Gratitude for Teachers of Good Character
Hey y'all, hey. Let me start off by thanking all of you who have been supportive as we went on a much need sabbatical. Your love has been genuninely felt. During our sabbatical, we have been recieving guidance for how to enhance your experience with us, whether virtually or otherwise. So, we are setting the intention to create weekly blogs that we will be discussing for the week. The topics we discuss in this blog correlate to our own personal experiences with the knowledge that we have gained and teach. We are excited to begin this new project and hope it will inspire you.
So let's get into it.... An Attitude of Gratitude for your teachers. As I journey though the land of virtual reality... these internet streets... specifically on social media, I have noticed many people who expressed extreme disappointment over teachers, godparents, priests/ess, mentors, and coaches who have hurt, manipulated, conned them, specifically in the spiritual community. We see people stealing content and passing it off as their own. We see people claiming to be priest jumping into people's dm's, forcing so called readings on folks without warrant and asking for enormous amounts of money. We see godparents who convince their students to hex other people on godparent's behalf. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are alot of manipulations in the world at large, and within many communities, whether spiritual or otherwise. Through the urgency to learn, sometimes excited potential pupils skip the researching process of understanding the credentials and character of the teacher. Credentials are essential. Credentials tell you what trainings the teachers have went through, how long they have been studying and practicing their craft, and the level of expertise they have in their field. Character is equally, if not more, essential when choosing a teacher. The character of the teacher will indicate who they are as people. Character will reveal their values, and their nature. To be able to recognize your teacher's character will assist you in making a decision on if their values and nature align with yours.
We all have had teachers throughout our lives. While in an academic setting, we have all had various educators to teach us general subject matter such as math, and reading. Sometimes, these educators don't have a major influence in our lives. They come in just to do their jobs. No shade. Teachers in society are overworked and underpaid. But that's a subject for another day. However, sometimes, we hear about educators who inspired their students to take a different path in their life. Teachers who went the extra mile to assist a student to get to their desired goal.
Then, there are the unexpected teachers, gurus, mentors, counselors, and advisors that come into our lives to influence us as we grow through major life changes. These are the people that give without reward, who teach from their experiences, who nuture you as you learn and grow, and support you every step of the way. They start as our teachers, and transform into our mentors. In extremely rare cases, our mentors may become friends, and family. If you ever have a teacher that is with you long enough to reach the status of family, you have found a gem, indeed. In my personal experience, some of the teachers that influenced me in significant ways, were only in my life for a season, maybe even a cycle. However, the cycle I spent with them changed the way I look at myself, my life, and the way I view the world. They gave me information, and showed me how to apply the teaching to my life practically.
"Feed a man a fish, you feed them for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."
Nonetheless, the ones who transformed into mentors, took the fundamentals of the practices (for me it was spiritual concepts) and enforced them through the good, bad and ugly and fed my spirit in the process. They walked with me through my shadows, reminding me of the tools I have gained and added degrees of intiation as I did the work to triumph. My mentors held my hand every step of the way. They supported me, encouraged me, nurtured my spirit, and really poured into my entire being. When they saw I was drained, they were the ones behind the scenes, keeping my grounded, motivated and determined to stay on my path. There are not enough words to express the levels of gratitude that I have for them to this day.
As an expression of gratitude, I would find ways to bless them just to show them reciprocity. They were never obligated to share their wisdom to me, yet they gave me buffets of it regularly. Sometimes, offerings would come in the way of prayer, food, monetarily, gifts, trips, service, etc. I give as I can , as nothing could compare to the jewels they offered. So much of what I have learned stemmed from the practial influence of real-time practice with them guiding and leading the way. Anyway I could show them my appreciation is what was done. I consider/ed myself on call just to be of service to them. How could I not honor them, when they were never obligated to teach, muchless, gudie me into the person I am today? During my mentorship, in rare occasions, my mentor would transform again to be my mother and father figure, sister, husband, friend, my tribe. It was because they were able to witness, first hand, how I handled myself, the intention I put into my own self development, the work I put in to connect with the spirit, my ancestors, and my higher self, that open the door for them to allow me into their life. In 13 years of living my life holistically, it wasn't until last year that the most influncetial women in my life shared with me that she felt us to be equals. Even with that, I still see her as a mother figure, and a mentor above all else and I still honor her as such.
In life, we all have a journey to walk. We have to have the determination within ourselves to transform our lives. We have to be willing to put in the work to achieve our goals. It is not just handed to the majority of us. On this journey called life, we encounter people who have impacted our lives significantly, who had no obligation to share their wisdom with us. In extraordinary cases, where our teachers, become our mentors, and our mentors become our family, it is an absolute pleasure to pay them homage, and respect. In African Traditional Religion (ATRs) this is such an immense aspect that it is engrained in the prayers that are recited daily. Within Ifa, the system of respect is displayed towards your godparent in the title, how they are greeted, and the in how the temple is run. It is because of their guidance into the unknown that warrants these type of practices in the traditions. At the end of the day, yes, you did the work, but you were not alone. It doesn't take away from the work you have done to show honor, respect and deep appreciation for those who provided a space of love, nuturing and safety as you grew into the divine entity you are. So today, show love to your the people who deserve to be honored in your life.
Thank you to the following people who were major influences in my life. To my greatest teacher, and husband, Conjure Ifakunle, whose love and support impacted a total transformation in my life. To my sister, and mentor, Neb Hatu who taught me about the divine feminine, the ancestors, ways to connect with the ancestors, sisterhood and so much more. Alim Bey- for awakening me to my culture, who taught me the science of breath, meditation, sound harmonics and reiki, and the enchantment in nature. To my Iyalosha Olubisi, Babalosha Alje', and all of Temple Muyiwa- thank you for your divine character, influence, and all the work you do beyond what I may know as I learn Ifa tradition! And to all the people who came into my life to teach me a lesson about myself, I appreciate it all!
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