tra·di·tion | \ trə-ˈdi-shən \
1a: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice or a social custom)
b: a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable…
2: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
3: cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
4: characteristic manner, method, or stylein the best liberal tradition
This article longs to be written as an inquiry into our own perspectives around tradition and how it is the story behind the story, of our day to day lives. Tradition is a beautiful melody that is woven through time, through memories, blood and bone. It is almost like a guiding post from our lineage, to remember who you are and what you long to be. It can be the kiss of remembering, your strength and courage as well as the perseverance of a people. These people that live within you, which grant you the gift of perseverance which you then bring forward in your modern day life.
You may feel you have faced enormous challenges in your life and so you learned to persevere. I will invite the idea that the gift is what asked to be recognized and so you brought forward the experience to taste it. In doing so you have brought forward a silent tradition in your lineage/a gift. It was waiting for you!
All of the joy and hardships that our ancestors learned through, are not only available to you but are silently working through you. These subtle currants of energy run through the body and soul of us all.
There are spiritual traditions that we consciously or unconsciously utilize to deepen our sense of connection, belonging and to keep alive that which is Sacred. We come together and share our hearts (whether through ancient spiritual practices or church) to re-ignite traditions that strengthen our sense of self, our community and unite us with something bigger than ourselves.
Tradition operates in everything we do. From gathering with family for Sunday dinner or the ways in which we raise our children. The way we eat seafood on on Christmas eve in the Italian traditions. It is really endless in the ways we are interfacing with traditions through thoughts and beliefs that operate within our psyche every minute of every day without our awareness. I feel it’s important to understand here and reflect again on the full meaning of the word tradition, gaze back up at the top.
In so many ways this is absolutely magical and the greatest blessing. The intelligence working here is miraculous and it is the gift that keeps on giving. The way we sing or dance and pass on stories to our children.
Now I am going to bring to light the other silent traditions that run through our bodies. These are again if we look upon them with lightness, – traditions asking us to be challenged and maybe healed. In every lineage there are traditions/beliefs and energetic currants that are formed through trauma, oppression and a means of survival.
Our people, once indigenous to land with no name have traveled far and wide in human development and in doing so have faced the full spectrum of duality. They have had to fight hard to protect land and those they love, overcome war, colonization, struggle, poverty, violence, storms, suppression, hunger, death and betrayal. Over time these experiences have altered their development, and created narratives which became traditions.
We have healed a great deal of the pain within the blood of our lineages and it is still the greatest work. When we become aware of what is running through us, we have a choice in what we engage in and transmit forward. What are we choosing to pass on? Over time we have built allegiances with our lineage and unconsciously with the energy that runs through the line regardless of whether it destroys or serves. So we continue to use the energy like second nature unaware of the pain and trauma it inflicts or the way it smalls or chokes the life force of the next generation. New life being born!
To become aware is the key to then being able to observe why you would want to continue living out something that is not true to YOUR nature. And you will likely have to dive into the question of, Who am I? With each generation there is a broadening of light and life force and opportunity to expand upon that which proceeded it.
Let me give you a few examples:
Let’s say your people were nomadic and traveled with the seasons or traveled with the day. You have felt unstable in your life and always wanted to keep moving, experiencing and just couldn’t seem to understand why you just couldn’t settle down. This is one of the reasons. This is karma! It will play out for you as it has so deliberately within me and now my son.
Until the soul completes the cycle and honors it – and then blesses the lineage. A choice is then made to break with tradition and this can be very challenging. We have unspoken agreements, and for many of us Loyalty is a very powerful gift. It keeps us looping in patterns and habits that will have us believe if we break this tradition, we will break with the people we come from. This distortion is what keeps us in conflict with ourselves. If it doesn’t bring us joy and keeps us from our souls deeper desire, why do we stay true to it? Do we have a choice?
When we feel discomfort or pain in our lives, we can look more closely at what is operating. What tradition/belief ancestral/family karma is conflicting with my desire or my truth. What is this tension or smallness weighing on my big idea. What the f@ck is really happening here? What is asking to be awakened within this discomfort? Can I stop for a second and just listen instead of keeping my head down? Can I elevate my awareness and inquire?
Here is another example: My Grandmother lost her parents at a very young age along with all her siblings. They all died from the spanish influenza. My Grandmother was placed in a home and was raised by incredibly cruel and violent nuns. This energy may have been passed down and may be the reason I have had anger towards catholocism. It may also be the reason that I myself was removed from my home and placed into a home as a teenager. This was my family karma.
Now I am older and I have more awareness I can see how it played out in my life. I was gifted this awareness and so I was gifted the choice. It is a habit until you know it is, then it becomes a choice. Thank you Sister Oneya for this teaching.
I met with my deep sense of knowing and I communed with my lineage and I made the choice to break this tradition. I have not broken with my family (although I would, if it caused me harm). I have instead chosen my own life, my own energy and to stand in something that is true to who I am. In doing this for myself, I create a new way forward for my lineage and the energy is transformed and healed through the line.
I notice how obligated I have felt to carry burdens and weight but I was misinformed about this. In honoring my own life, I honor life – life is the only real truth that is always – ALIVE! My lineage loves me and wants me to be free. They want me to walk forward as the breath and life of our blood. They hold my heart as I face the pain of breaking and what has seemingly been broken. The pain and loss of the life of my own people.
I can still feel this overwhelming sense of selfishness. That choosing myself is somehow wrong or that I am abandoning others that I love. In truth I abandon myself when I am true to something that is not aligned with my heart. It takes incredible strength to face this, because our beliefs and societal norms have been mostly based on external authority. So standing in a new truth is revolutionary. Its breaking with complacency!
If I kept on unconsciously choosing to play out the energy, it would keep showing itself throughout time , through my son, or my grandchildren until someone had the strength to challenge it. Let me be the one to stand in my sovereignty and lead my line forward! There is a feeling in my body that in choosing something new I actually restore the original fabric of life prior to the trauma or indoctrination. Different times require different traditions! Creator, May I be Brave and choose the traditions that will serve me and the world and which ones must die through me.
I break tradition with poverty! I break tradition with violence! I break tradition with manipulation and disrespect! I break tradition with hunger and female malnourishment! I break tradition with obedience, shame and malice! I break tradition with fear and sexual deprivation! I break tradition with betrayal! I break tradition with
Self hatred, denial, unworthiness and settling for crumbs! I break tradition with living in fear! I break tradition with all Anti Life energies that crush my longing for life. I break with friends, partners, family and children who choose to engage unconsciously and cause harm to me, the earth or themselves. I hold myself and all others in compassion as we learn together and grow. This is a life time body of work.
I honor and carry forward the traditions of my lineage: Resilience, Grace, Compassion, Courage, Loyalty to self and then all others, Magic, Healing, Wisdom, folklore traditions, Reverence for the Earth and all of its people. Respect for self and others! Spiritual pride, dignity, WORTHINESS, Wholeness, Laughter and lightness, Peace, Majestic, Royalty, Decency!
Through Love, Radical Honesty, Radical Truth I Stand as the new way! I stand with my Lineage with Courage and Grace and choose a new path.