“Men get caught up in the socio-economic nightmare of giving away most of their time in order to survive,” says best-selling author and shaman Malidoma Some. “We didn’t come into this world to give all our energy to stay alive, we came here to live. The biggest dragon is the one that tells us we have to work eight hours a day, and we end up being so tired that the very thing our soul is yearning for we don’t have time for.”
“The dragon wants us to be introverted,” Malidoma says on his website. “Men usually fool themselves into serving the big dragon. We must endanger the problem by confronting it,” he insists. “It is to be dug out of its hiding and exposed to the air. It cannot breathe oxygen. The light of day is lethal to it. That’s why the dragon tells us that we should be safe, because the dragon wants to be safe. We end up actually serving the very thing we want to be rid of.”
I first interviewed Malidoma more than 10 years ago in a tiny office in the hills of Oakland, CA. You can hear excerpts of our conversation at my other website, tamarindyears.com. But little did I know back then that I would one day be working on a film – and that Malidoma would appear in it. As I read his words about “slaying the dragon” I thought about my own escape from Corporate America earlier this year and how leaving the rat-race to pursue my passion was the best thing for me and my family.
A refugee from Corporate America – a happy refugee. That’s how I think of myself these days. Malidoma’s lifework and message about slaying the dragon strongly resonates with me at this juncture of my life. I’ve come to believe that we are all called to slay dragons – “dragons” that stand in the way of who we are and what we are called to do. Dragons that stand in the way of what’s healthy for us and our communities.
My journey toward this film has taught me that it’s possible to fight the dragon and win. No, it wasn’t a quick, easy fight and at times I’ve had my doubts. But we are on the verge of receiving funding for a film that will have a significant impact on the lives of millions. For now, it seems like the dragon has retreated to the corner. With the help of the ancestors and the orisas, hopefully it will stay there!!
P.S. For a treasure-trove of wonderful newsletters by Malidoma Some that have been archived, click here: