following the path of our heart…

We have just come back from wandering in the streets and even doing a little bit of shopping…!

Our days seem to find a rhythm wherever we are in the world… Our food changes and the climate changes, the people, the energy of the land, the feel, the texture of our time is different… But after we have been in a place for even only a few days we find we are often doing the same thing, and eating the same thing for breakfast each day… Even though it is entirely different from the breakfast we have eaten every day in Spain, or in Greece….

In Corfu, I love the fruit salads, piled high with thick greek yoghurt and honey, in Spain the tostadas with olive oil and tomato become my daily fare; and here the sweet breads and homemade jams, omelette and olives and salad are what I look forward to after running and running along the expanse of endless beach …

And I ran again today along the magical shore, Anadi came too and we covered 8 easy miles; not a breath of wind, a blue summer sun day; and I spotted two more Moroccan women running; dressed in their robes, their heads covered, but running freely, relaxed.

Mainly it is the men and boys we see, many of them…

As we ran we watched the first families arriving on the beach; the mothers all covered, their children in little pairs of pants or shorts, bright swimming costumes – racing about the sand and into the waves, free as birds…

One little girl, maybe only three years old, was running along towards her father, who was joggng backwards, with his hands outstretched – encouraging her  – while her mother walked along behind… All of them were laughing.

Suddenly the little girl saw me… She looked around and tried to keep running, but she stumbled, and stopped and was more intent on watching me… I waved and she waved back….

Because, there comes a time when the girls cover their bodies, their heads and sometimes even their faces so that all we can see is their eyes… and everything changes…

From then on, they watch…

Except for the ones that don’t, that show their faces and are fighting for their freedom…

When we came back to breakfast today, Fatima asked how far we had run, 13k I said… I went on to tell her that we see mainly men…

‘A strong woman’, she said to me… ‘They will be surprised to see it, a strong woman… It is good.’

‘Be the change you want to see…’

I walk freely in their land; my energy different. Fatima has said on a few occasions to Anadi and I… ‘You are different…’

I have been reading about the women of Morocco who over the years are creating the changes, are being the change they desire… In the end we can only change ourselves; we can only be the change and others will follow; but they are simply being their own change.

My path is not to fight for the freedom of Moroccan women; but my path is to be freedom, to live freely from the core of my being and in being free communicate this in my every breath.

The little girl stopped in her tracks; my energy impacting on maybe her whole future…

I have watched the women watch me as I run by and they smile… We say ‘bonjour’, there is sisterhood in our difference. I am one of them… In the past I put my own restrictions on myself and readily bowed down to what a man would want before my own wishes…

How could I have possibly helped with repression of women by men when I was joining in with that energy?

The first change must come from within; everything changes from the inside out…

And if we are true to ourselves, and true to our own path then we cannot help but be leaders…

We cannot help but travel the route that our heart leads us, whether that be protesting in aid of women’s rights’ speaking it out as Saida Soukat did this May just gone…

For most of her life she has worked the fields and minded the cattle, but she found herself last May chanting these words into a megaphone… “One foot up, one foot down. For my land, my blood will shed,”

There is economic and social change occurring in the Morocco and it is happening from the inside out, the women themselves being the change… And so we can be the change; free ourselves to free others, and we do not know what stage that might lead us onto…

Saida soukat may never have imagined when she was a girl growing up that she would be part of a movement that is shaking the patriarchal foundation of the society…

Except that her relative Fatima Soukat who is now in her nineties has been leading by example – fighting and cheering for women’s right for many years, and she is still fighting for the right to the land where she was born and raised eight children.

“I demand the land of my grandfathers,” she said at one recent protest. “We are beaten. We are oppressed.”

When we surrender to the path of our soul, and our heart, we do not know where that will lead us, and it takes courage to trust the route of our truth, because like Saida Soukat we too may find this leads us to speaking it loudly into a megaphone!