The quest to inject “Lokinwi” into the world.
The Lokinwi Body, Mind & Spirit Festival will be taking place at The Canvas, Riversands, Incubation Hub, Fourways, on 14 and 15 September of this year and is scheduled for Cape Town in 2020. Vanessa Rogers interviews the Festival’s founder, Hilda de la Rosa, on her history in the BMS industry and her vision for the festival – and beyond.
Q&A with Hilda
Q: Give us a snapshot of your journey over 30 years in the Body, Mind and Spirit industry.
A: I was always a bit different as a child. It took years before I realised that not everyone could see some of the things I could see. Life then got in the way and I forget about my “talents”. At about 27, I started exploring alternative consciousness again – I read all the books I could get my hands on. I was in high-flying sales positions at the time, and money and prestige really mattered to me.
Then, when I was 37, my son Clinton, who was in matric, was involved a serious car accident which left him in a coma for 10 excruciating days. I resigned my job and dedicated all my attention to my son; inviting a range of alternative healers into ICU to help with his recovery. It took about six months to get Clinton to a reasonable level of independence once again.
When Clinton was better, I found I was not able to return to cutthroat business again and, instead, founded the alternative healing centre, Elandor, in Durbanville, Cape Town. I started the centre so it could serve the community and teach them that there was another way to find healing; that our souls are present in our lives whether we acknowledge them or not.
I invited teachers from all over South Africa, and even some from abroad, to come and impart their wisdom at the centre. After a few years, I needed a new adventure and founded the Namaste magazine, without any prior knowledge of publishing. What a beautiful, stressful, exciting ride that was. In fact, I quickly realised that South African spiritual teachers were often better than their international counterparts and that we should be very proud of the talents we have locally. I met exciting teachers during this time – such as Iyalna Vanzandt, Brandon Bayes, Amin Daya, Dr Wayne Dyer and Neale Donald Walsch, among others.
Q: Would you say that your two books portray the greatest lessons you have learned personally over this time?
A: Lessons are a strange thing. We learn as we live, and what I believed to be so 25 years ago is not necessarily what I believe today. The lessons I wrote about in my books were my truth at the time. One keeps learning. It never ends. Consciousness evolves continuously. What I do know today is that spirituality, for me, is not about seeking the divine. We are already connected to the divine – or should be, in any event.
I define spirituality as being conscious of myself in every moment of the day. I believe that each one of us can choose between love and fear. Under the umbrella of love come all the positive emotions – compassion, caring, nurturing, kindness and humility. Under the umbrella of fear are judgment, hate, spite, meanness and so on. In every moment of each day, we can choose how to behave without being supercritical of ourselves or of others. If my dark side emerges, I try to be aware of this situation and to tell myself gently, “Ahhhhh, you are human with a dark side and a light side. You can choose again. Please choose love.”
Q: Tell us a bit about how you believe the Lokinwi Body, Mind & Spirit Festival will play out.
A: Lokinwi stands for love, kindness and wisdom. The Festival is going to take place at The Canvas, in Riversands, just north of Fourways, Joburg on the 14 and 15 September. And I can’t wait – we’re going to have stalls, music, demonstrations, and the country’s top 17 speakers – including Charissa Bloomberg, Donna McCallum, Nianell and Rod Suskin, among others. When I thought of creating Lokinwi, I looked at words that epitomise such an industry and the words that came to mind were “love”, “kindness” and “wisdom”. So I decided to use those words to create the name.
Q: There are so many spiritual aspects to life that we don’t yet understand and that the scientists among us are unable to adequately explain. What would your advice be to someone who is new to this industry and going on a healing journey?
A: I am not a scientist. What I’ve learned from personal experience is that the right healer appears when you most need them. I no longer question the soul’s intent or the path of another. All I know is that if we live in alignment with our soul (love) and try not to succumb to fear, our lives work in a more streamlined way, we are happier and feel more content.
Trust your instinct and intuition –always. If you do this and listen to your inner voice, you are unlikely to choose the wrong healer or, indeed, healing modality.
Q: Mindfulness has become a buzzword over the last few years and many folks have jumped on the bandwagon, with little understanding of its basic premise. Could you give us a brief description of mindfulness as you understand it, and how it can provide holistic wellbeing?
A: I don’t like buzzwords and have never followed fashionable trends. My preference is for each person to be fully present within his or her own journey – whatever that may be. Since I believe in reincarnation and that we must experience all things, I am aware that we have lives of violence and lives of peace. My humanity makes it difficult to cope with this potential or past violence – but my soul has no ego and therefore no value judgment. If I can stay in a space of non-judgment, instead of going into a space of blame and retribution, I will feel that I am a better person. It is very difficult, though.
This does not mean we should tolerate violence in society. How we deal with it should, instead, change. Anger begets anger, rage begets rage and violence begets violence; and therefore love begets love and compassion begets compassion. Our society is not really equipped to deal with perpetrators in any other way than giving like energy to like energy. When we have evolved some more, perhaps we will be able to refocus criminals or violent offenders and teach them to love instead of punishing them with violence – but this approach is really difficult to get one’s head around.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add related to your vision of the Lokinwi Body, Mind & Spirit Festival for SA? What overall message do you hope attendees of the various talks, for example, will come away with?
A: I want everyone to know that they can choose love – that any effort to teach the world about another approach is not wasted. I want this industry to step up and take its deserved place in the business world; proudly, but without sacrificing compassion or caring for those bottom-line rewards. We should, instead, celebrate these financial rewards and acknowledge that we are worthy of the success we achieve, as well.
I hope attendees of the talks will learn more about tolerance, kindness, wisdom and love. That there is another way to go about life and that people like us exist everywhere. So the message is love, compassion, kindness and bringing that wisdom to the world.