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corona cocoon (2020)

Where to begin?

Well.

Hey.

I am writing this from my newly made desk (which came about through using a table I found in the lobby of my apartment building) and moving some space around my living room - which is now a yoga & dance studio, an office, a stage for performing, a dining room and a sacred space for ceremony. I am feeling super blessed to have my own space.

{This is not how I was feeling a week ago, however, when I told my family how rejected I felt that we were not all isolating together.}

Boohoo I wailed – I just want us all to be one big happy family.

It was not until I spent some alone time unravelling my shit – yes I have committed to doing more shadow work during this period - that layers of privilege and entitlement were further revealed.

You see, most of my wealthy white friends in Cape Town were all heading to family holiday houses or farms on large open plots with their loved ones, cooking together, enjoying this strange “holiday” that corona had brought them. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I had my friends in Langa and Khayelitsha worried about how they were going to manage 6 of their family members locked up in one room, how they'd afford to put a basic meal on the table, or get their kids access to their school work without any technology...

And here I was complaining about my beautiful apartment and having to actually take care of myself without running to mom and pops. #Realitycheck.


Truth is, I have been desperately needing some hermitting and reflective alone time. I am Aries, you see, full of fire and seriously action-oriented. Being productive validates me and helps ease my internal anxiety of ‘Am I good enough?’

Yes that’s another shadow for the list.

I have always, since being born as the middle child of 6 other (incredibly awesome) siblings, wanted (needed) to be seen.

See me.

Look what I can do.

A student.

First team sport player.

Good at debating.

Lead in the drama play.

ooh, a Model.

Social butterfly.

lalalala and so it continues.


These past few days in mandatory shut down I have done absolutely nothing “productive” (except a few posts on instagram) and wow does it feel relieving, privileged and extremely scary. I had so many friends and family being like, yo Annette, now is your time - Immune boosting workshops, online courses, sell your herbs! Infusions! Get the Woman Awake course online.

And honestly, I have had this big fat wall in front of me that is just like… nah.

Not feeling it.

I actually canceled my website subscription and just wanted to close shop completely.

Something deep inside of me was resisting all things busy-ness and selling.

I found myself avoiding doing my online business course and did not feel motivated to offer anything. I did not send my subscribers a newsletter update and did not jump at trying to create more online material. Something inside of me was not aligning.

It feels as though I am in the cocoon.

In the fucking mushy grossness of what is actually going on right now.

Digesting all the chaos around me and letting it sit for a moment.

I have also been thinking a lot about how I want to position myself after this “crisis” subsides (or perhaps during as who knows how long this will take).

It feels very real to me that things will not be the same - or at least I hope they will not - and we have an opportunity to recreate/ reimagine/ reinvent the wheel and that means courageous, creatives leading the way.

I also do not - and will never - offer my clients some quick fix.

There is no super magic milkshake that will make you healthy or happy and the last thing I want to do is try quickly sell you something – because I know you may be in a state of panic and looking for anything or anyone to give you some remedy.

And the truth is the only answer I can give right now is this

– we simply have no bloody clue -


This quote sums it up beautifully,


“To question, ‘what do I do?’ I have often replied by saying that the question about what we do seems to reinforce our centrality and the urgency of human understanding. The universe is under no pressure to privilege our knowing as the driver of its emergence.”


— BAYO AKOMOLAFE


We, humans, are so self-centered.


The Earth, which feeds us, sustains us, is the reason we are living, is for the first time truly healing - her waters are cleaner, we can see the sky again, her minerals and trees are staying in the ground, the animals are rejoicing – and here we are complaining and asking but what do we do?

What do I do?

How humbling to know that we are all, from all over the world, from the richest to the poorest, sitting in our quarantined spaces with absolutely no freaking clue what to do, forced to take a good look at ourselves – our health, our jobs, our relationships, our planet.


It is in times like these that my instinct is always to look to the wise ones, the indigenous elders of our lands. And from the First Nations, the message is the same. Mother Earth has been crying out for healing but we humans did (do) not listen. And so we are in a great purge and are being forced to go inward, as she is, taking pause so we can rest and reset.


We are being called to slow down, rejuvenate, and prepare ourselves for the change that we can all feel is imminent. By going into the darkness, which includes our own shadows of greed, unworthiness, shame, fear of death, lack, unwillingness to change, we can enter the void and illuminate what we need to feel, in order to heal.


What is it about change causes us such distress?


Can we observe the truth that this incessant need for growth in our economies is actually killing us?


When we pause extractive industries look at how our planet responds. We are being asked to reflect on the destructive cycles of abuse between our countries, our people, our planet… and ourselves.


More than ever this divide between individualism and collectivism is rearing its head, where do we want to stand on this spectrum? I have been a self-serving individual for most of my adult life. Coming from a divorced family background, solo trekking around the world and only experiencing pockets of true union and communion. I am grateful for the mothers in my life that have taught me what it means to be selfless and now more than ever we are being called to work together. We are seeing so clearly how our selfish wants can cause detrimental harm to others more vulnerable than us.


Being in isolation has reminded me of how important it is to start building and nurturing my tribe. Whether that be my international family or here in Cape Town with local leaders and change-makers that too are feeling the call. Collectivism includes radical acceptance of where people are at and embracing them without judgement. This is such an important lesson for families and one I am reminded to practice with compassion. It is my own shadow to hold expectations on others and so I continue to let these traits (that keep me in my individualism) go in order to sustain and nurture the bonds of collectivism that I do have, and deeply desire.


The time is now to start being proactive rather than reactive to what is going on around us and that leads me to the tools I do feel are important to share.


Embodiment.


My foundation.


We do not have bodies, we are our bodies and our bodies are crying out for us to come home.


Embodiment is present awareness.


It is feeling and experiencing life as it is happening. Our bodies are our greatest teachers and they will help us during this time of chaos to discern between what is true and what is not true, for you.


One of my teachers spoke of navigating the seen reality – the physical: virus, media, politics, economies, fear etc…, and the unseen reality - the woowoo imaginable realms including conspiracies, 5d rising, new earth etc… and then finally the unseeable reality – your inner knowing.


To me, the unseeable reality is spirit. Nature. Groundedness.


Yes, there is a virus out there, yes you may not be earning any money right now, yes the world looks like it’s collapsing (and maybe Trump’s Illuminati takedown has to do with it), but what of those realities can you control and what is currently outside of your control?


It is vital that we acknowledge and feel the emotions that are in our bodies. I am incredibly sensitive to the fact that there has (and will continue to be) unspeakable tragedies and deaths and I want to take this moment to honour all those families and all those angels that are working on the front lines, risking their lives. Wherever you are I invite you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, in and out, and send out a prayer of love and strength to our guardian angels during this time.


Our work is balancing being aware without sinking into a state of overwhelm. Trying to keep up with every news article and tragic story or going down the conspiracy rabbit hole (which trust me, I did) can leave one exhausted and deeply disturbed. We need beacons of hope, friends and family within our communities that can balance the madness. Because anxiety is really just us getting ahead of ourselves. We can only do one thing at a time. Operating from a place of peace and presence is a wonderful way for us to show up right now. And that showing up can include staying in our homes and taking a good look at what is important to us and how we want to prioritise those things when all of this is over.


I want to end this musing with deep gratitude for the space I currently find myself in. Some say those who have had hard knocks thrive in chaos because our bodies have learned to adapt, even in the scariest of times. Look to people of colour and indigenous people’s for guidance, they have learned what it means to resist and survive. I want to acknowledge this beautiful Indigenous Elders Talk I watched (and highly recommend watching) that inspired a lot of this blog post. What rang true was that one cannot speak to something until we experience it – and in other words:


“Knowledge is a rumour until it lives in the body ”


— THE OA (AMAZING TV SERIES)


I try to hold this truth in all that I do. My cup is full. I am aware and grateful for my abundance and so I will offer whatever overflow I can to others. I cannot offer anything unless I know it in my body. My offerings are experiential wisdom, they are tools I have picked up along my journey that have served me, and continue to serve me well - and perhaps a few may work for you too.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.


We are all walking this road home together.





From my quiet heart to yours,

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