Uzima is the Swahili word for life: wholeness, vigor, and vitality of mindbodyspirit. This word inspires me to be creative, adaptable, and compassionately aware in my service to others; to encourage others to seek balance in their commitment to wellness and learning in their respective lives; and to be open to the possibilities and opportunities that can transform perceptions of the ordinary into celebrations of the miraculous.
One way that I best connect with uzima is through shared stories. The nature of narrative — with its origins of truth, knowledge, and heritage — makes for a powerful tool for unleashing Voice – the inner awareness of the possibilities and the power within.
Exercising Voice can shape the way we see the world and how we choose to participate in it. Narrative is a lens by which one can view each experience, be it positive or negative, to build powerful metaphors that can better guide an understanding of how to approach life’s obstacles from an empowered state – rather than a hopeless state.
We create and we grow our lives by being transparent with our stories. By exploring the powerful tradition of narrative, it is possible to transform our ways of thinking and processing new experiences. Through journaling and storykeeping, it is possible to make connections that lead us along our respective pilgrimages of healing and make us the authors of our life stories. When we share our stories, we share our core beliefs – a powerful step in life’s growth and healing process.
I came across a passage in my reading recently that resonated with me: our blessings and gifts earn value when used . . . our abundance is an expression of how we use our gifts and how we can feel truly prosperous (from the Daily OM). When we share — our hearts, our lives, our stories — our riches become more valuable because we have given of them with compassionate awareness.
The ripple effect goes unnoticed. We do not know what the ultimate outcome will be of bestowing a kindness upon another. Maybe it is getting a box of tissues for someone who is crying. Or it is letting someone into traffic. Loaning someone $20 for gas money. Rubbing someone’s shoulder while she is struggling against life’s current. Buying coffee for the person who is standing in line behind you. Sending an I-love-you letter via snail mail. Listening to your best friend tell his story. Laughing until your sides ache.
We can create abundance in our lives and in the lives of others by giving freely of what we have and who we are. It is a humbling thing to write of this: to believe that we — you and I — stand to be instrumental in another’s growth. It is life’s ultimate gift. To others. And to our own selves. It is powerful, magnificent, and humbling . . . to think that we all have the opportunity to love another with uzima reflected in our actions.