Healing, Shamanism, trauma, Travel

Ancestral Legacies

 

 

During cooking time in the communal kitchen at Bulungula Backpacker we made a friend, Mbali Marais, and Jasmine made fast friends with her impish companion, little Sepinkosi. We told her our story and she told us hers, and she offered to do a healing ceremony for us, at the place where the river flows out into the ocean. It was kind of a letting go of the wounds, letting go of the pain and grief after our baby boy, Rohan’s passing, and speaking to him, and speaking to all our ancestors. Mbali explains about the Ancestral Legacies, the primordial wound oscillating down the generations.

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Adventure, Entertainment, Music, Travel

We Believe

 

 

One Saturday while we were still at Bulungula, we saw this group of youngsters march in with ze Germans, Paul and Mauritz. I went to check what they were doing and I heard them spitting verses in the store room. Ahh Hip Hop. So I introduced myself and offered to produce a song and music video for them. They came to see me a little later, and I checked my laptop for a beat that they liked, and then they started writing and practising while I set up my mobile recording studio. We came up with a chorus together, based on what their rap was about, and then we recorded vocals in about an hour – they were quite well rehearsed. Then we went around the village recording video in a few locations. This took about an hour, and then I went back to our rondavel and worked through the night and by the next afternoon it was done. They all came back to Bulungula to see it, and they were blown away! They loved it! It was so much fun, and such a pleasure to bring so much joy to these young poets.

“I believe, you believe, we believe, in me!” by Killer Masterz and Double Dragons

Mo and Paul, are two German youngsters, who spent there gap-year volunteer teaching at the local primary school, in Elliotdale. They did so much more for these youngsters besides just teaching, they became friends and helped them with their music, they became part of the community and culture.

children, Healing, Psychology, trauma, Travel

Reprocessing Memories

 

 

Reprocessing Traumatic Memories

with Anna Nieuwenhuis

at Bulungula Backpackers, E-Cape, South Africa

Towards the end our stay, we met two lovely, friendly Dutch ladies who were touring South Africa, and during cooking time in the communal kitchen, we became friends and discussed recipes for adventure and healing. Jill was very talkative and musical, Anna was more quiet and I assumed that she didn’t speak much English, but when I discovered that she was a Psychologist, I persuaded her to talk a bit on camera, and I was surprised by how articulate and knowledgable she was about the subject nearest and dearest my own heart, how to heal from trauma. I love how she talks about reprocessing memories to remove the intense emotional charge from them, I love how she talks about everything to do with trauma; the effects, the symptoms, and the healing process and treatment!

Art, Healing, Music, trauma, Travel

Music Therapy

 

The best thing about staying at a backpacker, especially one as remote and rustic as Bulungula, is the interesting, amazing, cool people you meet, getting to know them, and their stories, and having long meaningful chats about whatever. Vita and Francesco were on an adventure of their own around the entire south coast of Africa, part of it on bicycle. We really connected with them and took our meals together and talked endlessly, and just before they left I asked Vita to tell us abit more about what she does back home: What is Music Therapy and how can it help with healing Trauma?

 

 

Music was what kept me almost sane, growing up. I loved all kinds of music, but I would say that Rock, Raggae, and Trance always found a way to lift my spirits, and guide me. For the longest time music really was my religion. And then learning to play the guitar wasn’t easy for me, but I stuck with it, and eventually it became a way for me to express myself, to be creative and artistic which was what my soul yearns for, and to find away to transmute my wounds and the tight anxieties into beautiful words and sounds… the songs of my heart came pouring out.

We got Jasmine a little ukelele that fits her perfectly and I try to encourage her to play, but not push her but just let her take it at her own pace. She loves to sing and make up her own songs, no encouragement needed on that score (at times we have to ask her to calm down) but sometimes she comes up with these spontaneous truly inspired pieces, and towards the end of the video is one of those: “take a little time to heal” she says.

Art, children, Magic, Travel

Fairy Meander

 

 

“Remove the mask of life and enter”

This line and the sculpture that followed it, did something to me. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, it was captivating and arresting. I was artistically arrested. As we meandered through this mythic fantasy world we were charmed, enchanted as we discovered hidden pixies, and sprites, dragons, elves and fairies. Jazzy loved it. Well she had a fall right at the beginning and so she cried and then her mood was gone and then we had a fight and our moods were gone, but after a while we were mesmerised back to our senses. Jazzy’s imagination was ignited and she was making up stories and games, and then we had a nice brief chat with Patrick, the creator sculptor.

 

http://www.hogsback.co.za/activities/camelot_meander.aspx

 

 

children, Healing, Shamanism, Travel

Gift of Presence

On our first day in Hogsback we met a spritely pixie named Yellowfoot. She was peddling her craft, lovely handmade amulets, necklaces, hairpieces etc. and we had an instant connection. She is so youthful, bright and playful, still retaining the child-like twinkle in the eyes, and still excited about adventures and healing. We loved her work and spirit and placed an order for amulets for each of us.

When we met again at “Away with the Fairies” we had a nice visit and long chat and discovered that she is also a Shaman and does healing ceremonies that go deep into the forest to the waterfall, and deep into the psyche to the creative source, where visions are born… She talked to us about how people disempower children, and the importance of being conscious and responsible about our behaviour and energy, especially around children.

 

 

She told us to leave our shoes behind to really experience the forest, and after a little while I felt something, a shimmer in the air, and so I stopped and closed my eyes, and then i saw an energetic being moving in extreme super slow motion, in an arc, swinging, like a reaper, perhaps the mythic grim reaper, but there was nothing grim about this reaper.

Later we reached the great great grandfather tree down in the heart of the forest. This huge ancient tree which was surrounded by a tall fence. Yellowfoot made me climb it and sit inside a hollow in the massive trunk and here i had my second vision. I can’t say why but i was a little overwhelmed and i cried a few little tears, and then i had the second vision. Another energetic being, a feminine presence this time seemed to be presiding over my tears, and she joyously proudly scattered blessings from them, as they rose spinning and sparkling.

We finally reached the waterfalls deeper down in the forest, and its ceaseless gushing and energy probably inspired the third vision. The night before I had a dream of a shark that dove deep into the darkness, and now in my vision it rose like some kind of phoenix but not in flames, but in glimmering energy, once again in ultra super slomo. These visions were made of my own stuck energies liberated, i could feel them as much as I could see them.

Art, Evolution, Healing, Travel

Eco Shrine

 

 

Just down the road from our cosy cottage was one of the wonders of the art world, Diana Graham, and her mind blowing, consciousness expanding Eco Shrine. Meeting Diana was as much a treat as discovering her fascinating outdoor exhibition, like nothing we have ever seen before, overlooking the gorgeous Hogsback mountains three. The three little Hogs, we used to call them.

 

http://www.ecoshrine.co.za/

Adventure, Healing, Presence, trauma, Travel

The Power of Presence

On our second day in Hoggies we visited The Edge Mountain Retreat and discovered that there was a weekend course taking place about “The Power of Presence” and it had something to do with Eckhart Tolle’s the Power of Now. We love Eckhart, and so we booked a spot for Varkha for this one and I would be with Jasmine. That’s what this expedition was all about; healing, meeting new people, trying new things, relaxing and having fun!

The ability to be present is going to be essential if we were to heal the terrible baggage of the past that was preventing us being free and living in joy; if we were going to really make our relationship work, and do better for Jasmine.

The retreat was called “Awakening the Shift” by John Homewood. We didn’t know that we were in for something very rare and special. It just shows when you put yourself out there and take a step or two in the direction of healing, life, the universe and everything unfurls to meet you half way. John kindly agreed to give a brief interview about healing from trauma.

 

 

 

http://www.wisdomtonourish.com/

 

I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle for years, and listening to his audio books and watching viedos etc. and I could certainly talk the talk of the Power of Now, and very often walk the walk, that is, access real stillness, real peace and joy in the moment, but very often, my day to day, moment to moment consciousness, was still dominated by anxieties and fears, especially when there’s some stress or trigger. But it somehow goes unnoticed, slips underneath the radar, because we are on autopilot, and then we mask it with religious and spiritual striving and bypassing. Meeting a true practitioner of Presence, planted the seeds of transformation, and really did awaken a shift in both of us.

Overcoming the burden of the past, so deeply entangled, interwoven and patterned into the biology and neurology of the body and mind, is not so easy, and those who have experienced chronic trauma and abuse from a young age will know very well the challenges. A superficial ‘letting go’ of the past doesn’t cut it, but we learnt a very important first lesson on the journey of healing that it is very important to be grounded in the joy of presence and to be able access that peace and fun, so that when we delve into our past and encounter our shadows and skeletons, we do not get lost and enmeshed, but can always find our way out again.

It’s not another way of running away from or patching over our past and our wounds, but rather it is a new awareness and way of observing feelings and thoughts, being honest with ourselves as we look at our behavioural habits, emotional routines, and mental patterns, and taking responsibility for how we really feel inside.

It’s a strange paradox that we can only really change when we allow and accept ourselves and our lives and realise that it is all arising out of the highest wisdom and the purest love. Doesn’t feel that why when those attachments are being shattered, but eventually we realise it when we are one degree more free.

 

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.”

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

Adventure, Art, Healing, Travel

Hogsback

Leaving Joburg was exciting. Varkha was quite anxious because she had never done anything quite like this before. I had been on these kind of adventures but this was also new territory for me. Selling up all our stuff and hitting the road, with no plan, just a first destination, Hogsback. I called around a few places, and someone kindly offered to put in a note in the local notice board, and a day later I got a call from someone with a nice little cottage for rent, at R3000 for the month, which is a bargain, and so that was the plan, and we would see from there. It was really an adventure, going into the unknown, trusting in Life, to guide us.

 

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We packed everything we had left in the back of our Jeep and filled all the empty spaces with blank canvases and paint and art supplies, and hit the road. After a thirteen hour drive from Johannesburg heading due South, we went offroad into the Amathole Mountains just as a stunning sunset were painting them in flaming orange. We bounced over mountain roads, and finally arrived in Hogsback, just as it was getting dark, with a little bit of petrol left in the tank (I was anxious about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere but we made it). It didn’t take too long to find our cottage, just next to “Middle Earth”. It did take some time to locate the caretaker to open up. It was cold and so he made us a log fire but this only filled the whole cottage with an acrid smoke that would have delighted Sauron himself. Apparently the chimney had been recently painted and so it needed a good fire to burn away the paint. Not the best start to our little adventure!

 

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But we slept and in the morning we awoke to gentle sunlight glimmering everywhere an enchanted forest and its soft mosses, and artistic weaving life, and sweet sounds of birds and children chirping, and Jasmine met her friends, Liyema, Asavela, Zimi, and Yonga, and they were inseparable after that for the next month.

 

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Adventure, Live Music, Music, Travel

Fountain of Light

 

The first time i ever met Dominique was a few years back, one day, a very busy day, i had my monthly treasury report due and also a recording session at a creche with Hailey and a bunch of kiddies, and my good friend Xola asked if i can fetch someone at the airport, and its very hard to refuse him, so to the airport we went. So we picked this tall and friendly youngster up from the airport  and went directly to the recording session at the creche cos i was running late. I quickly setup and started recording the kids singing their songs, and Dominique naturally got involved and helped out with the recording. I had no idea at that point that he was a super talented singer songwriter, but later that week i saw him walking around, always with the guitar in hand… and when i heard his catchy, bouncy, inspiring songs I immediately got him into studio and, what can i say, it was the beginning of a beautiful partnership!

I have a great deal of respect for this young man, so humble, sincere and charismatic, his voice has the power to uplift and move, he sings with such passion and heart. But besides the music – all the amazing service he offers to his community at such a young age, just astonishes me. If i think back to what i was doing at his age, i am soo, i don’t know, ashamed. My mentality was nowhere near this illumined brightness of spirit. So i thought what better way to launch the New Era than with a short glimpse, insight into his life and music and family. We spent an evening and night and morning with the Sylvester family and they were so welcoming and friendly – we had so much fun and recorded new songs and did the interviews and stuff, it was really memorable times, we will always cherish.

Keep an eye or an ear on this young man, he is destined for great things! 🙂

Peace

WaJa