We are in the week of Imani, the base of the Nguzo Saba, and we have an opportunity to grow like you would not believe. I am also on my third day of my #21DayNguzoSabaChallenge and once again I have decided to fast my way through it. I am fasting for a deeper understanding about our system, myself, and the next steps for our tribe. I will be speaking about what's going on with me as I move through the 21 day process. Right now I am good as I hit these keys and lay down this blog, but on day 8 of the fast I will move directly into water only. Day 11 is the high point of the fast where I begin to ramp down and come back toward eating. That is usually the day where a breakthrough is made. So I will be talking with you all the way through this event.
“We are in the week of Imani, the base of the Nguzo Saba, and we have an opportunity to grow like you would not believe.”
Now the act of fasting can be looked at as a solitary thing, but it can be used to bring out the collective work, and responsibility of a group, as well as not only build up Imani, but prove Imani to everyone that is involved. Many will believe that everyone needs to be involved doing the fast, but as a collective we need to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. So one person can take on the fasting part of the burden and others can act in a support capacity. Spiritual acts and spiritual holidays are designed to pull on the Imani & Ujima of the entire group. For example my fast affects everyone in the tribe and extended tribe. There will be certain things that I will not be able to participate in. Those involved with me or in support of me will refrain from doing those things around or even having events that I can’t participate in. In fact some tribe members will put stuff on hold until my 21 days are over. Everyone that works in a supporting role will also be able to benefit from the energy that I will be producing or should I say that we will be producing during this time.
“Fasting should not be seen as something that we do alone, but as a collective act.”
The blessings that will be hitting me will be extended to those who have acted in a supportive fashion. Remember the goal is to find everyone's strength and help them build it up. That is collective work. Personally it is finding your weaknesses and working on them while you use your strengths to build up the collective, and take responsibility for the weak within the tribe. As one of our sacred verses teaches us “Defend the poor and fatherless, do justices to the afflicted and the needed”.
“Remember the goal is to find everyone's strength and help them build it up.”
Oftentimes people hear terms like that and automatically think that this is talking about the outside world, but no first it has to apply to you, your family, your tribe, your village and on and on. If we don’t apply this verse and the power of Ujima from ourselves outward we end up destroying ourselves, and becoming the very people the verse was talking about.
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“Ujima is our shared responsibility to help and empower each other.”
We have spent the last two days with me giving the history of the processes that we use and I want to state that most of this is recent history. I need to put the Ujima in this part of the process because all of this is the result of many people putting in the work for this process to come into being. When I first started this journey I knew that it could not be done alone. I knew that I needed a team to work with, but getting folks to buy into the process was a long and lonely road. I would get many people who felt the sentiment, but could not invest their Imani into the system even though they were receiving benefits from it. They were able to sit on the sidelines and eat while I and sometimes others put in the major work. But I could not let this detour me for too long from the process. Many people will act as if they are with you if they can get benefits, and you have to be aware of this.
“I began to look at exactly what was needed and I soon realized that the only way that this was going to take place was if we were totally immersed in the process. I had to find people who felt the same way.”
This is why we stress setting up a process to see who is real and who is not. When we are trying to build the “Best Life” we have to be aware of those that are contributing and those who are there “just in case”. Many of us, whether we know it or not, are other people's insurance policy. They simply hang on to you just in case your crazy dream comes true. Now this is bad for you because this sucks up some of your limited time and resources dealing with people who don’t help, and may not even like you. Having a process to be in your tribe would require them to make a sacrifice, and this will chase them away (“Those who are not willing to sacrifice.....”) in some cases even offend them. Allow them to leave and take note. Because they will be back trying to slide back into the position they formerly held in your life.
“When we are trying to build the “Best Life” we have to be aware of those that are contributing and those who are there “just in case”.”
This process works good for personal as well as group development. In your personal development what are you willing to sacrifice to become who you need to be to reach the “Best Life” ? This brings us back to the #NguzoSabaChallenge & The #21DayNguzoSabaChallenge. We get to drop and add what we need personally through this culturally centered process and become the best we can be if we choose.
“How to create a Mindset, a community of friends that keep you accountable and moving forward.”
Now to keep us straight and to stop us from conning ourselves and the group. Because when we are not accountable it is very easy to do. This is why we created the Mindset, the mindset are small accountability groups within the larger group. This is Ujima in action, and with meeting on a regular basis you build up Imani within this small group. This group meets at least once a week around the larger group meeting and looks at the goals that have been set by each member, and helps the individual combine their needs with the overall needs of the group. This sounds hard at first, but if you are in the right tribe it will be easy. The goal for all of us should be personal as well as tribal growth, we have pointed this out over and over again here in GNJMedia.Those who are not in a tribe become prey to those who are in a tribe. Ujima at this stage of our development is important because it allows us to grow to our fullness, and allows us to help and protect others as they do the same.
See you tomorrow