Sometimes, practitioners of Orisa Lifestyle merely imitate one another in the name of tradition. Because we lack a truly comprehensive understanding of the history, the breadth and the psychology of Orisa Lifestyle, we are tempted to copy what others APPEAR to be doing. This is true of everything, from style of dress to the kinds of pictures we share online to the definition of our spiritual goals and aspirations.
Here, it is important to emphasize the irrefutable fact that there are things that you simply cannot copy. Ifa teaches us that "People are my clothes," which indicates the importance of having very close supporters, who will protect you and make you look good at the same time. In this regard, no matter how diligently you try to imitate other devotees, you cannot copy the people, the culture and the heritage that surrounds them. You cannot duplicate their assets and capabilities, as those have been developed as a result of confronting a particular set of historical and environmental realities.
Ultimately, the ability to differentiate yourself from others is really what Olodumare intended. The elders will sometimes say that "We are all unique and different. Let the fingers on your hand be a reminder." That is, just as every finger is a different size and plays a unique role in your ability to do things, so is every individual unique and for good reason. And while there are numerous ways to distinguish yourself within the framework of Orisa Lifestyle, I want to highlight just a couple:
Quality: The BEST way to stand out is to consistently deliver high quality performance, relative to your natural gifts and talents. Once you have become consistent, the people you serve will trust you. Then, your name alone will be enough to win confidence and you won't have to worry about trying to fit in by following cookie cutter appearances.
Innovation: Being innovative is one of the most universal human values. It was Buckminster Fuller who said that the best way to overcome adversity is not by fighting against it. Instead, the BEST thing to do is to make it obsolete. In other words, be a creative problem solver. Help people to get good results in a better way without compromising the integrity of your tradition and your practice.
Serve: We don't talk about it openly enough, perhaps, but loyalty is extremely important in Orisa Lifestyle. The BEST way to win loyalty is not through control, however. If you want people to remain loyal to you and your spiritual community, you have to demonstrate real concern for the people you serve. Tricks and stunts will hold people's attention for a little while. But if you can communicate your philosophy of service to the people you serve, your people will feel that you care for them. Think about it: It is a lot easier to like someone who likes you.
Ecosystems Approach: I am amazed at how few priests and practitioners have taken on local issues. I mean, just through a casual survey of my clients over the years, the social trends are pretty obvious. Youth development, ancestral societies, environmental sustainability, economic empowerment and family management are just a few of the recurring themes that crop up year after year. When you integrate these concerns into your practice, it provides a way for you to connect to the substantial group of others in your community who care about the same issues - are might be doing something about it.
What you also need to know is that these are the characteristics that will strengthen your position and make you stand out in the crowd. Stated differently, when you demonstrate your values, it becomes increasingly difficult for others to copy with a trip abroad and a few pictures on Facebook. Practicing your spiritual values has the most powerful influence on your relationships to the people who matter most. More than initiations and more than titles, it is through your contribution that you will earn credibility and reveal your higher purpose.
At the Orisa Lifestyle & Mental Health Retreat, we will offer you proven knowledge, coaching and social technology that will help you live the medicine that will heal your life and the lives of the people you were born to serve. Register before July 31 and save $100. Also, for every three people in your group, the fourth person attends FREE!!!
7/16/2014 02:48:36 am
In America we tend to fall into the trap of keeping up with the Jones. Looking at and wanting what we think someone else has. It is a wonderful reminder to celebrate our differences and remember that you never know someone else's journey. We live here and with such a rich spiritual tradition we can change our world.
7/16/2014 04:46:05 am
Ase Baba Modupe I see that as we encroach upon this journey we all have trials that will reveal our special mission in the work. This will set apart the Orisha initiates us the priest or Babalawo facilitates and guides the process.
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Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.