sitting out the power failures and finding ways to be more resilient. It’s all about power. At the end of my journey around the country and years of research into the energy debate in South Africa for my documentary “Buried in Earthskin,” I was left with the realization that the people who pay the ultimate price for our convenient electricity tend to be the poorest of the poor, living on the edge of society, the people I had interviewed for my film included workers who worked at a nuclear waste dump facility in the tribal semi-desert region of Bushmanland/Namaqualand.
Although community empowering alternative solutions to the current centralized power system are clearly blowing in the wind and shining in the sun, we can only access them if there is true commitment to do so. Who ultimately holds the power over our electric power? And can a critical mass shift the paradigm? Those are the questions I was left with.
We are the critical mass, but if we fall victim to the fear and distress of the inconvenience of a failing system, then we are letting it get the better of us. We are not going to be grabbing the bull by the horns, so to speak and taking charge of our own lives, we are simply surviving the waves of change that are sure to get stronger and stronger as time passes.
The only way not to fall victim to any of the bulls with horns that are threatening to charge us now is to be as brave as a Xhosa Warrior. There is an ancient traditional Xhosa song, which goes Ayihlabe Ngoqomisa, which means -“Even though the bull has horns and is threatening to charge. It doesn’t mean it’s going to stab you!” So stand your ground. Don’t fall into panic and fear. Grab the bull by the horns. Be the one in charge. Don’t let your inner beast get you down!
I believe at the end of 2019, the time has come to face our fears and take back our power on all levels, and I am talking about layers well beyond the political discourse here. It is time to listen to our souls and not allow our conditioning to control us. The time has come for standing up for what we truly believe. Now is the time to: Reclaim our space, reclaim our bodies and reclaim our souls.
Reclaim your ocean, reclaim your air, reclaim your forests, reclaim you food, reclaim your heart, reclaim your hands, reclaim your intimate self, and reclaim your time. Reclaim your power. Reclaim your authentic self. “All that we have is our Souls.” Sings Tracy Chapman.
As each of us takes this time for ourselves to get to the bottom of things and undo the reactions and counter-reactions of fear and doubt that set us scurrying off our path to attend to other trivial things, we reclaim those lost part of ourselves that are causing the energy and power leaks.
As each of us returns to our true spiritual selves and reclaims our power in a whole and holy way, we are healing the microcosm, and thus creating a ripple effect, giving energy to reclaiming a new way of living on the macro-cosmic level. It all begins with connection with self and through body mind and spirit we connect with nature.
For centuries, dictators with mental disorders have been given the power to destroy tribal and global land because disempowered and frightened people have been bullied or bamboozled into it. The guys with the loudest voices and the most charisma, with the most personal power, have won their way into command in too many countries for far too long.
Gangsters work this way. Abusers work this way. They use violence and external means to get what they want. It works but it causes unhappiness for everyone and it’s unsustainable. This kind of power tower eventually topples. This one has come to a head. We have been bullied by too many bulls for too long. It’ all part of the same men-tality problem, a masculine order, which comes from a certain kind of mental disorder, but change is coming from within, and it’s unstoppable. I am feeling hopeful. Despite the doom and gloom scenario’s we are facing globally- which we have all the information about. The despairing droughts, the overwhelming floods, the impossible fires, the plastic scourge, the tragic extinction of species…(Last night I read on Facebook that the permafrost near Siberia has melted and now the sea is boiling and methane gas is escaping from under the permafrost, which means, that as predicted in Al Gore’s documentary “The Inconvenient Truth,” we have reached a certain tipping point when certain inevitable patterns kick in, the patterns are self-perpetuating. )
So strange that despite this potentially tragic news, I am actually feeling quite hopeful and excited. I trust the universe. I know it’s going to be tough and that there will be losses, there are signs of perceptual shifts that show me that even though all this is happening, it ‘s okay. We are coming to the end of an age of separation.
I can’t save the planet but I can save my soul. Call it “magical thinking,” but since the science is showing that we have already passed the tipping point, we are heading for the fall. We are all on the same ship. ( I have written a song about that!) It feels like we are on the Titanic, and all there is left to do is listen to the band playing on the deck while we wait to sink. So in the meantime, I am spending time, playing and singing songs with my friends and more and more people from all over the world and all walks of life are joining in. It’s uplifting and encouraging to see the shifts in people. How can we help our children get through this if we are living as victims in fear?
What’s more, there is so much housework to do. There is no time to lament in despair. I am talking about all kinds of housework. I am talking about the domestic work of reclaiming our power and thereby actually possibly turning things around. We have a lot of re-organising to-do. We can’t wait for the government to sort things out. We can’t rely on the politicians or the corporates. It’s up to us! We need to create our own internal community systems through our own means, which are available to us through the mycelium networks in the forests of the Internet and ones local network of supply and demand.
In South Africa, there is 40% unemployment. We can’t sit around waiting for the government to come up with jobs etc. There is a need to create one’s own income by finding a niche somewhere. We all know that in ancient times, when there were still abundant forests, with medicinal plants and healthy countryside with no fences, we were a matriarchal society. For centuries, women have been oppressed by a bullying men-tality, which sought power through violence and bullying oppression and threats. This is what we became accustomed to. Over the many centuries of oppression, we have lost touch with our souls, our hearts, our bodies, our land, our soil, our plants, our food, our water and our air.
They put a fence around the tree of life, and we forgot what it was for, now we just pay every time we need something, and the corporates who own the supermarkets get to decide our fate.
There is another way. We can choose what we put in our mouths, it’s up to us what we eat how we live and what we think. We do not have to be tied to the treadmill and the shopping trolley. We can decide what we really want for ourselves and follow the maps available to us to the real food markets, and homegrown organic produce. I attended the launch of the Good Food Map #GoodFoodNetwork in Cape Town this week and was so excited by the mental, physical and spiritual state of mind of the people who spoke and what they had to say about how we need to focus on healing our (broken) food system. (More about this in a future blog.) In every country, there are versions of this if you look for them.
Taking our power back starts with healing the trauma, which keeps us oppressed. The trauma so many women are dealing with is unfolding through the #MeToo movement. The more we heal the trauma the less we are triggered by the fearful reactions, which put us into the fear that keeps us enslaved in this mentality. It’s not just women. The present economy was built on slavery. It runs on people remaining in an enslaved mentality. If people allow themselves to focus on healing their souls and reclaiming their authentic power, then there is hope that we can actually turn things around, slowly, bit by bit. The mother ship earth is a large ship!
On a personal level, so many of us lost our power as children through shaming and feeling that in order to be loved and accepted by our caregivers, we had to behave in a certain way, which pleased them. This is how we lose touch with our authentic selves in a desperate search for acceptance and love. These are the behaviours that lead to abuse and being a victim to it. I have learned so much helping Nunuisi Ma put together her playbook for her I Rise Summit I found each speaker so inspiring, as the quest to healing and self-empowerment are so connected to healing one’s inner child. There are so many great speakers; all of them are representatives of the powerful healers working on the planet right now. (The I-Rise summit is online right now for free viewing but will only be available for free for a limited time.)
There are many angels helping us shift the energy from the old world of separation to the new self-empowered state of integration and interdependence. We can only truly love and accept each other if we can love and accept ourselves. If everyone on the planet shifted their thinking, then there would no longer be any need for the frivolous, competitive ill practices that are causing the materialistic destruction of the planet through systems that destroy instead of sustain and contain and regenerate. (Wishful thinking I know, but one step at a time.)
So take back your pride, return to where you know you belong, Remember your song, remember your dance, remember your art, remember your truth, and remember who you are. In the end it’s not so much about power, it’s about energy. In the words of my friend Nadia: “You know where you get energy and you know where you lose it, so choose to go to the places and do the things that give you energy.” What makes you feel alive? What brings you home to where you are most manifest in your true self? That’s where you want to be.
Here is a little taste of what is available on the I-Rise summit:
Dr. Penningtons’ tips for reconnecting with the authentic self and finding true love and acceptance.
Self-awareness: Engage in activities, which help you re-experience, the authentic self in a safe space. It takes time to feel safe to be yourself and prove to your inner-child ego that you are not going to be rejected or kicked out of the tribe for being you. It’s basically retraining the ego to accept who we really are.
Dismantling shame: Shame is the fear of disconnection, and we all really want to feel connected. So the way to release the heaviness of shame is to become vulnerable and real. By being in this safe space where you can be your true self and having other people give positive feedback, you allow to reprocessing to happen internally. It’s a matter of going in and asking, “What meaning do you attach to those experiences, and what beliefs do you hold about yourself?”
Do you feel you deserve pleasure? “Many people feel guilt and shame about allowing themselves pleasure.” Identifying those blocks is always the first key.
Practice Life writing, or narrative therapy: get all the emotion out, allow it to flow. It gives your ego the opportunity to reprogram. If you leave the wounded part stuck in shame or in secrecy, she never grows up.
You can promise the inner wounded child within that you will never be told to be quiet again. That she will be heard and validated and forgiven, and this allows her to grow up. (If you would like to be guided and encouraged in this process, try out this support network- set up by author Dr Dawn Garisch- check out: The Life Righting Collective here.)
Recognize patterns and create new boundaries: Sometimes it’s confusing if a parent or a caregiver caused the childhood trauma because one feels conflicted and loyal to them. Working with boundaries also means convincing the person that just because you love them, does not mean they may continue behaving in the same hurtful ways. There is a fear of not being able to survive if you create a boundary with one’s parent. We definitely need to get to a point in our adult lives where we recognize patterns. It’s a process, but it’s so gratifying, because when people do connect with their authentic voice and feel that they are acceptable and lovable for who they really are, they can shift and everything can really change, and that allows us to be healthier and happier for everyone in our lives, especially our children.