“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”
Saint Francis of Assisi
Intuit, Healer, Guide.
Teacher, Facilitator, Consultant.
Coming across the teachings of Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda on youtube one day was one of the most radical transformative experiences in my life. Everything changed: who we are, how the world works, what we are capable of and the laws at play in our lives. I went on to write my Master’s thesis on Indian philosophy as an alternative to Human Rights discourse and used the Darfur conflict as a case study. I realised how the wisdom of the Ancients provided incredible answers to modern day problems. This was the beginning of my journey into Spiritual Philosophy, and since then I have continued to study, use and test this wisdom in all aspects my work and my life.
Rethinking the World
In 2005, I moved to the tiny town of Yei in South Sudan. Working with grassroots communities who were emerging from 50 years of war, 'poverty' (and trauma) were major themes in society. Yet, despite this, I saw how richly people shared what they had, and also how abundantly nature provided (anyone who knows the mango trees of Equatoria will know this!). More than in any other place I had been, South Sudanese generosity put me to shame. This stirred something in me - a desire to understand the world and people more deeply and to engage with them more meaningfully.
Changing the World
Growing up in a family of humanitarians, I was taught at a young age that a meaningful life is a life in service. For me, service was about changing the world - making into a fair place for all. I embarked on a fifteen year career dedicated to activism, peacebuilding and social transformation in the Horn of Africa - my home. Over this period, I collaborated with a broad array of change actors - from grassroots and civic activists, to Heads of State and government; I wrote, lectured and presented widely on conflict, peacebuilding and the 'real' political and military systems in the region.
In 2010, after working for several years with civil society in South Sudan, I joined the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan led by former President Thabo Mbeki. It was one of the most exciting times in my career. I was privy to the highest level of intellectual and political thinking and strategy, and worked with military and political leaders, rebel movements and diplomats from around the world. It was like a dream. The ambitions of the Panel were grand - a national transformation for the country(ies) and I learned and grew enormously. But as I witnessed, firsthand, the levers of power at work in the world I was left feeling frustrated at an invisible system that seemed to keep everything eternally the same. I also felt disconnected, first from myself and then ordinary people.
Next, I took up the Directorship of Justice Africa, a small and dynamic NGO that worked largely in South Sudan. Having seen the pitfalls of externally mediated processes firsthand, we began an ambitious peace programme with the aim of organising an internal peace process. I was passionate about transforming the South Sudanese mindset from external saviourism to internal capacity and momentum. It worked, and it didn't, but the theme of 'All Power is Within' had been born within me. During those years I worked closely with Church leaders in the region and experienced up close, the power and primacy of spirituality in peacemaking.
Seeds of Change
At about the same time, I began to teach a course in yoga philosophy at a Yoga Teacher Training in Zanzibar. Over the years I taught 15 cohorts of students, and saw how the programme completely transformed their lives. It was eye-opening. The students reconnected to their inner essence, uncovered their passion and purpose and built life-long connections with each other. As I watched their lives unfold over the years, I saw how they each began to live in alignment with their authentic Self. They began to create things in the world that were beautiful and true. I saw them change the world because they had changed.
And then, in 2019, my son, Zion, was born. And I was re-born.
After running a small NGO for 6 years, trying to achieve grand change within a massive conflict and manage the diminishing space and support for truly transformative work in the NGO sector, I was tired. I was really tired. I realised I didn't want to be on a mission anymore. I wanted my work to be my joy, and my joy to be my offering to the world.
I embarked on a journey of self discovery and healing with one goal: to become the highest version of myself; to live the highest version of my life. And through this, Spolosophy was born.
Poetically, I have discovered that my joy is to help others to do the same - to become the Highest version of themselves. Through pursuing my own joy, I created something that serves the whole.