So a year ago I stopped drinking. I had my anniversary last week. I didn't do anything except go for a run and be proud of myself. Never in my wildest dreams would have I thought I would stop. When my therapist Pat suggested it to me I thought she was craaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzy.It took me 2 years to realise she was right. I used to believe alcoholics lay in ditches and didn't have jobs, and the more I read, the more I saw this was so far from the truth. You see an alcoholic is someone who changes negatively when they drink and they are told this and are aware of it, but still they cannot stop themselves from drinking. Its not only about lying in a ditch, or drinking during the day.So - well - this is an over-share but I feel its important I share why I stopped.I stopped for several reasons, some had more weight than others but all of these reasons contributed to it.To begin with; I had a problem with alcohol.I hadn't really realised it until I actually began to (really slowly) join the dots It was a mixture of drinking everyday to not being able to stop at one glass to the Mututho Law (God Bless him) and lots of dramatic fights, lots of falls and scabs on my elbows and of course my therapist Pat(God bless her too) spelt it out to me.Some people do not have problems with alcohol, but you see others do. I was one of them. You see there is no information on how much is too much - usually its "I drink what my parents drink" or "I don't drink at home" or I don't know, whatever social fallacy we make up. In many societies if you don't drink its a problem and if you drink too much its frowned upon.You see to really spill all the beans, I drank alone, at that time I lived alone and so I drank and drinking was my everything. I had got to the stage I could drink vodka straight and drink loads of it like water. I did it for confidence, for creativity, for ease, for comfort, for poetry, for energy, for art, for sleep for whatever reason - it was my crutch. Alone I used to get really hammered. Sure at parties I was ok, but when I got home it was something else. Nobody really knew and well then I had hangovers and headaches and I was always looking for a remedy to kill the hangover, and not being able to get work done in the morning or afternoon and then the evenings were you're convinced you can get work done with a glass of wine, and then one glass of wine leads to two to a bottle and I can't get work done and geez louise, the evening is gone because I am drinking and maybe sending messages I will regret in the morning.I also began to see how my close relationships were suffering. I am already a very emotional and sensitive person, alcohol made me a bit of a gamble. I couldn't trust myself. I ended up in arguments with friends and sisters and boyfriends and then the next day I didn't remember why I was so upset, why we were fighting and anyone who knows what thats like will know its really difficult to make peace with someone when you have no idea what the hell happened and you are too proud to ask and if you find out why you got upset, you don't understand why that could make anyone erupt. Yeah, so that was me. I was getting tired of blaming the booze for what I did and I was tired of those hangovers where I feel so terrible about who I was.At the same time, I had begun work on myself; I was actively putting work into my spirituality - I felt and I knew alcohol was clouding me receiving and perceiving myself, my world and the other worlds with clarity. This work also means being able to see and confront your dark side - how could I face it if I was blaming any "malevolent" type action on booze and not myself. I began to see I wasn't holding myself accountable; I was pulling myself back, slowing down my growth.There were other things that led me to stop. I had deliberated for a long time, and finally decided to follow the path of Sufi Islam and it didn't make sense to me to make such a big decision and take on this path and still be drinking; why do this and then be tipsy and be unable to pray and mediate? To me, it seemed so foolish. 1 step forward, 3 steps back.I knew I needed to do my best to " show up" 100 per cent - not just sometimes. No alcohol to blame for my mistakes, no alcohol to hide behind or comfort me.I wanted people to see me as me - and not as me and sometimes on friday and saturday or every friday or saturday night I am falling over and shouting. Like this I was misrepresenting myself and I also misrepresenting my highest DIVINE self.I could feel how I changed when I drank even with just one sip. I saw how I was slowing down my career. I saw how my drunken words were hurting those close to me. I just could see how I was failing myself and severing the ties I was fostering and building.So well -I guess I should say I quit -but I didn't.I cut down - I did fasts - but every time I got back to drinking I reacted the same. Like I said my disposition doesn't allow for cutting down or drinking only sometimes. My disposition can only do either or. I come from a large family and some of us have this disposition. I was seeing patterns appearing and imprinting themselves through generations and generations and generations.The more I spent time sober, the more I liked myself. I wasn't on guard; I wasn't scared I would be emotional or say something stupid. I actually felt more at ease sober. I could trust myself. I kept thinking, of how kids run around, full of energy; jokes and dancing and all that shouting singing thing they do; high on life. Surely we were created with all this, surely we are given it already that we don't need silly billy substances to feel that way? We must believe in ourselves enough to believe we cam manifest/summon and magnify all of this in ourselves.Alcohol always augmented the feeling in me and most times invited feelings that did not belong to me - often so negative, it made me wallow too much in my sadness or created intense rage.I began to see my power sober, I also began to be at ease with my moods - my sadness, my joy, my moods - they were just that - they passed through me. I started to see drinking water, or tea, or a walk, or a run or reading or praying or singing it out or sleeping it out or just not sleeping could work in times when stressed. I didn't need the booze. Booze just made it worse.So there were many things that led me to quit - but the final straw? I was in a relationship with someone, he didn't drink. I subconsciously had decided to get tipsy around him and I drove us home and when home I slipped on a wet floor and then you know when you can't find your phone so you look for it then you get someone to call your friend to ask if you left your phone at their house then you drive over there don't find it and you get home and discover it was in your bag all along?Yeah,well I did that and he wasn't amused.I tried to brush it off and act like everything was ok and he wasn't buying it.The next day he said, something like,"Philippa, whats up?"I said, "what do you mean?""What's going on with your drinking?"I acted real cool, then he said,"You know, I grew up around alcohol, I've seen all the awful things its done, and I vowed never to have it in the home where I raise my children. I look up to you so much, you inspire me and when I saw you fall last night, I felt out of control, I felt like a child trying to help a strong but helpless hero they cared about. "Those words cut so deep -I didn't want to do that to my children. I didn't want to lose another relationship because I wanted to hold onto the bottle. Even blaming my fall to the floor being wet just sounded stupid.Enough excuses Philippa.Its time to cut cycles.So I quit. I told my close friends. I don't tend to tell people. I don't see the point unless I feel its a conversation we can really have. It's also uncomfortable for some. I still go out and I still have fun, lots of fun, but a different fun. I am not saying my problems are solved, I am saying I just feel like I see them easier.I have to be honest, out of all the decisions I ever made for myself, I swear it was the best decision I ever made in my whole life - it even beats making a move and kissing my dream man (hahah ok thats a joke. That hasn't happened. I haven't met him yet).But jokes aside, I truly, honestly believe I have changed the course of my life. Subhan'Allah. And most certainly the course of whom I chose to have a romantic relationship with.I see that for some, alcohol is a spirit that inhabits your body, a spirit that lives off of you and will speak for you and will fight tooth and nail, when you are sober and drunk to live within in you forever. Its one of those viruses that leaves an imprint in your system that you pass on to posterity to posterity to posterity.In Kenya I see people's light, people's families and children diminishing and breaking. We are not talking about it. We are not seeing the patterns.I really debated saying this; but I will allow myself to not be ashamed by my story. Neither am I trying to offend people or become he booze police. I am not saying drinking is bad.I am saying that some people don't suit it.I am sharing this, not to boast or lecture but because I see there is no open dialogue about addiction and alcoholism in Kenya(and many parts of the world).I know for sure there is someone who is going through a similar journey to me. Everything is ok on the other side, in fact its quite fun here, and there are a few of us. And we knit, and play crosswords and discuss the weather and watch grass grow. Hahahah, just joking.I thank my dearest therapist Pat and I thank God and his angels for giving me this strength. Thank you, Philippa
786. Forgive me, if I took so long to write this. I was looking everywhere, but I couldn’t find you. But to be honest the days have been darker, its been harder to see, you see, so I have had to rely on what I feel, and I have felt so much, I have had to do what us Kenyans do best; stop feeling.
So where are you? I returned to the house I grew up in, I traced my fingers along its walls, I dug my hands into its soil and placed my ear at all the trees that lived there, but I no longer felt you here.
I went to that gathering of trees we used to run to, the one that let Light shimmer and Branches sway, but hey, I must have forgotten the path, because I could no longer find my way. Forgive me, my memory seems to evade me these days; I am burying words and pushing aside so much
I am beginning to forget.
I returned to the stream my mother sings about, the one from her childhood that she followed each day, I asked Stream where she had carried you, but, she gave no answer and I thought to myself; this murky, silent stream deserves no song!
I followed her, past countless, multi-storey blocks and there I found clogged highways of rivers called Progress.
I searched for you in our songs, in our voices on the radio, in our parking lots, our television screens, in these endless shopping malls.
In our endless bars I looked;
in brown beer bottles and cheap liquor,
bar bills that cost our night guard’s monthly salary.
I looked for you in those bright red miniskirts
and tight blue dresses that suck at our daughters’ bellies,
in those alley ways that hide our sons
and I opened endless doors
to endless dimly lit hotel rooms
that hide our husbands, fathers and brothers.
I looked for you in the words of a man that has forgotten the children he has fathered,
the drunken mother who frightens her children each time she comes
So where are you?
Our collective spirituality oh Kenya.
I was under the impression we had one.
I looked for you in collapsing banks,
and in those reports we are always promised that never appear.
I searched for you in these endless speeches
but my ears
I weaved myself through Church pews and prayer mats.
I searched for you in palms of hands reached skyward.
I scrutinized heavy laden hands, sincere with prayer,
But it frightened me;
some of these same hands
on other days
where they shouldn’t.
I searched for you in my loved ones,
but I see us,
we busy ourselves,
busying our eyes and hands,
so we are not still,
so not to notice the emptiness,
Our Nation of Silence.
My heart is looking for you, oh precious One!
I looked for you in my heart because you lived here once, no?
Remember, that’s what kept us going, isn’t it?
The pride of our country in our hearts.
I am afraid we are slowly poisoning ourselves, you see, each time fear clutches our throat, we swallow our words.
When did our prayers become empty?
When did we stop caring if we hurt others?
When did we get the courage to pray so insincerely And lie to the God we so apparently hold in high esteem?
Don’t get me wrong I am not saying Prayer is not for forgiveness, mercy or redemption. But surely if we ask our Divine for these shouldn’t we then have the wisdom and humility to stop? We did we stop being accountable even to God. Tell me, when did we become Gods?
How would I define “collective spirituality?”
connected to source,
connected to others,
respect for our environment and those around us;
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we are not spiritual.
I am saying as a nation, I am struggling to see our spirituality.
We just seem so caught up in cheating others so we can gain.
We do it in our business deals, in the way we drive, in the way money and sex seem to be the only lingua franca.
Has it always been like this?
I pay you in order to show appreciation. I pay you to make noise, I pay you to keep silent.
To feel appreciated; I have sex with you,
to get something from you; I have sex with you,
in order to feel alive; I have sex with you,
in order to have power over you, I have sex with you.
Am I alone in seeing something is wrong?
Dear Collective Spirituality, grow again, it is safe.
I am asking the reader of these words to foster you again.
I am requesting the reader to remain strong and remain a beacon of light;
a beacon of Love and Truth.
We cannot have control over what happens around us, but we can work from the inside out. We cannot know light without darkness, nor love without hatred. But we can be the standard we want to uphold.
I humbly ask you dear reader to request for your Divine Source to let Love magnify in your heart.
Let this love spread outwards.
May Love and Truth always be in our thoughts,
in the images that come to our mind
and in the ideas that disseminate out. May Love and Truth be in our speech, for them to be in what we hear, in your hands so our actions come from them and so what we receive and what we give out comes from Love and Truth.
May Love and Truth to be in our Loins,
so they are present when we copulate and procreate.
May they be in your feet, so wherever we walk is blessed by Love and Truth and so that every venture we embark on is blessed by Love and Truth.
May our land and nation continue to be blessed.
“Justice be our shield and defender, May we dwell in unity, Peace and liberty, Plenty be found within our borders.”
May the Divine grant this to us, Amen. (Inshallah, Ameen).
I’ve rambled, but know I write this from my heart to yours and I pray you can receive this with grace and compassion,
Philippa Wacera Rabia Ndisi-Herrmann
(Written by Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann and assisted by my guardian angel, Nabi Issa, Maulana Rumi and Archangel Jibril.)
We became a trickle that grew into a river.
We took flight and dove into the sea, and then we overflowed,
Glory be to God.
We were dry, but we moistened.
We grew wings and became birds,
we married one another and flew,
Glory be to God.
Gathered together, some from near and some from far, we are here to honour the union of Laura and Espen.
Married last year in Bergen, Norway, we come together today to give them our love and blessings. I would like to invite you to be present me with me for this endeavor.
Feel free to put your phone on silent, leave your caution to the wind
and let your heart be full and open.
Good afternoon Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,
asalaam alaikum, peace be upon you.
My names are Philippa Wacera Rabia.
Laura I have known each since childhood, she is my sister, I spent many afternoons enviously combing her hair with Pink Lotion. The trees of this garden know our story.
Espen, I met some years ago when, I had the worst tooth infection of my life and under Laura’s instruction, he so generously drove all the way to Sheffield to pick me up
so that she could nurse me back to health
with her unconditional love.
Here on this soil, we are documenting a new chapter, beneath these same trees, beside these sweet dogs and wondrous tortoises,
with our eyes, do we look upon Laura and Espen and say,
Oh dear ones,
we see you,
we thank you for your union
and we pray that
each breath you take together and apart
brings you closer to yourself,
to each other
and to fulfilling your life’s purpose.
To begin, I would like us to stand
and close our eyes for some moments.
Let us breathe deeply and be alive in our breath!
Imagine time has stood still, Leaves do not shake, Trees do not sway, Birds have stopped flight, Ants stand still in their tracks, we all watch with our inner eyes, mesmerized by the embrace of these two love birds, Laura and Espen.
In our silence, I would like us to acknowledge those that have come before us
and those that will come after.
Here we call the blessings of the lineage of Laura’s family and here we call the blessings of the lineage of Espen’s family.
In addition, We call the blessings of our own family and spiritual lineage.
We are time travelling now,
into the past and out to the future,
we see prayers of countless generations.
We summon the unconditional love of our ancestors.
We call the saints and the angels that have stood beside, protected and communicated with our families.
We acknowledge that we are the manifestation of their prayers.
We honour this and connect to this energy,
I would like to also call Archangel Michael,
And Archangel Chamuel.
And here we say,
We open our eyes,
and look at our neighbors,
first to our right and then to our left.
We see the divine in them
You can be seated.
I would like to invite my friend Ariam to read a prayer by a Saint and patron of Animals and nature, Mr. Francis of Asissi.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
I feel there is a lot to learn about life through nature.
The tree behind me is a type of euphorbia. It is a succulent. I am fascinated by succulents. It’s known as one because its body retains water. A tall tree like this can grew from a very, very small cutting. The cutting does not need roots to grow. But the soil must be fertile, the climate optimum, the light just so right to root
Succulents can surprise you sometimes, some appear dormant for months; they don’t seem to grow.
Some time back, I had been growing one and it seemed indifferent to my love. I tried to pull it out of the ground, and low and behold, did I get a surprise. Its roots were much longer than I thought, much longer than its trunk.
Enormous long roots,
down toward the centre of the earth.
Why do we believe growth has to be outward?
Why must growth be visible?
The euphorbia begins small; its trunk soft and pulpous
but slowly it becomes a tree,
its trunk firms.
It understands that sometimes the sun will be harsh,
the soil will become dry,
rain will not come.
But it stays rooted in the earth, pointed toward the sky,
And it knows its abundance lives within.
It finds nourishment from the water within.
The euphorbia goes inward,
feeding itself from the inside out.
I would like my sister Ayako to read something from Song of Songs,
one of the most beautiful books of the Old Testament.
Under the apple tree I woke you,
in the place where you were born.
Close your heart to every love but mine;
hold no one in your arms but me.
Love is as powerful as death;
passion is as strong as death itself.
It bursts into a flame
and burns like a raging fire.
Water cannot put it out;
no flood can drown it.
We are spiritual beings living the human experience.
I am a firm believer that the purpose of life is to allow our soul to grow.
God willing, we leave this earth with a higher spiritual station.
How do we do this?
We accept and honour every experience,
most certainly the sour ones,
the one’s that sting
as this is how we know where to work.
We are shown, this is where we need to go deeper.
Rumi says, The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
Each person brings a mirror to us;
showing us where we need to do the work,
either through augmenting and magnifying our positive traits
or through massaging and ironing out our negative.
Only abrasion makes a rough stone a smooth pebble.
Some believe that before we are born,
we call each and every experience onto us,
we call each and every person so that they can be our teacher so that we can propel our soul further.
Each encounter allows us to know the world
and this is how the world will knows us.
This is how we know light and darkness
and how darkness and light will know us.
This is how we learn
what our personal truth is.
I am learning about love, I guess we all are.
What I know so far is, when you get into the business of love, you become an ambassador. Your union,
What are the colours of your flag,
what do you stand for,
how does your flag sway?
I believe it is important for people to look to you as a couple and see light,
for people to look to you and get a sense of calm.
How wonderful if people can be drawn to you, and get a sense of ease.
Why do I say all this?
Perhaps because I so fervently believe in God.
God has many names, Spirit, oneness, the universe, the Divine, the Creator, Allah, Earth, Nature.
For me, being close to God, remembering God and feeling the presence of the Divine is what life is about.
This is how we connect to our true spirit, this is how we know our purpose, connecting is how we walk with the calm of the ocean within us.
So why all this talk about Embassies and visas?
Because through a union of love,
through magnifying love we shine light, endless light,
and in this way we remind others of the Divine within them.
Love, music, art, all these many things are visual manifestations of praise and devotion to the feeling of Oneness, the feeling of God.
So remember, Laura and Espen, you are ambassadors now,
and this union of love means you can inspire others,
and by your presence,
you can heal others.
And in this way, you must always think highly of and see the divine in your partner,
and they, in return must do the same.
This is how you keep your vibration high,
this is the love frequency.
Of course there will be times when it will be trying to be on the high vibration of love,
but here we practice patience
and balance what we esteem to be and what we are right now. Like the two cups of teas being poured into each other in order to find the optimum temperature for the pallet of the Lover’s mouth.
Knowing we are the manifestation of our ancestors’ blood, sweat, tears and prayers.
Knowing that we are the current representatives of our lineage.
This means that we have an important role to play.
God willing, you will have children of your own,
and you will pass this blessing onto them.
So your ambassadorship is a spiritual leadership of the utmost importance.
More love is needed in the world.
Each one of us needs to become beacons of light.
The Love HeadQuarters, aka One Love HQ is open for applications for the School of Love Diplomacy.
I know two more things,
in life, when things get thick,
and time gets tough,
this is an invitation to push our soul growth,
it is our choice, if we take it.
And the other thing I know,
is sour always comes with sweet.
Always. That is a universal law.
Difficulty comes along with respite.
Now I would like to sing a song by the Spice Girls,
No just joking.
Now I would like to read a poem by Ben Okri, a British-Nigerian writer.
Be grateful for the freedom
To see other dreams.
Bless your loneliness as much as you drank of your former companionships.
All that you are experiencing now
Will become moods of future joys
So bless it all.
Do not think your ways superior
Do not venture to judge
But see things with fresh and open eyes
Do not condemn
But praise what you can
And when you can’t,
Time is now a gift for you
A gift of freedom
To think and remember and understand
The ever perplexing past
And to re-create yourself anew
In order to transform time.
Live while you are alive.
Learn the ways of silence and wisdom
Learn to act, learn a new speech
Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit
Learn to free yourself from all things that have moulded you
And which limit your secret and undiscovered road.
Remember that all things which happen
To you are raw materials
Endlessly yielding of thoughts that could change
Your life and go on doing so forever.
Never forget to pray and be thankful
For all the things good or bad on the rich road;
For everything is changeable
So long as you live while you are alive.
Fear not, but be full of light and love;
Fear not but be alert and receptive;
Fear not but act decisively when you should;
Fear not, but know when to stop;
Fear not for you are loved by me;
Fear not, for death is not the real terror,
But life - magically – is.
Be joyful in your silence
Be strong in your patience
Do not try to wrestle with the universe
But be sometimes like water or air
Sometimes like fire
Live slowly, think slowly, for time is a mystery.
Requires that you to be
The greatest person you are capable of being,
and strong and gentle-
Your own hero and star.
Love demands the best in us
To always and in time overcome the worst
and lowest in our souls.
Love the world wisely.
It is love alone that is the greatest weapon
And the deepest and hardest secret.
So fear not, my friend.
The darkness is gentler than you think.
Be grateful for the manifold
Dreams of creation
And the many ways of unnumbered peoples.
Be grateful for life as you live it.
And may a wonderful light
Always guide you on the unfolding road.
Please may you stand.
Now it is time to give our blessing to Laura and Espen.
There is a portion that Laura and Espen will recite,
then I will invite you,
the congregation to join in.
Then as a symbolism of the union,
Laura and Espen will blow onto the water,
place some water on each other’s forehead
and they will then drink from the chalice.
In this way,
they give the water our collective blessings
and by consuming it,
you two will keep the prayers within you.
Consider this to be the water the succulent keeps within!
Laura and Espen, please repeat after me;
Laura and Espen
In the presence of those that came before us
and those that will come after us,
in the presence of the angels of love,
the angels of protection
and the angels of peace,
let it be heard on earth and in heaven,
in all time and space,
From the great one we come
And to the Great one we return.
Here, we stand face to face,
strong in our love,
strong in our union.
Rooted to the earth and her beauty,
Aligned with the cosmos and her magnificence.
Our love protected,
our path illuminated
our love magnifying by God-fold.
Losses and divisions released and healed.
Cycles that keep us from being our highest vision cut.
Sugar dissolving in milk. Day and night, no difference.
The sun the moon: an amalgam.
Gold and silver melt together.
New moon, full moon.
Through Light and darkness.
joy and more joy,
laughter and more laughter,
light upon light
songs and more songs
blessings upon blessings,
I see you.
I would like the congregation to join in now,
May we be loved,
May we keep learning,
may we walk along the golden path of light
may the only darkness we let into our life
be the night,
but even then we have the moon.
As above and so below,
Light upon light,
Joy and more joy,
songs and more songs
blessings upon blessings.
Laura please blow onto the water,
Philippa sings Al Fatiha
Bismillaah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yaumid Deen Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim waladaaleen Aameen
Philippa blows onto Water in chalice.
Laura please dab your finger in the water and place some water on his forehead,
And Espen, please do the same.
May I invite you to have a sip.
Kindly seal this blessing with a French kiss,
Laura and Espen, I will take the liberty of speaking from all those absent today; your father Lino, your brother Danny and Sister Anna, your uncle David, Auntie Esther, Uncle Lorenzo and Uncle Mesfin from our heart of hearts, we wish you all the bounty of the heavens.
Dear congregation, thank you for your presence and blessings,
may peace be with you.