Capturing the spirit of the people of
As a writer and coach on the
subject of abuse and trauma, over the years I have studied a number of different modalities in order to help
survivors of trauma including voice dialogue and some other more esoteric spiritual practices which also include
trusting out gut feelings and following our intuition especially when we are in situations that are dangerous.
I've also become far more connected with nature and the
hidden meanings we interpret when encountering things such as
With the trip Gaza about to start in a few days whilst many of us may
be able to empathize with their suffering to some degree it behoves us as human beings to try to do whatever
we can to help.
My first experience with Palestinians was travelling and working
abroad in Israel when I was 17 on a kibbutz, almost 33 years ago. My boss at the time was none to happy at my
decision to leave a promising career in retail banking to gallivant off to another country nor could he
understand my reasons for going. In all honesty I was searching for excitement and new experiences. It was
only a couple of months into my stay that I started to realise something was wrong. Working on a kibbutz we
did everything from picking oranges to milking cows however the significance of being asked to help produce
bomb cases by the Israeli Kibbutz was something I couldn't quite grasp back then. I refused to work there and
a few weeks later a woman I'd met through my travels was physically escorted off the Kibbutz and asked to
leave. Their reasons for evicting her – because she had befriended a Palestinian!
The day she left I joined her and we ended up staying in Nazareth in
an apartment spending all our time with Palestinians and their families. I was given a necklace by a
Palestinian who tried to explain what has happening in his broken English. He gave me a necklace which I have
worn and carried around for years. Even though I didn't quite understand the full implication of what had
happened I made a promise to myself to go back at some point in the future. Little did I know I'd be
returning 33 years later.
So why does the hummingbird represent the people of
According to some spiritual people who believe in the power of animal
totems the hummingbird symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. This beautiful bird is capable
of the most amazing feats despite its small size, such as travelling great distances or being able to fly
backwards. The hummingbird invites us to develop our adaptability and resiliency while keeping a playful and
optimistic outlook. The Hummingbird also invites us to enjoy life’s simple pleasures and take time to enjoy
yourself. On a more extreme level by using the analogy of the Hummingbird you may be required to adapt to a
situation that are demanding or challenging. The wisdom carried by this beautiful animal emphasizes flexibility
and lightness in your approach to the unexpected.
The hummingbird, is indicative of strong sensibility and the ability
to move to be flexible and move swiftly. When we tune into our senses we are able to feel every emotion both
positive and negative. On an more extreme level this may lead to instability as we shift rapidly from one
feeling or mood to another without warning. Furthermore, the hummingbird totem wisdom could challenge you to
figure out how to stand strong while being able to move quickly and fly high, whether it’s through your
personal or spiritual aspirations.
One of the things that strikes me the most about the Palestinian
people when I visited all those years ago was their optimism, resilience and joy considering everything that
has happened to them over the years since the occupation of Palestinian in 1947 .
Much like the hummingbird they are given no choice but to adapt
swiftly to ever changing situations which includes having their houses destroyed, human rights violations and
dealing with trauma EVERY single day. Anyone who has been in the receiving end of ANY kind abuse knows how
hard it to avoid being re-traumatised however imagine for a moment having PTSD and being traumatised over and
over again. Imagine having to switch from one emotion to another in order to literally survive and yet
despite this the people of Gaza remain joyful.
Palestine is one of the smallest countries in the world and Gaza as a
state is minuscule compared to many places on the planet. Much like the hummingbird which is one of the
smallest birds, it can travel great distances and characterized by their resiliency and ability to run great
distances tirelessly. Ironically, despite its size at the end of 2011, there were at least 7.4 million
displaced Palestinians representing 66 percent of the entire Palestinian population constitute one of the
largest numbers of displaced people on the planet!
And yet the Palestinian people and those in Gaza retain the true
spirit of the Hummingbird by remaining joyful, compassionate and sensitive in the face of EXTREME
Despite everything they are still shining which is exactly the reason
why the people of Gaza inspired me to go there and do something to help and bring their story back. For this
reason I shall be documenting and writing about the abuse in particular as it relates to Children and hope to
publish a book raising awareness provisionally called the “Hummingbirds of Gaza”.
Please join me in my journey and those of the other amazing
participants who have taken it upon themselves to do something as well.