We been pickin cotton for ya – Under master’s hand.
We been pickin cotton for ya – master says we can.
We been pickin cotton for ya – Throats dry with bleeding lips.
We been pickin cotton for ya – We hopin for a sip.
We been pickin cotton for ya – No water for our lips
We been pickin cotton for ya – masters’ got a whip.
Yes, those lines they run deep that runs across my face. But it’s those lines run down my back that my people like to trace.
We been picking cotton for ya – One day we be free.
We been picking cotton for ya – Now let’s let it be.
These words, the first time I heard them, gave me soul-vibrating chills. The impact – wow, the impact – was breath-stealing, gut-wrenchingly powerful. I did not read these words in a book – nor a website. They were not obtained in a typical manner – in a way that would be believable to many. Several months ago I dreamt of the woman who would later give this song to a friend during vision. It was explained in my friend’s vision that this was a slave song – the words needed to be transcribed and passed on to me. While powerful & extraordinary, the purpose of this left us confused. Why had we been gifted a slave song? What was the meaning for us & how were we to apply this to our lives or lessons? Or, was it for us at all?
What follows is more than a story but a depiction of the ever-expanding interconnected web of my life. More than a description of a single session, it illuminates how the lives of others get woven into the fabric of my own. The way people find me is simply amazing and represents the definition of Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ – our interconnectedness to each other & all that is.
Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ is a Lakota Sioux phrase translated to mean “all my relations”, the meaning of which reflects the belief regarding our interconnectedness. It is a prayer of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, rocks, rivers, mountains, weather — AND Creator. Central to its meaning is that I cannot exist without you and you cannot exist without me. Everything we do has an effect on others and on our world – seems pretty simple & straight forward. But, like most simple things, this is complex, contains layers and traction…once a connection is forged, others are opened, and still others and others and others and….you get the point. You can get lost in these rabbit holes!
Sometimes the power of this concept hits me like a ton of bricks – sometimes synchronicities make it hard to deny our interconnectedness. Delilah (not her real name) has been coming to see me for about 6 months. I could tell you a whole different story about how we crossed each other’s paths and the signs that pointed her in my direction…but I’ll spare you. Delilah is very in tune with her being and, for this reason, her sessions normally consists of an energy “tune-up” to help with grounding, balance or clarity and maybe a little shamanic healing work. I received a notification yesterday that she had booked an appointment for today – I love these surprise appointment messages! Delilah emailed as well to let me know she could come early if it worked out for my schedule. I responded that I had an appointment before hers & that I would most likely need all the scheduled time. HA! It’s a pretty good sign a session is going to pack a punch when the Creator starts rearranging shit on you! Not more than 30 minutes after I responded to Delilah’s email, did the client scheduled before her message me to say she would only have time for 30 minutes. I guess it was going to be possible to see Delilah 45 minutes earlier than expected. I love these twists and turns…
I have a confession – I woke up today not feeling very capable. Not feeling very strong. Not feeling confident in my intuitive or healing abilities. I confessed to a friend that I always get excited when I have a session with Delilah but the excitement is usually followed by fear. Delilah is the ONLY person I see in which this irrational fear comes into play. My fear is she will discover I’m a fraud & that I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing. Shiiit…my cover is about to be blown…
Delilah was in the waiting room as I walked the previous client out of session. She is always a beautiful sight – oozing with intelligence, independence and a courageous spirit. Today was no different but, as she hugged me tightly in greeting, I could feel her tension. She began talking as she shrugged out of her coat & fell heavily into the chair. As she spoke about the heavy energy she felt surrounding her, she appeared more vulnerable & sensitive than I had ever seen her. She admitted to feeling weepy often in the previous week and that she was having difficulty with certain familial relationships. An exploration of this topic felt cold – I was getting nothing from Spirit. Though she appeared confident this was what our work should center on, she began telling of recent difficulties with her boss & the frustration this caused. A few years earlier she had done healing work surrounding this person and had discovered their past life tie in which he had been an abusive controlling husband or father.
As our consult continued it became clear Delilah would receive a combination of Reiki, Shamanic healing and ThetaHealing® while on the massage table. I continued to ask questions as a way to dig down into the heart of the issue – she exclaimed with clarity that the slave/slave master dynamic was a new past life relationship that needed to be explored. Now we were getting somewhere. As an afterthought Delilah looked at me wide-eyed as she suddenly remembered a message from Spirit she needed to pass on to me. “I’m supposed to remind you of the boat”. My head jerked up as my breath caught in the throat and my heart pounded like a war drum. I looked at her and said, “You need to hear about a dream I had several weeks ago. I think it’s for you.”
I am in the passenger seat of a 4×4 vehicle with my husband and a close friend. We are driving on flat land looking for the perfect camping spot. We stop at an amazing space right on the ocean — there is no beach to speak of. The land just morphs into the depths of the ocean. Suddenly I find myself on a slave ship – we are in the middle of our voyage. I am standing looking overboard contemplating throwing myself out. To jump out of the ship means certain death – I weigh my options. Desperation lies in staying … and going.
Like a scene from a movie, we suddenly cut to me crouched in a cage made of bamboo. Not a permanent enclosure but one constructed in such a way that I can be seen from all angles and contained until it was time to move me. I realize I am a slave at auction. In an odd way, I feel safe contained in my cage.
As I look around, I notice across the way another cage. Here sits another African woman in wait. Although her head is down, her eyes are directed my way. Her stare is intense, soul reaching and pleading. The intensity of her stare – not fear – wakes me from my dream. My thoughts raced. “She needs my help. What am I supposed to do for her?”
As soon as morning arrives, I call my friend to relay my vision & to inquire if she had a similar experience. I am not surprised to hear we dream traveled together.
I WAS surprised to hear her visit with the African woman was much more relaxed & casual – even fun!.
I go on to tell Delilah that my friend called the afternoon after this dream to tell me the slave woman was with her. They were talking but there was no indication of what she needed or wanted – I just needed to know she was there. Again, a few days later, I receive a call from my friend. The tone is much different this time – the woman had gifted a slave song. No explanation other than, “pass this on to Randi. She will know when the words will be needed”.
The week following the dream, I felt the African woman’s presence wholly and heavily. There was little to no communication – just the cold hard pleading stare. It is, as I am relaying this dream and the after events to Delilah that she crumples into tears in front of me. Good – this is the trail. I have found the missing link to this puzzle. I ask Delilah if she thinks this African woman was her in a past life. All she can manage is to shake her head yes. We have been lead to the story that needs to be healed.
As I settle Delilah in for the healing work, I talk about my time in West Africa studying the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. I ask if she has always felt a strong connection or emotion regarding the slave trade – her answer does not surprise me. She says the strength of the slave spirit has always tugged at her heart. As I tune into Delilah’s energy field, I ask for the Creator’s guidance to take over. As I become the conduit for the healing, I am inundated with impressions. As I establish connection with Delilah, my hands to her shoulders, I see her as the slave woman being whipped, beaten and abused. I see her being choked as my hands are on the back of her neck. But most prominently, I see her current boss – he was her slave master. In this lifetime, and past lifetimes, he has been scared of her… of her power… of her strength.
As we work on finding and changing beliefs surrounding attachment, I see the slave woman’s spirit detach from Delilah’s physical body and get lost. We cannot continue meaningful work until this lost part of her soul is integrated back into her being. I explain what I see to Delilah and receive consent to proceed. As we begin the process of soul retrieval and integration, I see the African woman from my dream approach the left side of the table. In my mind’s eye, I see she has approached Delilah on the left side of the boat. Delilah has been grasping the edge, contemplating her jump overboard. The woman holds out her hand and says “Come with me. You no longer have to endure this – you no longer have to stay here.” Though, letting go of the boat means certain death to Delilah, she is coaxed to unclench her grasp and step overboard. As Delilah steps over the edge of the boat, their two spirits ascend above the boat and swirl around and around each other until they become one. Finally, their Spirit settles peacefully on top of the water and they float in serene freedom.
After our session has concluded and we are easing ourselves back into this time and space, Delilah looks at me and says, “I didn’t tell you this before. Earlier in the week I was working with a Quantum Healing technique. I found myself in slave quarters where a woman was up on blocks being whipped. I approached her from the left, held out my hand and said “Come with me. You no longer have to endure this – you no longer have to stay here.”
I cannot make this stuff up.
Instant chills. Tears. And, relief that today was not the day that she discovered I’m a fraud. HA!
I like to view my life as a web that I am the center of. This is neither egoic, nor self-centered as we are each the center of our own circles. In keeping in mind Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ, it’s easy to see how my dream intersected with another – how our shared dream was a message for yet another – and how going forward, the soul retrieval for Delilah will impact the people in her own life. Every action we take, that is motivated by love, leads to connection. I believe connection is one of the greatest joys of life – to witness or experience the masterful design that takes place to ensure certain souls connect is awe-inspiring. THIS is what I live for – this is why I open for the Creator to work through me.
What does the song mean to me now in the aftermath? This whole experience & all the takeaways are multi-layered. Intense. Deep. Simply put – and not to make lightly of the atrocities of slavery – aren’t we ALL pickin cotton? Aren’t we all under a Master’s hand of some kind – addiction, fear, anger, or disconnection – that we are trying to free ourselves of? Aren’t we all suffering in our attempts to free ourselves? Don’t we ALL need the reminder that though we have scars we can trace & memories we can relive, that at a certain point we just need to drop it and let it be? Let it be so we may move forward in love. In connection.
**The word “master” was deliberately NOT capitalized. We are slaves to noone – noone is our master.
UPDATE – April 28th, 2018:
My husband and I traveled to Maryland for his best friend’s wedding. The morning of the ceremony, I headed out to explore as Matt was getting prepped and ready for the day. The wedding venue was located less than 10 minutes from North Point State Park. At the point of the peninsula, the Chesapeake Bay & Potomac River intersect. This was my destination for the morning.
As I arrived in my nature-y surroundings, I felt myself relax into the experience. I drove at a meandering pace throughout the whole park before settling on a place to park. As I drove there were soft sandy beaches to my right & sharp jagged rock keeping the water at bay to my left. I parked in a location that allowed access to the beach AND the marshy area where the cranes, egrets and heron were flocking to. Even in Iowa, I gravitate toward these birds. It is a personal challenge to get as close as I can without them flying away – these birds like their privacy & to be allowed within a close proximity is a great honor. I feel a kinship in this way.
I am strolling along the marsh, mind blank & soaking in the energy of the birds & the place – all is perfect. Suddenly, I am halted. My body vibrates. I am covered in chills. My Spirit eyes survey my surroundings. In that moment I feel the slave woman with me again. She is here to remind me we were here in another lifetime together. To hammer in the importance of inter-connection.
And, to assure me I am not a fraud. 😉