Happy Kwanzaa Day 5 – Nia (Purpose). Wow this is a big one to think about this morning. My 8-year-old daughter told me the other day, “Mommy I have so many different talents, so I am lucky that I can be anything I want to be. ” Then she paused thoughtfully, raised her eyes up to the corner as though she was in deep thought and then added, “you know many people want to be only one thing in life, but I am luckier because I believe I can be anything in life.” This left me with a huge wow feeling, because for so much of my life I have been struggling to find out that one thing I am good at and have resisted my many gifts thinking they were a curse. My daughter brought back the beauty of this blessing for me.
Back in ancient times, there was an African man called Imhotep who helped to build the step pyramids. He was an architect, doctor, advisor to the pharaoh, philosopher and more. He was renowned for his multi-talented skills and revered. In ancient Greek education it was also seen as a sign of brilliance to have many gifts and in fact the education system encouraged it. For it was unusual in Greece to have a degree that was just in one subject.
So, what happened? Why are so many of us confused about our purpose? Why do so many of us who are outside of certain defined boxes etc. box bulk at the gifts we have and find them confusing rather than a blessing? Why are so many of us left standing flaying in the dark, when it comes to our purpose in life? One of the major answers is Industrialization. In his essay on Industrialization and the Education System, Jim Carl states, “The expansion of public education and industrialization went hand in hand.” As capitalism found its feet more and more, the idea was to get rid of the “joy” and “superstitions” of people and make them more able to increase the national wealth of the country. It was a time when classical education that increased our gifts declined, mass school and rigid education rose. Jim Carl reveals, “after all, had not the pioneering philosopher of free-market capitalism, Adam Smith, foreseen good reasons at the outset of the industrial revolution for nations to educate their populations? “The more they are instructed, the less liable they are to the delusions of enthusiasm and superstition,” he argued. “
With the rise of mass education creative gifts etc. were no longer appreciated. Barbara Duertrich in writing on Industrialization and Education put it even more succinctly, “The Industrial Revolution set an important pattern for education in the early 20th century. The growth of standardization and assembly line manufacturing required legions of skilled, and more educated workers. And standardization was the best way to ignite education.” Forbes magazine puts it even more succinctly in their article How America’s Education Model Kills Creativity and Entrepreneurship “The current model of education in the United States is stifling the creative soul of our children.”
We are the children of that industrialization. But remember before industrialization there were those who were subject feudalism, where they were made to follow what the family wanted you to become in order to make a living for the whole family. Classic education was often left to the rich. However, there was something about industrialization that made that extra break from community-based business, creativity and the sacredness of the individual.
So where does that leave many of us today? Well, if you did not want to be a doctor, scientist, and teacher etc. and also be those things in a very standard cookie cutter way (with no twist involved) then you were in trouble. Also, even for those people that want to be those “standard” things, have the creative curious power of their souls pulling at them. When we ignore the spiritual creative aspects of ourselves, in ancient cultures we experience soul loss. In fact, soul loss is the ancient definition of trauma. Soul loss is when the soul scatters.
In his book, Awo, Awo Falokun an initiated Ifa priests reveals that in the Yoruba Ifa tradition of the Nigerians, each person’s consciousness (Ori) made a contract on what they would do before they came here to earth and “this agreement is the source of the individual destiny.” In ancient societies divination and even astrology was a way the destiny of the child was (and still is in many societies) discovered.
OMG, this is a big subject and I cannot cover it all today, but essentially, I want to end on this note, I believe that if the soul does not know its destiny it will flounder and suffer from soul loss. Soul loss makes us ill, addicted, depressed, anxious, scattered etc. So how to know who you are? A simple way to begin to embrace who you are is by doing a really simple exercise I call your Spiritual Timeline. In this Spiritual Time line, on the top of the line write down major mundane life events that have shaped who you are today. On the underneath of the line, write down major spiritual events, such as: dreams, past life flashbacks, “weird” enlightening encounters, sudden epiphanies etc. Now observe the pattern of the above line and the underneath line. You will discover the underline has a very distinct pattern that begins to form about your inner world. I would highly recommend you also get an astrology, and even divination or spiritual reading. Happy Nia – Purpose.
(I believe, Acrylic 18″ x 24″ painting by Omi, part of her series Images of Peace).
-YeYe Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis
Yeye Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis M.Ed, NCC, LPCA is often referred to as an old spirit in a modern world who travels to local and international communities sharing universal and indigenous ceremonies and wisdom teachings which nurture compassion, oneness, balance and a sustainable planet. She is an international award-winning author of several books, former national UK journalist, fifth generation Wisdom keeper, storyteller, and sacred artist of Afro Caribbean roots.
A mother of two she is also a licensed contemplative clinical mental health psychotherapist, a licensed school counselor, a trained SEED Facilitator, and an inclusion and diversity consultant. She, along with her husband, have co-founded several organizations and projects: YeyeOsun, the Institute of Four Elemental Mother’s Compassion and Wisdom in Action; renown international Humanity for Water Awards; and UNICEF Interfaith WASH Alliance (founded with other world and cultural leaders). Her work and strength of visions has been recently blessed and recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kuten La, the Tibetan State Oracle and United Nations. Omileye has also received several ancient distinguished African spiritual titles and roles including Yeye Osun and Crown of Osun, is the award winner of the prestigious Prince’s Trust Award, and has a passion for working with children, diversity, and the environment. She has just founded her own private integrative and contemplative diversity counseling practice and consultancy.