One Yoruba proverb says it all…
“Patience is the father of character.” Yet of all spiritual challenges patience ranks high as one of the toughest to master.
What do you say?
Does it feel like the universe is working your very last nerves? Have you been feeling this way for years?
Well, welcome to the club…
For me, the frustration has been around my film. Delays with funding via investors and delays with other fundraising goals that are often beyond my control.
But here’s the thing…
I’m going through what I’m going through for a reason – and it’s a good one. And like it or not, I can assure you that you’re going through what you’re going through for a reason – and it’s a good one.
The soul loves a good challenge, a good fight, a worthy opponent…
Here’s the deal. Frustration is part of the spiritual journey. Granted, I know we don’t like to hear that.
But it’s true.
If things go the way you want them to go without a fight you would be easily bored. There would be no opportunity for spiritual growth. No real sense of achievement. No real way to develop faith or character.
At least, that’s the way we see it in Ifa. Challenges/adversity – are what makes life interesting. There MUST be some hurdle to overcome for the evolution of your soul and for the development for character.
O.K. Maybe your current life lesson isn’t patience. Maybe at the moment you’re meant to learn other lessons: self-love, for example, or forgiveness, or unconditional love, or how to stand up for yourself.
No one gets through life without a lesson…
Keep this in mind as you go through your challenges. Remember that this is a test and that you’re on a worthy spiritual mission. So, instead of dwelling on your frustrations, reflect on the spiritual lessons that your challenges seem to be teaching you.
There is no magic bullet…
There’s no magic escape route…
You are meant to experience what you’re going through, so you might as well adopt a more spiritual approach.
The Yorubas are right. Patience is the key! There can be no wisdom without it.
Producer, Across The King’s River
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Mom is visiting me from St. Croix, Virgin Islands…
Mom and the rest of us. I’m wearing the cool blue pants!
And the other day she said something that really moved me. She said she was happy to be at home with me. She said being with me for even five minutes means so much to her.
Her words touched me because we have most things backward in this crazy world that we live in…
We’ve been conditioned to think that life is about what we know, what we’ve achieved, or how much wealth we’ve amassed.
Don’t know about your Mom but my Mom doesn’t care about any of that stuff, and I doubt she ever did. Her comment inspired me, empowered me and humbled me at the same time.
It made me realize that all we need is to be in the presence of a loved one…
Right now, you can empower or uplift others with the sheer strength of your Spirit.
If we can embrace this simple truth life becomes simpler – not easier but simpler.
You don’t have to be something or someone you’re not. You don’t have to know everything. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t need to have every single aspect of your life together.
Just be there for someone you love…
Spirit will take care of the rest.
James Weeks/Across The King’s River
P.S. I can’t remember where this family photo was taken but that’s me in the blue pants, with my siblings, Gene, Joan and Joann.
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“A blessing is the state of the soul,” says African shaman, Malidoma Some, in this You Tube speech.
“People tend to see blessings as meaning prosperity. You have to disconnect these two things. Blessing does not necessarily mean prosperity. Blessing is a state of the soul. A place in which the person’s psyche sits in comfort,” Malidoma explains.
I’m grateful for Malidoma’s wisdom…
If you’re not familiar with Malidoma Some, be sure to check his classic book, “Of Water And The Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman.” Malidoma is also the author of “The Healing Wisdom of Africa” and “Ritual, Power, Healing and Community.”
“Of Water and The Spirit” wasn’t the first book I read on African spirituality…
But it was the first book that I read that made our traditions sound fun, magical. Before Malidoma, most books on African spirituality were dry and scholarly. Sure, they spoke to the head but seldom the heart – at least in my opinion.
By contrast, “Water and The Spirit,” was riveting, poignant – an unforgettable saga of the triumph of the African spirit and the will of the ancestors against all odds.
Even though my own path led me into the Yoruba spiritual traditions, I’ve always been fascinated by Malidoma Some and Dagara culture. (You can read one of my articles here).
But back to what Malidoma says about “blessings being a state of the soul”.
I love it…
Why? Because it’s too easy to become blinded by the allure of materialism. It’s also easy to get swept up into the drama of others.
And if you tune into the news these days, you’re bound to get swept into even more drama – drama that has nothing to do with you. Drama beyond your control.
So you’ve got to ground yourself spiritually and emotionally or you’re not going to make it; you’ve got to take time out to nurture yourself.
Yes, the all-consuming fight for more financial stability is important but what about emotional stability, spiritual stability, relationship stability? How are you doing in those areas?
As you reflect on your own life, what is the current state of your soul? What do you feel is missing and why? How well do you feel connected to your own Spirit? Your ancestors and your loved ones? Your culture? Your path? What do you feel called to do? Are you doing it?
While you reflect on these questions, here are some other quotes from Malidoma’s lecture that I would like to share…
“The Gods are underground and the only way we can make the world above better is to go down underground and listen to the Gods.” – Malidoma Some.
“Relationship with Spirit has no nationality. The world is a country for all of us.” – Malidoma Some.
“A wasteful culture like this (America) has no right to claim itself the head of the Free World.” – Malidoma Some
“We can’t come here because we have reached a middle class status and this qualifies us to go into the woods and do something slightly different from what we normally do. We have to come here because we are worrying. Because we are seeking a new sense of home. A place where grandchildren can be reconnected with grandfathers. A place where adolescents can be allowed to remember. And finally, a place where we can call community.” – Malidoma Some
Now over to you…
What are your thoughts? I welcome comments so please feel free to let me know what you’re thinking and feeling.
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Producer/Across The King’s River