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Operating on a higher timeline to break generational cycles

Illustration: Shelby Ticsay

This season of life has awakened many people. We have spent time in social and physical isolation from which we are beginning to emerge. While a global pandemic is not something we plan for, we begin to recognize it is part of a higher timeline. It has been a rare opportunity to quiet the noise and listen.

As a collective, we are becoming laser-focused on creating a new world, shedding the parts that no longer serve us. Depending on your intersectionality, a new world can mean many different things.

This message is for folx raising, parenting, caretaking, educating, coaching, and advocating for the next generation and those doing the liberation and healing work to break generational cycles.

The last issue of Mahalaya examined the juxtaposition of old and new regimes and the stronghold it has had throughout generations. So many dangerous patterns of thinking are being perpetuated, questioned, dismantled, unlearned, and reframed. This new era of consciousness is inspiring.

When we become aware of dysfunction that has been passed down from generation to generation, it can feel like we are responsible for breaking all of those cycles.

It can feel like an immense weight on those who see there are other ways of being; to clear new paths and bring others along with you. There is a fast and furious pace associated with this journey.

We feel this sense of urgency and need to amplify these fallacies because we understand the impact these patterns of dysfunction have had on the individual and the collective. And we don’t want to pass that on to our descendants.

There can be a lot of grief associated with the realization that we cannot actually break every single cycle, promote every single worthy cause, or come to the aid of every injustice. This is where we lean into productive rest and tenderness for ourselves.

But once we feel that grief — and mourn the idea that our power does not rest on the efforts of the individual but that of the collective — we can begin to release the pressure that comes with community activism and decolonization work. Whether in your own homes as a parent or caregiver, in your institutions as an educator, or on the ground as movement organizers.

The truth is regulating. We need to be able to regulate and rest our nervous systems if we are to keep this work sustainable. It is an energy game, and we must follow our energy with periods of activity, rest and reflection.

But our energy has been manipulated by the systems that seek to control us. Burnout is not a symptom; it is the goal. When we are too depleted, we cannot question harmful cycles, let alone break them.

One of the medicines our colonizers separated us from was our deep connection to nature. Let nature guide us, and we create the routines and rituals that honor that relationship.

We go into nature because it is healing and connects us to the same earth our ancestors walked on, the same earth that has provided and continues to provide for us all.

We turn to mother nature for guidance because she operates on a higher timeline not dictated by the manufactured systems of capitalism or political gains. She understands the seasons of growth, birth, death, rest, and harvest. It is natural and expected, necessary and not rushed.

In this season of life, let’s reconnect with our higher timeline. Name the season we are in, and let it serve its purpose, knowing it is only temporary until the next season begins. Releasing the expectation that we must hurry on our timeline, we can remain focused on creating a new world that honors this spaciousness.

Allow yourself grace as we navigate the sacred space between generations and move through it on a higher timeline.

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