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Sovereignty, Children & The Anthropocene
~ seeds of my inquiry


 
 
 

The word sovereignty has been stuck on my tongue since the year 2001. I was pregnant and my eldest was a toddler and I read the Kabat-Zinn’s book, Everyday Blessings. The authors shared their desire to raise sovereign children and as soon as I saw the word, I knew I wanted it for my own kids.
 
Curiously, it wasn’t a word I applied to myself until I allowed myself to feel the pain of our world and was confronted with the futility of maintaining status quo. When I claimed my sovereignty, there were no fireworks, I actually felt hopeless.
 
I knew that doing what was expected of me was easier than putting myself forward. It was easier to bask in the potential of my gifts than ever have to put them to the test. Though I had argued for sovereignty, I didn’t claim it until my heart found an opening and grabbed it.
 
I’ve spent the last few years meditating on the word and have been diving deep into the heart of the Sovereign searching for insights. I asked her several questions. What is it to rule oneself? What are the boundaries of my domain? Can anyone be sovereign? And, why oh why is it so difficult?

As my contemplation went deeper and my grief over ecological destruction had me on my knees, I discovered that in Celtic traditions, Sovereignty was known as the goddess of the land.

I believe that we are being called into our own sovereignty both by the land and as the land.

This global awakening around our collective behaviour has even been said to be an immunity response from Earth herself. Understood this way, sovereignty isn’t something we gain for personal power, but a duty and responsibility to the flourishing of life.
 
Committing to Sovereignty gives us the discipline to be in connection, celebration and expression with the truthiness of our lives. It asks us to step away from both the burdens of specialness and unworthiness and show up for what’s knocking loudly at the heart's door. In a world that constantly demands our attention and feeds us rapid, confusing and conflicting versions of reality, being sovereign is a difficult but rewarding devotion to both truth and rebellion.

To be called into sovereignty is to be called into our deepest longings and we are asked to stay loyal to our gifts and inclinations. It is Joseph Campbell's “Follow your bliss," but make no mistake, the commitment is heavy and it isn’t always blissful. This is an inner marriage — in sickness and in health, in boredom and excitement, in success and failure, in confidence and self-doubt. No longer will we abandon ourselves because we don't want to shake the boat. We will not allow outside authority to rule us just because we feel confused. We won't fall for the next shiny new thing. Instead, we abandon our need for approval and security and step into the trust that we've known how to live without the net all along. We jump into the real.
  
We dare to empty our cupboards of plastic food and tend to our own gardens instead. We dare to stand for truth and walk our own road to find it. We are finding the dark places that have held us hostage. We defy expectations. We are focused and determined. We will turn things upside down. We’ve had it with status quo. We are warriors. Rebels. Stewards of the future. Healers. Some say we are Gaia’s immune system being awakened by the planet herself. We may make jackets for caterpillars, be lawyers, teachers, architects, mummas, scientists, planners, writers or dancers. Whatever we do, we are faithful to Life and are weaving our threads back in. We pause. We let go. We are fine with not knowing. We listen to the heartbeat of the world. We are the peony blooming, the wave cresting, the spark of creativity that created the whole damn thing — and here five minutes to midnight, on wobbly feet – we have arrived..
 
Sandy

 

about the author

Part poet, part rabble-rousing mystic, Sandy is a Canadian of Egyptian and German descent. She doesn’t know if her grandmothers are cheering her on or rolling over in their graves. After leaving her childhood home at 17, she has been pursuing sovereignty while maintaining a state of reverent bewilderment. She lives with her family in Victoria, BC.

Of the planets she knows, she likes Earth the best.

 

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