Aug 312007
Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

I was sixteen when Nelson Mandela was set free. He was interviewed upon his release by Oprah who asked him how, after 27 years of incarceration, he wasn’t angry. “My people need my leadership,” he replied, “there is no time for bitterness.”

That was the beginning of the end of apartheid, and I loved him.  He was the noblest being I’d ever set eyes and ears on, down to the eloquent root of his soul, caring more for South Africa’s freedom than for his own protection.

There is one thing all heroes and heroines have in common and it isn’t the vector of their mission, nor their courage or vision.  Even further beneath those things, is their willingness to die for what they believe in.

To find something worth dying for is to be phenomenally engaged with living.  As Mandela put it, ‘to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.’

While you and I might not be called to the massive life Mandela was, we are each in our own way being asked to stand up for what we believe.  This isn’t necessarily about holding a moral standpoint, but living your truth outwardly into life.

Even in the incarceration of mundaily living, we have the power to dream.  Not only does the master-dreamer honour the impossible, but follows it until it is made real.

Dear readers, let us collaborate in honour of the great Madiba. Write to me with your dreams made true.  Tell me about the time you madly leapt and the ground really did rise up under you.  Tell me what you left behind, and how you won’t miss it.  Tell me how you defeated bitterness and followed the synchronicity breadcrumbs out of the thicket.  Tell me about the bridge you built, from your dreams into your wakes. Tell me how impossible things became possible once you started believing in them.

You might also enjoy:


A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.

    Connect with Toko-pa
  • facebook
  • googleplus
  • pinterest
  • twitter
  • youtube

  6 Responses to “Nelson Mandela”

  1. Dear Tokopa: Love your words. You have reinspired me to take action on the radical trust I had, then lost and am refinding…

  2. Dear Toko-Pa Goddess of the Mist,

    Thanks for not only shining brilliantly but sending out call for resonant echoes coming from the lucky ones within the range of your ‘voice’. Okay, I’ll bite…

    Recently, after a long period of depression I was finally starting to make the baby steps back to feeling good and I couldn’t get this little tune out of my head. ‘Too simple’ I had thought and tried to dismiss it- but this little tune wouldn’t go away. Finally, just to get rid of it I recorded it on my computer and now it’s on my myspace page:

    There is a Light

    It’s not really ‘my’ song. It was just on the radio in my head.

  3. Hello my Dream Captain,

    My horoscope (Michael Oconner at for Leo last week seemed to echo what you were saying in your dreamspeak column. It asked what 2 or 3 thinks are keeping you from having the courage to follow your destiny? Right now I am following my destiny by moving to a new country and starting a new life, but something has been holding me back from embracing this radical change in my life…

    I had a dream in which i was free falling off a cliff into a desert canyon in northern Chile (haven’t been there yet, I’m living in the city). I had a safety rope around me so I could enjoy the sensation of falling and the immense view with no fear.

    What has been stopping me from jumping into my destiny? Comparisons, judgements, worries about what others might think…

    Now, I am on the edge of truly embracing and living the life I have chosen, I am just about ready to jump off the cliff, and I have a wonderful safety rope (the support of my new lover and other new friends)…

    So…. here I go….. wheeeeeee!!!!!!!!

  4. Hey T,
    I am reminded of the dream you had about the acorn seed. Remember? What a lovely tree you are growing..branches everywhere. This is a good example of living the dream.
    I’ve got one!
    I moved back to Colorado a few years ago and it was a disaster.
    After a year or so, I had a dream that I was in the canal I played in as a child. It was full of fast moving water with a deep undertow. A beautiful pinto stallion was caught in the current and came up to me for help. I put my arm around him and gently held his head. I told him to relax and go with the flow and that he would find his footing if he quit fighting the water. He changed then and became a good swimmer. He left the canal and jumped to the land. I watched him standing in the grass and asked him ” Where are you going now” He said, I’m going home and turned and ran towards Wisconsin.

    I sent the word out to my friends here for any potential jobs and got an immediate response. When I got back, I was offered a position with my old company, with two wonderful residents in the wilds of Wisconsin. No longer in the city.. lot’s of room for Winnie to run free.

    I think the thing that continues to amaze me is that following dreams not only directs us to our true hearts desire, but other lovely things come along behind it that are unexpected.
    The trick is to take a deep breath and just do it.
    It is a bit radical isn’t it? But thank goodness there are places to affirm this kind of thinking.
    Wonderful work you’re doing!

  5. Toko!
    My dream has been to find space. Space to run, plant, ride horses, care for chickens and bees, play in the creek, roll down the hill, pull sweet weeds and cut bright flowers…my dream has been for home for as long as I can remember. I so wanted this to come especially for Evangeline to experience, you know about my promise to her of a horse when she’s six years old.
    Well- we are moving home in less than two weeks. The place found us really. It’s everything— more better than I could imagine! Horses and all.
    Better because it makes sense of everything…it brings home all the lessons of 25 years. It all fits.
    Thank you. You help us remember.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>