I, Samia, am having a conversation with my elder, mentor and Godmother in Ifa: Iyanifa Ifalade TaShia Asanti
On Thursday, March 21st 2019 @ 9pm EST / 6pm PST
We will explore the idea of Work as Sacred Ritual and its relationship to Love, Wisdom, Initiation and Healing from an Ifa perspective, a Yoruba cosmology.
We often think of work as the external labor we do for and with others. Over the years (and especially this past year under the guidance of Iyanifa), I’ve (re)learned that the most important work I have to do is on myself - putting myself back together. And the rest of the work I get to do in the world naturally follows as an extension of my growth and development.
When we forget that truth, when we forget that our work here is primarily to heal, to evolve into higher levels of consciousness… we take the sacred out of work. All of our work (personal and professional). And the work we do in the world can no longer meet its fullest potential and impact.
Twelve years ago, I began my journey with Ifa and it quickly became one of my foundational homes. In March 2018, I was initiated as a priest of Babaluaye / Omolu in the Ifa tradition by my Godmother, Iyanifa Ifalade. I owe her a great deal as a steward of my emotional, spiritual maturity and my ever-deepening understanding of Work as Sacred Ritual.
From her I have learned how to keep loving as deeply as I naturally do while protecting myself through the grace of wisdom to be able to grow and sustain my work in the world - no matter the circumstance.
My initiation year into Ifa has proven the following truth, over and over again: with every step I took deeper into knowing myself, cleaning and dressing my personal wounds, the greater and richer my life became. With love, with wisdom, with relationships, with work and everything in between.
What is Work as Sacred Ritual? What does it have to do with Love, Wisdom and Initiation? How does it all line up in Ifa a Yoruba cosmology? Come find out through my conversation with the esteemed Iyanifa Ifalade TaShia Asanti.
Sign up and we will send you a link to the facebook live video on the day of the event
Event is on: Thursday. March 21st 2019 @ 9pm EST/6pm PST
IYANIFA IFALADE TASHIA ASANTI
SIGN UP AND WE WILL SEND YOU A LINK TO THE FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT
Event is on: Thursday. March 21st 2019 @ 9pm EST/6pm PST
How do we bring and keep Love alive? It is time for an Age of Wisdom.
My heart has always been big and tender.
Too big to fit within the confines of my rib cage, of this body, of this life. A black hole of unimaginable love that I would often drown in. As a child, I was in a constant state of in loveness -- with the ever-loyal, majestic dogs and chickens I cared for, the revolutionary Levantine mountain and ocean people I come from, the smell that emanates from a chop of parsley and a pounding of garlic, the Tarab music that trickled into my ears and pierced an opening into another layer of my soul. I was always in love, vibrant passionate love. And as for any child, as we grow into a world that seems like it isn’t made for that kind of heart, that kind of love, the eternal state of in loveness turns to a state of perpetual heartbreak. Heart broken into forgetfulness. Aching to belong. To be in longing - in a state of aliveness. To be in a state of loveness again.
Yearning to go back to love.
And even though, over the years I’ve been ridiculed for how I love. Who I love. How deeply and intensely I experience the magnificence of love. I have never been able to be anything else but love.
For those who have tried could never beat it out of me... and they never will.
But how much more heartbreak could I really survive?
Yes. At times I questioned my sanity. I wondered if the desire and ability to love so deeply was in fact a disease. An inability to truly see fault and draw needed boundaries. An inability to mature into a reality that often consumes and abuses this love because most of us are so fearfully hiding from it. I’ve been called too earnest, too naive, too passionate, too intense, too forgiving, too crazy, too much. Too young. But I have always felt as old as time. I was never and am not naive. Though my heart is pure and maybe too open. And there is a difference between naive and pure.
I hail from a line of pure hearts. And I watched my mother struggle with those who could not sit next to her unmasking integrity -- as it shed light on all they had painfully hidden. I watched my father’s open, generous heart be beat down and abused by the weight of injustice in more ways than I cared to know. I come from a family often ostracized for their values, for standing in their truth, for standing up for me: a wild one with a big heart. For loving so deeply in spaces that had often forgotten how to love. For extending grace at times where others could never imagine to -- and teaching me that I needed to do the same.
They taught me that there was nothing more needed in this world than a love like that.
At times I wondered if there could ever be a love this deep without a great deal of pain. The inescapable duality that we’ve come here to experience. That duality that philosophers ponder into conscious questioning, writers write to dissolve and singers sing to resolve. The one we are all looking to reconcile. Can we ever escape it, the duality?
How can we hold a state of real love in a world where its dual counterparts, fear and pain, often seem to reign supreme.
This is what I’ve come to know:
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in a deep state of in loveness. But what I’ve come here to learn is that: on this earth, this kind of love requires (even demands) an equally robust consciousness steeped in the grace of wisdom.
And that is the ONLY way that kind of love will survive and be sustained in the magnificence of its being. Without the grace of wisdom, it will wither. It will lead to the deaths of the lover and the beloved.
I don’t have to lose my loving heart, in fact I can grow it some more. But to preserve and protect it, I do have to cloak it in a state of graceful wisdom.
I’ve been looking for a word that best suits who I yearn to be to continue to love the way that I do. A reference I can grow more deeply into as the soul I’ve come to be.
Hakim | The Wise One
A Hakim (Arabic Noun) is used to refer to a wise person. An all-wise judge, a person with the ability to discern what is most fitting in the present circumstance and act in honor of a balanced self towards the balancing of the universe as a whole.
In my mother tongue, spoken Lebanese Arabic (and other spoken Arabics) Hakim is what we commonly call a medical doctor -- that’s how I grew up using the word. But that’s not all it is and was used for. It is also a reference for a traditional medicine person, a philosopher and a person of authority (a judge) and often used historically for people in positions of leadership and governance.
The Birth of A Hakim refers to the birth of a sovereign self. A person endowed with sound choice-making (choices that ensure the person can thrive). A person able to make a choice and know that they are in fact, responsible for the choices they make, for the state of their being - their feeling. A person that no longer accepts to simply exist within the simple duality of victim and oppressor. A person that sees both victim and oppressor and their capacity for both in themselves. A person that understands that they co-create their lives with all that is and appoints themselves as the owner of their life and co-creator of their world, all circumstances considered. A person that inspires sovereignty for all the ones, the collectives and the wholes. A person that seeks interdependence as a sovereign self.
At its essence, a Hakim is a person that holds the wisdom of the cosmos, and is able to respond to the universe accordingly while maintaining the cosmic dance of balance at play.
The Birth of A Hakim, is the birth of a person who embodies the cosmos in all that they do. Who knows when to fight and when to surrender, when to bring in and when to leave out, when to speak and when to listen -- and that both edges are necessary in the arsenal of balanced, appropriate behavior.
How to use those edges and when has everything to do with the constant pursuit of Wisdom. And it is this kind of pursuit of Wisdom that will allow us to preserve and deepen a state of true, deep and radical Love.
How do we pursue Wisdom? The medicine of the crossroads and initiation.
The more I learn, the more I know that the pursuit of Wisdom is the pursuit of an ever deeper knowing of ourselves.
And to know ourselves we must be ourselves. Unapologetically.
And to be ourselves, we must integrate all of who we are as part of ourselves. This is what we mean when we talk about “healing”. Bringing all fractured parts of ourselves into a whole that we love.
With integration comes integrity. The ever deeper truth of who we are.
Integration is an act of initiation. It is the coming together of formerly divided parts to make up a new whole, a new beginning. An initiation of a new sense of self that emerges at the crossroads.
And with this new sense of self, we are able to love freely and deeply by the grace of Wisdom.
Wisdom is the medicine of our times. Wisdom is the healer of our hearts.