I grew up in New York - whose energy is pretty much the opposite of this calm desert where I now live in the south of Israel - and it’s been a long journey to learn to quiet my mind and listen to my own voice. I am so grateful for the ways that the desert landscape has supported me to deepen my relationship with myself.
In my New York life, I learned that the mind is superior to all, that the most important thing I can do is cultivate my intelligence. I did, for many years, and I recognize how important the intellectual skills I have are for navigating this crazy world.
Today, after many years of work, I am very aware that what I experience through my mind is only a small fraction of my encounter with the world.
About 12 years ago, I met Carmen Vicente, a medicine woman and spiritual leader from the high Andes. When I first heard her speak, I understood that I have much to learn from this amazing woman, and I began to travel the world to work with her wherever and whenever I could. Carmita, as she is affectionately known, carries the mission of bringing the traditional healing ways of her community to the people of the cities, or in other words, the people of the west...us.
For the past decade, I have had the great privilege of listening to her, accompanying her and, particularly translating her message. At first, that meant simply to translate from Spanish to English so that people of diverse backgrounds could understand her powerful words.
Now, I realize that my work as a translator is actually much more than simply translating words. I have been an educator since I was a teenager and led activities in my youth movement, and ever since, I have been deeply committed to manifesting creative, meaningful educational experiences for young people and adults.
Today, I see the work I do as an educator as creating a bridge between the ancient knowledge Carmita has helped me remember and our modern life. My arrow is to connect something that lives deep in our memory with the busy day-to-day our culture demands of us, to support us as we awaken our senses to experience the universe through the totality of our selves, contradicting the western education that has taught us to prioritize our minds. I do this through ceremony and movement as well as by consulting and creating curricula for schools and organizations.
I am especially devoted to raising the feminine voice in us all, in order to restore balance to our culture, and especially to our models of leadership. I recognize that the feminine qualities of leadership we often learn from our women elders are essential in this time.
Reclaiming our relationship with our source, the universe, is essential for us to remember our wisdom and live in the fullness of our potential, individually and collectively.