Ingrid is a Haitian woman focused on environment protection and permaculture. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in Tropical areas’ biodiversity and its conservation in Spain. Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
(Transcription from Skype interview)
What began or was supported through participating in EOA?
Three years later, I find the journey is still very relevant. When I was on the Immersion, I felt really connected and grounded. I had spent some years where I felt separated from myself. So when I was on the retreat I had this feeling that all the parts of me were gathered together again. I could feel that my music was back and the writing was back. There was a day when I was alone and there were all these drums. I spontaneously played and thought, “wow, music is still so alive in me!” And then I began writing poems in English. And that’s not my first language! So that state of mind - that state of being - has become a reference point for me around when I'm doing well, and when I'm grounded or not. I know when I get disconnected or overwhelmed by work or other things in my life, I now have an anchoring reference point as I can tap into how I felt when I was on the immersion and with the group. There is a moment after the journey when I suddenly couldn't play music anymore. I could feel something was imbalanced so I just referred back to this moment when I was feeling ‘well’ – I don't know what to call that place. It's like you received some present, some gift, and you know that you still have it and in any moment you can go back to it and if you want to let it bloom, you can let it bloom or you can just keep it held tight like it was.
What happened on the journey?
Before EOA, I was already on a spiritual path, so I didn’t have expectations. I didn’t know what would happen. It just felt like it was the right thing to do and I wanted to do it. I just knew something would happen that would be good for me. So I went. For me it was another very helpful step in my spiritual journey. Being Haitian, music is a very important part of my life and spiritual journey, so that moment when I reconnected with my music was a really important moment. There was a day when we wandered off on our own, and I saw a Bobcat and there was no fear. There was a connection. I had been working in a natural park in Haiti, and in that moment with the Bobcat I realized that even though I was doing my work, I was actually disconnected from nature. So, for me it was a meaningful step in the spiritual journey regarding connection with my music and connection with nature, with the animals, with the plants, with all the beings.
“When I got what you might say was my ‘spiritual call’, I wouldn't accept it. I thought, “why me, why would I get this heritage, why do I have to do this?” But I didn’t get the answers. EOA was the moment I said “Okay, I am just letting go. I’m not going to stop it anymore. I’m letting go and accepting, acknowledging what it is. Whatever might come, will come.” That's why I called the poem The Call because after years of fighting against myself, I was suddenly like "Just let go!” It came to me in English, not my first language!
(To the hummingbird witnessing my unfolding truth)
The first time I heard the call
I wouldn’t even bother reply.
The first time I heard the call
I wouldn’t believe it was for I to reply.
You’ve been calling me for so long
For so long and in so many ways
Signs, symbols, dreams, songs
From which I would run away
Misunderstanding why I would be chosen
Wondering why this story out loud not spoken
Questioning the relevance of this heritage
That was putting me alone on the stage.
On this journey of awakening
I acknowledge that all things are at the right place
In this moment of opening
I can only be thankful for this grace.
When I first heard the call
I didn’t want to believe
Now that I accept to stand tall
In me I hope you still believe
May with time I be forgiven
For being a rebel stubborn
May my hands through the power given
Do the work for which I was born.
~ Yaayfal Makaya (my spiritual name)
*Poem copyright Ingrid 2016.