I’ve just returned from five days with my family at Siyama Homestead in Gaborone, Botswana. Siyama would probably be called my spiritual home. It was where I was initiated into the Majoye sangoma lineage more than two decades ago. There, I reconnect in person with the land and its history. With the people who live here and who eat food grown on the land. With those who have mentored me over 20 years and with others who share this place as their spiritual home. And with visitors from surrounding areas who are part of this lineage.
The simple practice of connection is essential to our work as sustainability practitioners. The more complex our challenges, the more essential our embodied connection becomes. It helps us engage with clients, access the energy that informs our thinking and develop new perspectives that support our work. Deep connection in a special place supports our ability to connect anywhere: in mountains or the kelp forest, in townships or boardrooms. It is how we come into being. Without it, we are lost; we risk burnout and our contribution is questionable. We all connect otherwise we would not be alive.
Where do you connect in a deeper way? How is it working for you? To make it a conscious practice can be useful for us as practitioners because our work is fundamentally about reconnection. At least, it should be. You may already do this, but if not, these steps may be useful.
1. Think about where you feel at home. Where some essential part of you feels familiar. It may be your current home, your parents’ home (or not), the church or mosque, a particular place in nature. It may be many of these or other places you did not expect.
2. Take yourself there. Now, soon, later this year. Alone or with family or friends. By doing this repeatedly, we establish a rhythm. What is the cadence of your return to this place? Make the pathway between you and this place explicit.
3. Balance the exchange. Reflect on what this place gives you. Give something back of equal or greater value.
Photo credit: Siyama Project