SLAVERY VS. SOVEREIGNTY
The juxtaposition of sovereignty and slavery is present all around us today. Understanding the relationship between them in a greater context can be quite complex.
For Example, many believe that our political system is outdated and will never be fit to meet our needs. We’ve all heard people say they refuse to be a “slave to the system.” Others believe just the opposite – that not to engage with our government means to foolishly relegate our personal and collective power to the few in office.
Give us your own interpretation of sovereignty versus slavery, and put it in a greater context of your choice – political, personal, global or otherwise.
Colbee McManamon is a transformational guide, numerologist and energy medicine practitioner at Soaring Heart Medicine in southern Oregon. She works with people near and far to clear away the beliefs and systems that haven’t been working. She is passionate about bringing in a new and better way of living from the heart and and healing the Earth.
From Slavery to Sovereignty By: Colbee McManamon
We all know slavery. It flows through our blood and lives in our bones. Our ancient ancestors were slaves and our ancestors enslaved others. There is no easy way out of this karmic cycle. The blood and beliefs of our ancestors flow through us, reminding us of this relationship with slavery. Regardless of our race, creed or social class, we have ancestors who were torn from their lives and destinies and made to fulfill the desires of another man’s dreams. Our ancestors were slaves who built temples for the priests and priestesses of the first world. They were slaves who tended the gardens for the gods in ancient Sumer, Egypt, India, Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia. Our slave ancestors fought wars on behalf of the men who fed them just enough to keep them alive. They were slaves who satisfied the unrelenting sexual needs of the elite, in ancient times as well as in the dark corners of our modern day. Slaves are no strangers to the characters of our past and this slavery continues to haunt us to this day, even in the “free world.”
We are so comfortable in this role of slavery that we seem to reinforce the shackles repeatedly over lifetimes. Slavery lives in us as a belief so strong that it has been passed down from generation to generation and has changed our biology and the very structure of our DNA… though it has taken a new form.
With our nation’s baby steps of evolution, we began to see that we could not continue to be slaves nor could we enslave others. We eventually gained a sense of authority over our own stories and many of us even began to respect the stories of others. We were allowed to pursue our own futures, though this concept was foreign to us and we didn’t know how. In a sense, we could take the man out of slavery but we couldn’t take the slavery out of the man. The story of slavery still ran in our blood.
We went from being slaves to being servants. We were servants to our family belief systems, to religions and institutions, to our society’s structures and even to our enemies. We took jobs as farm workers and assembly line workers and later worked for financial institutions and urban development companies. Some of this was rewarding, because we were fulfilling the American dream and living up to those standards, but again, it wasn’t our dream. As servants our survival became our driving force. We learned how to quiet the dreams of our hearts so we could work hard just to get by and put food on the table or to earn a badge of success that meant nothing to our true being. By this time we had almost completely forgotten how to listen to the song of the sovereign heart – the song that originated in the stardust of long Ago.
We wonder why sovereignty is such a foreign concept. It’s foreign because it comes from a time before time, when intention mixed with stardust to create worlds and galaxies. Sovereignty is ultimate freedom of expression and the willingness and ability to create without shackles or limiting beliefs and subconscious self-sabotage. Sovereignty is freedom in your being-ness, but what does sovereignty look like now, in this world built by slaves?
Our subconscious is still running the programs of slavery and servitude. How much of our time is spent to fulfill the wishes and desires of others? How much of our time is spent to fulfill the expectations of our society? Approximately 82 percent of the money generated last year went to the richest 1 percent of the global population. (1) So, whether we believe we are enslaved or not, it seems as though we are blindly walking to the altar and laying down our sacrifices. We are working hard, sacrificing our time, sacrificing our passions and our true purposes. We clock in and give ourselves away. We make sure all the cogs in the machine are well oiled so that the social elites are able to continue to rule from their untouchable thrones built with our blood and sweat.
We can all take a stand based on our idea of freedom, our idea of sovereignty. We can set boundaries and stake a claim to our space and our bodies. Centuries have passed and we are just now learning how to own our own bodies. Movements like #metoo are shifting consciousness and raising awareness. As we reclaim our space and our bodies we begin to understand the notion of claiming our minds and our lives as well.
We are here for a purpose. Many people say we have been given this life on Earth so that we can learn. I believe that is only stage one. In stage one we must learn how to regain sovereignty and learn who we are apart from the duties, expectations, obligations and assignments that we have been given by others. Nothing outside of us is going to be able to tell us who we really are. Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim, the oldest member in The Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers and the oldest living member of her Takelma tribe of Oregon, says that the most important journey we can take in this life is when we bravely make the journey from the head to the heart. By doing this we initiate a relationship with sovereignty, authenticity, and our own infinite being. We cease being a slave to the mind and instead become an expression of the heart. When we learn how to express this authentic sovereignty, stage one is complete and we are able to move on to our true purpose.
Our true purpose is to be. We are not here to do, we are here simply to be who we are. When we learn who we are and are then able to live that in the world, our lives will change. The gifts that come from our true being are exactly what our world needs now. When we express this degree of sovereign authentic being, our families will heal, our communities will strengthen, and our world will change for the better. Imagine a world of people who are able to and allowed to be themselves rather than what someone else wants them to be. This is our future.
What if we were to make friends with the slave within? In the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen, also known as “taking and sending”, one takes in the suffering of oneself and of others on the in-breath, and on the out-breath, one gives light, recognition and compassion to all sentient beings. Pema Chödrön states, “Tonglen reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure, and in the process we become liberated from a very ancient prison of selfishness.” We can practice Tonglen with the slave of our subconscious and in the collective consciousness. As we breathe in the suffering of slavery, we get to know the slave in our conscious awareness and gain compassion for ourselves and others. When we breathe out, we breathe sovereignty and awareness into the places within us and within all beings who are bound by subconscious servitude and slavery. In this way we can get to know this archetypal force and learn her ways and begin to understand the fears and beliefs that drive her.
Then, later, when slavery and servitude try to take the wheel of our subconscious, we will recognize her, honor her and tell her it’s no longer her job to take us anywhere. All she has to do now is remind us how we got into this situation so that we can begin to understand how to get out. Then we are able to see the being that came first, the infinite being that knows Source and is never separate from it. This is our most precious and basic human right. Sovereignty.
Sovereignty is a powerful force and it is not lost. It has been hidden, and the radiance of this gem is beginning to be uncovered, flickering brightly where before there was only darkness. Now, in this cultivation of true sovereignty, it is important to ask ourselves, “Who is my master?” When we are honest with ourselves, we discover that we have served many masters and some of these include our families, our religion, our political party, our boss, alcohol and our addictions, fashion, consumerism, fear, and the list goes on.
As an energy medicine practitioner who focuses on belief work and subconscious reprogramming, I see this theme come up repeatedly in my practice. I have yet to meet someone who does not have the belief that they are a slave or a servant in one form or another. The beliefs can show up as “I have to slave away to be successful,” or “I can’t afford to follow my dream,” or simply Life is a struggle”. It is also very rare for someone to know and understand the feeling of sovereignty without doing belief work around it first. When we have lived our whole lives or several lifetimes without the experience of sovereignty, it is impossible for us to understand the feeling, and therefore the true meaning of the word. Sovereignty is a lovely idea, but it’s the feeling and the experience of it that will shift this world.
We are learning to be co-creators and part of that is bringing in a whole new experience. The worlds we created in the past are outdated. The beliefs that accompanied us in those worlds are no longer valid. As we create a new experience and a new world, we have to take a good long look at our beliefs and the way that our beliefs are shaping our realities. It is time to let go of what is no longer serving our highest good and embrace new concepts such as sovereignty, authenticity, and unconditional love.
When we begin to understand and embody the quality of sovereignty we are able to play our roles and be part of this society without being a slave to it. In this way we add to society what it needs most: heart. Slaves to the system will work hard to keep the system running smoothly, even at a great cost to themselves. A slave who fights the system will create war and still they may loose. A sovereign being however, stands freely apart from the system and at the same time can help creating change from within when the choose to contribute.
I believe there is an adjustment to be made to these beliefs on slavery and servitude. Although we no longer want to live like slaves, there is still an essence here that can be built upon, and that is the quality of service. To be of service is a gift when we do it from our sovereign heart, and it is also deeply rewarding and transforming. Slavery and servitude overwhelm, creating exhaustion, scarcity and resentment. Service, on the other hand, creates feelings of compassion, gratitude, unconditional love and abundance. When the slave of our subconscious steps in to take the wheel, we can acknowledge it and transform it into sovereign service, and in that way we are taking responsibility and becoming conscious co-creators. This is our path to healing ourselves and our world through sovereignty.