Globalisation and colonialism are permanent fixtures in my life. Living in Observatory, Cape Town I live in one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Quite literally the birthplace of the village and where hunter-gathers walked out of the bush to settle down. No agriculture, just a whole load of land to forage and some cattle to tend too. Fast forward a few thousand years and the culture and history has been all but obliterated by development, all as a result of the expansion of empire, first the Portuguese, then The Dutch and lastly the Britsh. The Khoi San seems to be a tribe lost in time to the trauma of colonialism and development. Even now what are protected Khoi San sites are under threat of development for the ever-present threat of the land developer. You see the land isn’t automatically protected and communities are not automatically awarded a say in how their place should be developed or not. Even when that land is the site of the oldest village in the world. It’s crazy, isn’t it? Add the strain of apartheid and the pressure to create ’employment’ and the unresolved trauma of the capitalist system that has been largely enforced on the world. It’s a global challenge and here I am as The life Doula sitting right at the centre of it. We all are.
As an immigrant to South Africa, I have been reluctant to take my place at the council table. There are so many more voices that need to be heard than mine. There is so much more healing that has to happen in front of mine and there is so much more growth that has to happen in front of mine. I take a back seat wherever I can and I think very carefully about what I have to offer. Where I offer it. Why I offer it and if indeed it is appropriate at all, given that I am in essence a colonialist. Only here as the result of privilege and the legacy of empire and of course love. I am a love migrant after all chasing the dream of a happily ever after.
Yet the Amazon is on fire and it feels like your rolling the dice on who you want to share the apocalypse with rather than the rest of your life. It’s not just the Amazon it’s everywhere. From Scottish Land Reform, Standing Rock, Botswana, Aboriginal tribes of Australia or protecting Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The challenge is global and there is nowhere left to run. We have gone full circle and land management, rewilding and human connection all lie at the centre of the solution.
Greta Thurnberg is crossing the ocean in a racing yacht to spread the message of being Earthbound. Yet here in Observatory tens of people arrive everyday soaring in with lofty ideas of ascensions and personal expansion, transplanting their own trauma on a place that has enough of its own. No matter where you are the human journey at this point in time appears to be the same. What we can’t fix we run from. That strategy isn’t working anymore and I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. About how my ‘business’ fits into this. That increasingly I seem to be moving backwards and forwards through my own timeline as much as anybody else. That I am deeply excited for the next 15 years of human evolution and yet so much of the progress lies in unlocking human trauma and healing humans. While recreating sacred cycles and circles. Moving backwards and forwards through time, recalibrating the past, changing the future. Getting to grips with systematic trauma. It’s real. We are the challenge. We are the cause. We are most certainly the cure. We can be human again. And although it’s a bit of a pun in the mindfulness game. Our challenge is to be here now.
This is the work of The Life Doula upskilling humaness witnessing the circles and the cycles and most importantly making the circle bigger while standing in its centre.