“So, it is impossible to be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with everyone and everything else.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
I have been a journalist for most of my working life and I have been employed at different times in community and commercial media and its different forms of print and radio. My career includes media training to capacitate women and those in the popular education movement to become community reporters as well as facilitating youth expression by training young people, from low-income communities in South Africa, in the tools of radio production so that they could tell their own stories.
My chosen career of journalism was fuelled by my own need to productively contribute to society. This is my work.
My life is in service to the work of life-affirming futures…
Through the practice of journalism, I learned about South Africa and its many layers, the world and of course, myself. The craft of journalism and later narrative storytelling encouraged me to appreciate relationships that challenged me to think again. I recognise that actively cultivating opportunities for connection through learning about each other and being brave in that exploration, is the foundation on which we build relationships.
I think curiosity about others and a sense of inquiry are important for connection and by breathing a little space into the certainties that we hold, we help facilitate mutual learning. I try to step into this invitation best I can.
Acknowledge all the stories that make me possible
I am of a long lineage of strong- fragile women who worked and worked and loved and loved so much, that there was little left over for themselves. My work is to build on and re-affirm their gifts to me.
Understanding or being open to each other’s stories help us connect and illuminates what we did not or could not see and, in this way, we co-create new meaning. At this stage of my career more than at any time before, I feel more confident about, and see more clearly the role I want to play in contributing to society positively and productively through the practice of narrative storytelling.
I am inspired by those who are of the curious and questioning kind, which affirms my belief that the invitation towards a new way is always provided by the first, most open and life-affirming, question.
I am encouraged by dialogue and thinking together, which activates creative collaboration of putting ideas into action, which the Aura Fellowship supports.
The Aura Circle of Women
I am a community.
I am a complex system – part of the exquisite eco system of nature.
The Aura Fellowship has been a delightfully slow unfolding gift that was not immediately clear when I first received confirmation that I was accepted into the fellowship in 2020.
I was not surprised. To be honest, I was in shock at the news. But that’ s because I thought about it logically. If I had, at the time, leaned into other ways of knowing then perhaps at even the slightest most imperceptible level I could have just accepted it. To accept that grace moves in this way. The Aura circles and mentorships have helped me to gently, slowly move with this knowing, encouraged by the guidance of the weekly circles and mentorships. It is no accident that this time of personal inner work and reflection in my life coincides with the Aura Fellowship. It all connects and builds and while the shift is palpable in our weekly circles the effect, I believe, through each of us women is multiplied tenfold through the work that we do.
I found humour in my garden.
Early one morning after a stormy night, I went out into my garden. In the gravel, lay a wooden board – the kind that is popular in cafes and coffee shops – with the word Humour spelled out in a steel wire.
Okay. I get it. Don’t take it all so seriously.
The humility to be incomplete. I am valuable like all living things.
To be human is to have inherent value..
This is a poem by Judy Brown that I love and shared with the Aura Circle of women in one of our sessions. I think this poem exemplifies all the women and their work in the world.
What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would. So building fires requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs, then we can come to see how it is fuel, and absence of the fuel together, that make fire possible.
We only need to lay a log lightly from time to time. A fire grows simply because the space is there, with openings in which the flame that knows just how it wants to burn can find its way.