In my quest to give 29 gifts in 29 days, my gift today is to share the wise, healing words of a lovely African Medicine Woman whose path I was blessed to cross. Mbali Creazzo is the woman who inspired the book 29 Gifts and this Kindness Revolution article series. She instructed a young woman suffering from multiple sclerosis to give 29 gifts in 29 days, hence the book’s title.
Born in South Africa, Mbali’s healing path spanned three continents before she settled in the United States where she shares the medicine of the West African Dagara people. A self-described “bridge” between us and our ancestors, she encourages us to take action through ritual and creative art to mobilize our energies for healing.
She was inspired through her work to advise Cami Walker to give 29 gifts in 29 days as part of the woman’s healing of MS. Mbali says that illness and crisis can leave us “in a place of self pity and self absorption.” We think that no one else feels our pain. We feel isolated, lonely, and fearful. By turning our attention outward instead of reflecting on our problems, we transform the energy of illness or suffering and turn it into healing energy.
The Dagara traditions include five elements: fire, water, earth, mineral, and nature, or what she refers to as “our creative cosmology.” By incorporating these elements into our lives, she shares, we realize that we are not separate from them. In this tradition, Mbali indicates that ours is a fire culture, evident in the wars, fighting, and violence we are experiencing on the planet. This year, she continues, is an earth year in the Dagara tradition. The earth is sending us huge messages in the form of the three earthquakes and the oil spill resulting from drilling the earth to awaken an urgent neccessity for earth healing.