Coming Back To Your Natural State Of Flow

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

For my first journal, I’m going to write about Transformative Activism. Why? Because I am tremendously passionate about it! AND!!! It has wildly influenced my relationship with myself, my femininity, Mother Nature, and all sentient beings...

Us in the dunes, photography for Your Sovereign Self. Photography by Tim Taylor

A few years ago, I was sitting by the fire with a San Hunter Gatherer and his wife. I asked him if I could come and live with them, and he turned to me and said, The world is open to you.” In that moment, I realised I had to unlock myself from within, so that I could be open to the world too. His wife looked at me and we burst into tears. For a moment, we had become one.

Being in academia at the time, I was inquiring into how to navigate uncertainty by learning from indigenous knowledge systems. Here, I came across Transformative Activism. Allow me to explain:

Transformative Activism is experienced when a person experiences a ‘flow state’, that through them, also has a transformative ripple effect on society. ‘Flow state’ is when your creative essence becomes aligned with your body, through action, and shifts your psyche. It can equate to the Alpha brainwave frequency, felt as being perfectly attuned; or the Gama brainwave frequency, felt when your full attention is linked to physical engagement; or the Theta brainwave frequency, felt when your brain is deeply relaxed and aligned with the parasympathetic nervous system. These brainwaves create clarity in thinking and peace, as they holistically restore our neurobiology. People naturally move through these brainwaves in a day, but the pressures of contemporary society often hold us in a Beta brainwave frequency, of ‘fight or flight’, and this can lead to mental, emotional and physical diseases.

‘Flow state’ is when your creative essence becomes aligned with your body, through action, and shifts your psyche

Transformative Activism originates in indigenous knowledge systems as a somatic embodiment experience; used to commune with the divine, self-regulate, participate, and restore one’s place in society. It also gives power for the tangibility of the imagination to take up space as a felt experience - allowing the wildness of the human psyche to express itself in its full authenticity. It allows permission for self-expression and true authentic freedom. It is a movement to address polarised thinking in the western world view and restore pluralism to the fibre of humanity. Giving diversity to culture can bring back a variation of embedded healing rituals that address patriarchy, industrialisation and restoring equity. It holds the cosmology of spirituality, agency and authentic leadership at its roots; and enables Indigenous Nations to contribute to society with their necessary value systems.

But the First Nations People in Southern Africa, and the world in general, have been forbidden or discouraged from practicing their rights of passage by westernisation to disconnect people from the sacredness of the land, and allow for the mass pollution and extraction of resources. This was done through forcing people to conform to a Euro-Western Paradigm, which has also been politicised and removed from its partial origins in Paganism. The first known spiritual paradigm is Animism, where all the natural bodies of the cosmos had sentient personalities and were prayed to. This made me wonder if the root of decolonisation is an invitation to return to the personhood and sacredness of the natural bodies found in nature. Such as lakes, mountains and rivers… and if this recognition could speak to how I relate to the sacredness and sovereignty of my own body? By the way… did you know that these bodies of nature are being granted Environmental Personhood in Bolivia, Ecuador, India and New Zealand? They are being acknowledged as sacred entities and are being given human rights, so no harm can come to them.

I began to wonder… Has my imagination been imprinted by a Western Paradigm like the natural landscape has been developed by man? Is there an authenticity in myself that I need to uncover that has not been given room to be explored or expressed? Did I give my consent to run with “business as usual”? No… I didn’t. So, I began to venture into Transformative Activism to give me permission to come into full participation with my true authenticity.

Decolonisation of the Imagination - Art Piece - Photograph by Clare Morris

So how does it work?...

Transformative Activism can be found in ceremony, dance, yoga, breathwork, martial arts, surfing, diving, running, gardening, journaling, public speaking, singing, meditating, creating, having a sense of gratitude, an enlightening conversation, and connecting with yourself deeply. In other words: ‘Flow state’ is wired into our nervous system. Yet, if it is missing in our daily lives, then there is a vital piece missing, because a transformative practice is a way to be in relationship with the felt experience of coming alive. It gives us a direct line into our divinity by participating in the relationship with ourselves.

I saw the parallels between Transformative Activism, Rewilding, Eco-Feminism, the rise of the Divine Feminine, and concepts of awakening the authentic voice, belonging to our bodies, to move beyond patriarchal programming and industrialisation; by being in communion with Nature’s pluralistic and natural rhythms.

Eco-feminism addresses the conquering of female bodies in conjunction with the colonisation of Mother Earth, who is a sacred, beloved, powerful, and highly intelligent entity. It is believed that when we stopped communing with nature as the original Cosmic Mother, we allowed ourselves to forget the wild feminine energy that creates all life. Being such a powerful force, trying to tame and control her, has led to polarisation in society, and thus in ourselves too.

It is believed that when we stopped communing with nature as the original Cosmic Mother, we allowed ourselves to forget the wild feminine energy that creates all life

Women are biologically attuned with nature. Many bleed in cyclical rhythms with the moon. The moon, too, influences the tides and how the water flows from soil into plants. So, being 75% water, it’s natural for the forces of planet earth and the cosmos to influence human bodies too. Yet, even today still, questions like these, and communion with nature, can be thought of as devil worship. Let’s not forget western women were burnt at the stake and called witches for being intuitive. No wonder there is fear in our nervous system to have an authentic voice and live out our personal power!

Like women had to fight for the right to own their bodies, spiritual activists are calling for natural bodies, such as sacred sites, rivers and lakes, to have rights too. Connecting with Mother Nature harmonises the parasympathetic nervous system and restores our relationship within a collective psyche. This made me wonder, can a new sense of reclaiming the pure expression and freedom of our authentically wild imaginations restore a sense of place and build an ecologically diverse and emotionally intelligent society, by connecting to the land through our bodies, and allowing authentic expression to be the way IN?

I began to trust my body and inquire into my own story of spiritual origin. Cape Town was a port for the spice trade and many groups of people are a cultural mix, held together by the spiritual practices in their homes. My Great-great Grandparents descended from Scotland and Ireland. I have some British and Dutch roots too. My ancestors migrated along the East Africn Coast and found their way into Southern Africa. For many generations, we had a Christain identity which my parents did not continue. Although we do practice westernised versions of religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

Growing up in South Africa and being far removed from my European ancestry, I did not have elders to teach me the origins or stories of my cultural practices. Nor do I know if my ancestors were even allowed to practice them. So, I went into a space of remembering. I allowed my teachings to come from the wisdom of my heart. I allowed myself to move towards the things that spoke to me through the aliveness of my body. I said ‘Yes’ to myself in a way that I allowed myself to take up space from the wilderness of my authenticity. I began to retrieve the parts of myself that I had denied, neglected and had become long forgotten. I began to trust my inner-being.

Photographer: Alexandra Borcila

Creative and spiritual practices were not valued as an integral part of my life in my family home. I was creatively limited even though I am outrageously experimental, curious, adventurous, edgy, and artistic. I became depressed, feeling misunderstood. But there was a quiet flame burning inside me. I discovered how to engage my creative life force in a more practical and tangible way, by questioning the ideas and beliefs that had been influencing me without my permission. I recognised when I was oppressing myself through my own mind and chose differently from a place of love. I listened to my inner-voice and moved towards the things that gave me a sense of aliveness and immense joy. I realised that by listening to myself deeply, I was reclaiming the sovereignty of my essence and becoming self-empowered by being self-made. I could finally truly say….that I belong to myself.

Choosing bravery, I moved into the shadow aspects of my psyche, met my insecurities, and stretched beyond them. I realised that my self-sabotaging tendencies were intergenerational and many generations before me had been denied their true nature and so came to fear the unknown aspects of themselves. With this realisation, the unknown became an invitation. I noticed that I could anchor myself in transformative practices to restore my trust in my body and become self-responsible; as way to participate with the felt experience of my inner-wisdom. I became intrepid by piercing the veil of my limitations; and I dived into technologies that carry embodied ancient wisdom, such as yoga, martial arts and medicine songs. I now use my body as a way IN!...and yes….this journey is infinite! I invite you to discover yourself too…

If you'd liked to come back to your natural state of flow, here are some Action Steps that you can try at home:

Make a list of the things that make you come alive and do one of those things everyday for one to two weeks. Notice the difference in how you feel and write down if there have been any significant changes in your life as a result?

Notice how you feel in your body when there is a resistance to something. What do you need to communicate for there to be authenticity so you can align with your truth?

How does your ‘YES’ feel in your body? How does your ‘NO’ feel? Give yourself permission to allow how you feel to be ok, seen and valued so that you can act on it from a supported place.

What are you insecure about? Can you step into it so that it can shift?

I hope you enjoyed reading my journal. If you wish to find out more about me, be sure to check out my Clare.Hope Instagram and follow my journey with the Transformative Arts! Also... Look out for my upcoming Online Courses, workshops and one on one programs, like my upcoming course Your Sovereign Self.