This summer I wrote the following letter to my now almost 20 year old son, Deva, as I was reading Sobunfu Some’s wonderful book, “The Spirit of Intimacy”. In the past month of R+R, I have sat with over 130 Grade 9 youth. Many of our conversations are about family, health and growing up in the world today. The letter below is one I want to share with all youth I work with… as an R+R facilitator, I see myself as a community member who values and holds in high esteem, each of our youth’s powerful spirit.
I have been reading a book written by a fantastic woman called Sobonfu Some from West Africa called “The Spirit of Intimacy”. I think you would like it- it’s all about relationships, community and living together in really beautiful ways.
One of the things she says is that, “We must try not to educate our children away from the spirit, so that they don’t have to work so hard trying to reconnect when they grow up. When they know they already have spirit, then everything else becomes understood. And it makes life easier for them. This is how to succeed as a parent: acknowledge that there is a powerful spirit present that should be honoured instead of taken away. This is how to succeed in a relationship.”
Reading this, I felt it important to ask you if you know that you have a great Spirit- and by this, I don’t mean spirit in the sense of being a nice, polite, good guy. All of these things are true and come from your Spirit. Your spirit is your essence and it is connected to the Spirit around you in community, it is in/of the earth and it was with you long before you were born and will be with you long after you die- no one else on the Earth, has a spirit like yours. Your spirit can guide your work, your art, relationships and creativity but beyond all these things, your spirit lives.
It has taken me until 42 years old to begin to believe that no matter what happens in my life – I can always trust my Spirit as it is related to a larger Spirit. I am learning that an important way I can get in touch and stay rooted in my Spirit is to sit quietly each day and meditate and be aware of my breath. I think doing yoga is a wonderful way to do this.
I wanted to write you because as your mother, it is my responsibility to let you know that the more you focus your attention on your breath, being able to relax and open your heart, trust that Life/Spirit is always guiding you and will never leave you, you will continue to grow a deep trust in the truth of your Spirit- from this place – Life will unfold exactly as it should. Sometimes the things we want to happen – do happen and sometimes they do not. If we can practice keeping open and trusting towards ourselves and others – we are in touch with our Spirit and others Spirits as well. I think one of the biggest things that is shifting in our world right now is the realization that we are all connected and wish to feel like we belong in our world – with our friends, family and even strangers.
For a long time, some people have focused on being individuals, separate and in many ways lonely and isolated. We are realizing that in many ways, while we are all unique individuals, we are also very similar, with similar problems, fears and challenges and that the way through these is through having our hearts open to each other.
I want to make sure you know that I believe you are capable of achieving whatever it is you truly want as far as your Spirit and work/creativity. And I will always do my best to help you in whatever way I can. I do believe that having a spiritual practice is as important as going to school and that a practice like meditation/yoga/prayer will be as useful in the long run. If you need guidance/support around understanding what I mean when I say “spiritual practice”- I would love to talk more with you about this. Perhaps we can begin a practice together as mother and son. Maybe we can talk about what it actually means to pray/meditate and find 15 minutes each week to do it at the same time together.
These are just a few of my thoughts that I wanted to share with you. I would love to hear your thoughts as I know you are on a great growing/learning path and that I have lots to learn from you.
With love and respect for your Spirit,