Sonia Molodecky: “They are the best, and great protein”

To begin to recognize the value of diversity — look at nature — the more diverse an ecosystem, the healthier it is. The more diverse and colourful your dinner plate, the more nutritious. The more diverse the human tapestry, the richer our experience and creative our solutions. There is so much pain in the world from not embracing and […]

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To begin to recognize the value of diversity — look at nature — the more diverse an ecosystem, the healthier it is. The more diverse and colourful your dinner plate, the more nutritious. The more diverse the human tapestry, the richer our experience and creative our solutions.

There is so much pain in the world from not embracing and celebrating our own unique gifts — from shame, to self-esteem issues, to fear of standing out, being yourself, to conflicts and war. We all want to be seen, our pain and suffering acknowledged.

I’d like to start a movement of going back to our humanity. Look into a stranger’s eyes and say hello. Maybe even go as far as to give them a smile. In this way we begin to build a world based on love not fear, abundance not scarcity, peace not conflict, compassion not aggression. And that is the world that I want to live in.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sonia Molodecky.

Sonia left a comfortable position at one of Canada’s top law firms as a finance lawyer and National Chair of a Latin American Services Group, to co-found the Global Indigenous Development Trust. A Canadian indigenous-led not-for-profit organization and registered charity, the organization works to empower indigenous communities and traditional knowledge systems across Canada and worldwide to build natural economies and healthy futures for their people. For the last six years, she has worked with the indigenous board and advisors, staff and partners to further the organization’s mission. Her passion is helping people realize their true potential as human beings based on a heart-centered path — one that is built on the energy of love, abundance, health and joy, in harmony with natural law, rather than a fear-based reality of scarcity, loneliness and suffering. She speaks world-wide on topics related to meaningful collaboration, sustainable economic development, the power of partnerships and the benefits of informed, empowered and engaged communities.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was 28 years old and working as a young ambitious lawyer at the top corporate law firm in Canada. I was involved in deals that people read about on the front page of the newspaper. I had a beautiful condo in an exclusive designer boutique building, in the most desired part of town. I had an expensive wardrobe that filled my walk in closet, and ate at all the best restaurants in the city. I travelled the world extensively, from Argentina to Egypt to Thailand to Spain, and places in between. I had it all. Or so it appeared.

Deep down I was miserable. I felt as though I was living someone else’s life. I’d put on my suit and ride my bike the 6 blocks to Bay street in Toronto’s financial core, take the elevator to the top floor of the tallest building and walk into my spacious office, close the door and begin the 18 hour day of running multi-billion dollar deals. Stress and panic attacks, which I experienced frequently, were of course not allowed so I’d close the door in the middle of the day and quietly cry, vomit, and then clean myself up, put a smile on and go back out there. ‘Work hard party hard’ was the mantra and I lived up to it well. But the stress was literally killing me. I was getting low grade fevers for weeks on end, running on steam, and popping advils like it was candy. All the while, I could not ignore the grave injustice, pain and suffering all around me. Throughout my travels as co-chair of my firm’s Latin American practice, I saw first-hand the conflict, marginalization and pervasive discrimination that existed, particularly with respect to the First Peoples. I knew in my heart there was a better way and I felt like a hypocrite, ‘enjoying’ life while others suffered so greatly.

But what was the solution? And shouldn’t I be happy to have a great career, friends, a supportive partner and financial stability? I was frustrated with the state of the world and felt helpless to create meaningful change. I didn’t know the answer but I was relentlessly searching for a model of economic development that was rooted in values of who we want to be as a people, our relationship with each other, the Earth and all beings. A way that had a shot of continuity on this beautiful planet. Yet I could not seem to find a way that truly worked for people and our natural world.

Then in 2013, I met a former indigenous Chief and now Elder, at a conference in Vancouver, Canada. He shared how he and the other leaders at the time led in the transformation of his Nation, building a strong and vibrant economy, based on impeccable values and principles of who they were as a people and their responsibility as stewards of their lands. He spoke about the economy being a means to a healthy and prosperous nation, not an end of itself; about reinvesting back into training his people and building dynamic teams; about ensuring they were decision-makers in how their lands and resources developed; about how they evaluated projects based on social, environmental and economic merits, all having equal weight; about the environmental award they won for re-routing a road to protect migratory paths of wildlife, not against development rather authors of what it looked like. And it worked. Thirty years later, they had brought pride and dignity back to their nation and were thriving. As was their environment and their next generation.

I was blown away! A model that finally made sense to me, and it was right here in Canada, with an indigenous community. We spoke over the next couple of days about sharing their story with other communities around the world, to show what was possible, supporting the development of natural economies, and sharing tools to empower people to empower themselves.

Two weeks later, at a breakfast diner in Vancouver, we sketched out the business plan for the new organization’s mission and vision on the back of a napkin and the Global Indigenous Development Trust was born. Later that day, I walked into my law firm partner’s office and quit.

We have since visited and led workshops with communities across the Americas and have been invited to countries across Africa, Asia and to Australia. We have been to heights of 5,000 meters in the Andes, into the heart of the Amazon and the Central American rainforests. And now we have come full circle back to Canada to support nation revitalization at home.

Being of Ukrainian heritage (as my first language) and having grown up with very patriotic grandparents who were part of the anti-colonial movements during the Soviet era, I learned from an early age the devastating impact of genocide, colonialism, and losing one’s lands, identity and way of life; the difficulty of overcoming imperial-colonial legacies, and the importance and value that came from being rooted in culture, language and tradition. What at first seemed like a disparate career path, became both a professional and a personal journey of understanding and coming back home to myself.

Since then, I have been to the heart of darkness in South America’s mining industry; in the middle of conflict zones working to bridge peace; been the source of targeted hate for standing in what is right; witnessed extreme poverty and destruction; traversed jungles and swam in the rivers of the Amazon; lived in remote villages; participated in revolutions and democratic elections in Cambodia, Egypt, Mexico and Ukraine; defended human rights; set up businesses in a multitude of foreign jurisdictions and learned to speak three languages fluently. I became a kundalini yoga teacher, a shaman assistant, an energy healing practitioner, worked with treatment men and women from around the world, practiced many forms of meditation and felt the vastness of the Universe within myself; I sat in ceremonies across the Americas, communicated with plants and trees, practiced sound healing, hiked one of the Seven Summits and swam an open water marathon; and above all, have had the incredible honour to work with indigenous communities, teachers and leaders around the world, which has allowed me to experience the sheer beauty, wisdom and love that exists within our connection to Great Spirit/Source Energy/the Universe.

These experiences have given me glimpses into who I really am, who we all are, and how powerful and beautiful we truly are. I definitely didn’t believe it before. But the more ‘magic’ I experienced, the more I started to wonder, “maybe it is the norm not the exception?” And I started to truly believe in the limitless potential that exists within each one of us (no exceptions). Through my experiences (and some lessons of what not to do!), I now hope to inspire people to have the courage to come back to themselves (if I can do it so can anyone!), whether it be the indigenous who have so much incredible wisdom to share, or youth who have lost hope in a better future. Through my book, “A New Human Story: A Co-Creator’s Guide to Living Our True Potential”, I share stories about our true human potential, as well as some tools for believing again in what’s possible, for getting back to the heart-center (a.k.a. our true self) and reigniting our imaginations to co-create an incredible and thriving world, one that works for all beings, including human beings. I believe this is the challenge of the next decades and also our greatest opportunity. And I believe that we can learn a lot from the indigenous way of thinking in order to build a world that works for all.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

A number of years ago, I was in Central America on a land staking exercise with the Maya people who had just won their land rights over their territory. I was told we were going into the jungle so to put on long pants, long sleeves and rain boots, but that we were only going to be out a few hours and should be back in time for lunch. I packed a small water bottle, a bag of almonds, my all natural lemongrass bug spray, and tied my bandana around my neck to keep the bugs out. I was ready and prepared, I thought.

We met at the Maya leadership office in town and began the walk to the rainforest that we would be traversing. There were about 50 indigenous leaders with us, mostly men, representing the communities in the region. They were wearing shorts and t-shirts, apparently immune to the bugs that lived there. And they all had machetes. It was quite the sight walking down the road through town. Together with the mapping expert from a University in the U.S., we were off. I quickly learned what the machetes were for — there were no trails in the rainforest we were crossing. We would be finding our own way through this thick jungle.

We got about 50 feet into the rainforest and I was at once attacked by a swarm of giant flying ants the size of golf balls! They found their way in through my bandana, up my sleeves and down my shirt. I was spraying them with my bug spray but quickly learned that the all-natural stuff works for the docile mosquitos in Canada but definitely does not work for the massive and shrewd bugs in the Central American jungles! In fact, I am pretty sure they actually liked the lemony scent.

After some water was poured on me to get them off (I was told they like new blood), we began the work. What was supposed to be a few hours soon turned into 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours and no end in sight. We had to get to the other boundary line and it seemed to be much further than was anticipated, particularly without a trail (literally jumping over giant ant mounds, over river beds, navigating complex root systems and intertwining vines). I was starting to get hungry and thirsty, having finished my hand-full of almonds and water hours ago. I casually asked one of the Maya leaders who I was walking with if they had any plans for water or food or if they were concerned about going on for hours more without any provisions. They looked at me, stunned that I was hungry and thirsty, and rallied the young guys to provide a solution.

Immediately, they knocked down coconuts, picked some fruits off the trees, some cohune and other nuts and seeds. Within minutes I had a feast, all from the land and without need for cooking or preparing. I began to notice that they would eat and drink as they went, not concerned because the forest provided all they needed. I started to open my eyes and truly look. And what I began to see was a living food forest, abundant in food, water, and life. There was food everywhere. How had I missed this? My western mind was looking for a refrigerator or packaged food and instead missed the abundance that Mother Earth provides, when you work with it, honoor and respect it, as the Maya did. They remembered the language of nature, the beauty that exists within that relationship with life systems. I had to laugh at myself and my blindness in that moment.

We finally got to the end of the boundary after 12 hours in the jungle. I was covered in mud and dirt, I was eaten by bugs and had scratches and scrapes on my arms, legs and forehead. But I was full of energy and felt alive. I had been nourished by the rainforest that day and it taught me that we are a part of nature, and we must begin to rebuild those relationships, for the value that we get from that reciprocal relationship is infinite.

Two years later, I found myself again traversing jungle, this time in the Amazon rainforest, with an indigenous friend from a local community. As we hiked, he reached out and grabbed a few ants from the side of the tree and stuck them in his mouth — “lemon ants”, he said, “they are the best, and great protein.” I had learned my lesson and didn’t skip a beat — I reached out, grabbed one and ate it. Tasted just like lemon.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When we were first starting the Global Indigenous Development Trust, we were invited to Peru to meet with some communities high in the Andes. These were beautiful communities, remote, still desperately holding on to their culture and way of life. They were also in the heart of Peru’s new large-scale mining region so big mining was now in their territories, along with years of violence and conflict from outside forces that had taken its toll. They wanted to understand how they might turn things around in their nation and be decision-makers in the development of their lands and resources, and to be able to create local economies that were thriving again but based on their values and vision for their people.

My co-founder and I were invited to speak at their monthly assembly on the Sunday morning. This was a breathtakingly beautiful community, at close to 5000 meters above sea level, where you were literally in the clouds. The people were equally as beautiful — the women adorned in big brimmed colourful hats that shimmered in the sun, big skirts and jackets that were all hand woven with patterns of the flowers that dotted the mountainsides.

I arrived with my co-founder and Elder from Canada, Jerry. We are both in jeans and boots with big brimmed cowboy hats as the sun is a force to be reckoned with at that height. As I speak Spanish fluently, it would be me delivering the speech. Jerry would introduce us but I would translate and then take it from there. I had spent the night going over my speech, which I had carefully written on a few pieces of paper, rehearsed and felt prepared.

We arrived and were seated in the middle of this outdoor terrace, with benches made out of the earth, carved into the side of the mountain. The views were breathtaking. The sun was shining bright and all I could see was the array of vibrant colors shimmering off the women’s hats all around me. There were close to 500 people seated in this natural stadium.

The town hall meeting began and one after another the speakers from the community stood and say their piece. They all spoke so passionately, so eloquently, so beautifully, so engagingly, so much vibrato — a speech about the need for a wider shoulder on the road sounded as though they were delivering the “I have a Dream” speech in a plaza of thousands. They were brilliant speakers, thanks to a long standing oral tradition — fostering the ability to tell stories, to persuade, to inspire. They were all Tony Robbins hiding in farm clothing and sun kissed faces. I began to get nervous. There was no way I could get up there and read a prepared speech after that! And just at that moment, my name was called and I was asked to stand and take the “stage”.

I took a deep breath and stood up. I started reading my speech and got blank stares. I stood there, feeling more vulnerable than I had in my life. I soon realized that I was going to have to work for my lunch, and part of respecting culture is to honour the people by giving it my all. So, I put my written speech in my back pocket and began to speak from my heart. Without a clue what I was going to say next, I just started to speak. I spoke about the importance of culture to me and my upbringing, and the wellbeing of the youth, healthy systems and education, done their way. I shared how deeply I respected their history and who they were. That we would be happy to support if they wanted us to but that it was their journey, we would simply share tools and experiences that may help them on their path. I had older women smiling and nodding, youth paying attention and Elders listening. I made eye contact with an Elder at the top of the stands and he gave me this look saying, “its ok, just speak honestly, from the heart.” I let my heart flow and let my vulnerability show — that I wanted a better world, that I didn’t want to see children suffer or starve, that I cared about the environment and what we were creating. That I wanted something better for everyone. It was not the most eloquent but it was genuine.

I finished and sat down. Then the meeting opened up to questions. I had supportive comments and then one man stood up and challenged me in every way possible, about our intentions, our commitment, our beliefs. And it was equally as passionate as the previous speakers. I froze and didn’t know what to say — I had just bared my heart (not something I was used to) and was now being attacked for it (or what felt like it at the time). I collected myself and began to speak. Just at that moment, that Elder who had given me the advice through his eyes during my speech, stood up and said, “I have seen her heart, she is genuine and they come with good intentions. They are here to help so sit down and be quiet.” Just like that, he shut it down and we began a long relationship with their people.

There were many challenges along the way and many people challenging us, which I have come to learn is necessary and a good thing. This is how they keep each other accountable and make sure everyone is always working with the best intentions.

But the biggest lesson was to always be genuine, speak from my heart and not be afraid to show my vulnerabilities. Working with indigenous people, they are so in-tune and such heart-centered people, the communities I have worked with can always tell if I am being genuine and coming from a heart-centered place. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and expect you to do the same. Coming from working as a corporate lawyer, where the opposite was true and expected, it was a hard lesson to learn, but one of the most important and valuable ones I have had.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

We are working to empower human potential for the healthy continuity of people and planet. Indigenous people can teach us a lot about how to live within natural law. A tree will not grow 50 feet taller than the rest in the forest because it inherently knows that if the other trees do not survive, it will not survive. Trees understand how to minimize risk, in order to maximize a thriving, living ecosystem. It is the intelligence of nature not to destroy itself but rather sustain itself in a collective cycle of life. It is complex engineering because it considers all things. It is the thinking of seven generations, today. I have always been interested in how we might empower this knowledge and our own human potential as part of nature’s intelligence (we are nature!) to build systems that support healthy, thriving life.

We support communities in rebuilding their nations based on these natural values and principles. These examples may inspire others on how to live and work in community; how to contribute and lead from a place of service; how to practice reciprocity with all life and in that way create infinite abundance.

We have led dozens of workshops around the world, led many learning exchange trips, negotiated equitable partnerships and developed meaningful internship opportunities for youth in organic agriculture and sustainable business endeavours. We have given dozens of communities the tools to rebuild their nations on their own terms and provided a platform for voices to be heard.

But really the greatest impact is in the seemingly smallest acts. Caring about people when no one else will; being there so a community knows you have their back no matter what; sitting with people and truly seeing them, listening to their pain and acknowledging their suffering, and then being there to give them a hug when they need it most. It is being a true friend and treating others in our human family as we ourselves wish to be treated. Through all the work we have done, the feedback I get the most is that our friends around the world are grateful for our friendship and caring. Just being there. Often times, I simply sit in communities drinking tea and chatting with the women or the youth. Sharing stories and building friendships. I know in my toughest moments, what has been most impactful for me is knowing there was someone there to support me if I needed them. To motivate me to keep going. To give me hope and to remind me of the gifts that I have to share. This is what I have tried to be for others. A trusted friend.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

We used to run these north-south exchange learning trips with indigenous leaders from South America to meet with Indigenous leaders in Canada to share best-practices and lessons learned from navigating development over the past 40 years in Canada. We have a loose agenda but often times the Elders from Canada will feel what is needed and take things in a different direction. On one of the first such trips, we had a group of 10 leaders from South America — women, men, youth and one Elder. We met with the leaders up in Northern Canada. There was a lot of learning both ways around strengthening of culture, environmental stewardship, navigating resource extraction and the health and wellbeing of youth, particularly drug and alcohol addiction, which often comes with big capital overnight into a region. Through it all, the leaders from South America where most inspired by the pride the First Nations in Canada showed in their culture and identity, how proud they were to be indigenous, and how openly they shared their identify and heritage, with the words they spoke and the way they dressed.

I didn’t know it at the time, but in many parts of South America, even a few years ago, it was shameful to be seen in traditional attire or identifying as indigenous in the major cities. Discrimination was rampant and some youth shared stories of being spit on in the streets of their capital city while wearing their traditional attire. So, they stopped being who they were.

The Elder from South America who was with us on this trip, grew up this way and it had become deeply engrained. He never wore indigenous clothing or spoke of his Inka ancestry. He had been very quiet for most of the trip.

Then on the last day, he stood up in front of the group and with all his new friends from the communities in Northern Canada, and said loudly and proudly, with tears in his eyes, “My name is Victor and I am a descendent of the Inka people. I am indigenous.” And he put on an indigenous scarf. It was the first time he had stood proud and said out loud who he truly was. We all had tears in our eyes. It was a beautiful moment.

Those ten leaders went back to their communities and passed on the lessons and brought that energy of pride and dignity back. And that creates impact from the inside out. It starts with one person, then a community, a nation and then the world. Change becomes possible when we begin to believe in ourselves again and stand proudly in who we are.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Our leadership and society can begin to foster sovereignty of the individual, free thinkers, and the unique creativity and ingenuity that resides in each one of us. We all have something to contribute to the betterment of society. It does not all look the same or sound the same. And that is a good thing. Nature is a beautiful tapestry of diversity. The more diverse, the healthier the ecosystem. We must embrace this diversity and not just in the color of our skin or our belief system but by what we value as a society, our unique skills, gifts and what we can contribute. And if we don’t know what that is yet, that’s ok. I didn’t when I was first starting on my journey. In fact, when I was asked what made me happy years ago, I would get so sad because I had no clue! But the job of our leadership and the society that we all build, is to foster that spark within each person, so that we can all contribute in meaningful ways that add value to the whole, and from that, feel a sense of value in ourselves and pride in our work. This goes for the Earth as well. We can grow an economy infinitely bigger by beginning to value all life, including from our natural relatives. We must begin to acknowledge these gifts and begin to relate through reciprocity, respect, kindness and generosity. This is what we should demand from our leadership and from our society.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership is service. My co-founder told me a story once about their Nanok (highest leader in their traditional governance system). The Nanok was responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of all the people and of the community. He would eat last. Only after all had eaten. It was not a paid position. It was an honour to be able to serve with generosity of spirit. The more you gave, the more you were respected. It was a recognition of the value of intangible wealth. Intangible wealth are the values that all people espoused to be able to pass on to the next generation. It includes the values of how to be in this world, how to live well with the natural world, how to create value for others, stand in and seek the truth, live with integrity, honesty and humility. If one only received tangible wealth from their Elder, it was considered less valuable than the intangible wealth that made a person truly great. And if the Nanok was no longer serving for the wellbeing of the people, he would no longer be allowed to be the Nanok. We have forgotten this in our society and no longer hold our leadership to account. And as a result, our leaders no longer strive to be great leaders — to build good character and lead from values and service mindset. As Simon Sinek stated in his Ted Talk (2014), “The job of a leader is not to be in charge, but in taking care of those in our charge.” I thought this was a very wise statement.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. That I would learn more about myself and be challenged about myself more than I would know on this journey. One time, in the Amazon, I was staying with a shaman and his family. They had arranged a spiritual ceremony for me where he did an energy scan of my body and went on to tell me all my deepest trauma and pain, that we would work on clearing during the ceremony. The thing was, he did it in front of the whole community! Just as a doctor in our culture would talk bluntly about a fractured wrist or stuffy nose, this treatment man shared my “energy blocks” very matter of fact. I was mortified! I wanted to run and hide — what would these people think of me? But I mustered up some courage and stuck it out. Afterwards, the young women in the community came up to me and gave me a hug. They thanked me for being so open and willing to share because they now saw how similar we all were, even from such different backgrounds. That we all are suffering from breaking up with men and broken hearts, fights with a friend, feelings of insecurity etc. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that continues today.
  2. Nature bites! It is beautiful and awe inspiring, and also warrants respect! I was walking through the jungle once, mystified by the colors, smells and sights. It was breathtaking and spectacular, the variety of plants and species that exist there. Without thinking, I began to touch the leaves and flowers and trees. Within minutes my hands were covered in blood. My friend, a young indigenous leader, looked at me and started to shake his head, and said, “Sonia stop touching everything you see, it is alive and everything seeks to survive!” I laughed, realizing I was no longer in my city of Toronto, Canada.
  3. Slow down to see the magic. I was so used to keeping to a schedule and being as efficient as possible, that I would miss what was right in front of me. I was taking a river boat down a river in the Amazon with an indigenous friend to meet with his community. It was an 8 hour journey of boating and hiking and we were about half way there. We stopped at a sandbank to take a dip in the river. It was reddish brown, rich with the minerals from the Amazon floor. I got in and then within a few seconds, stood up and got ready to get out — have to keep going if we are going to make good time! Then all of a sudden, I could hear the river speaking to me. Some people get beautiful poetic messages, I got, “get back in and stay for another 10 minutes, we are healing you.” At that moment, my friend looked at me, clearly having “heard” it too, and ordered me to get back in so that the waters could heal and nourish me. I realized then that there is so much we don’t know and so much more than what we think exists. That nature communicates through feeling and it is truly multi-dimensional. It was a moment of awe that I would have missed if I didn’t take a moment to slow down.
  4. Don’t push. Early on, I often made the mistake of, when seeing the potential in someone, to push them hard to realize on that potential, and they wouldn’t be ready and simply shut down. I learned that when I let go and allow, the universe unfolds in miraculous ways. One community we work with in Central America we simply have had a friendship with for years as they were not yet ready to embark on the nation building road. All of a sudden, this year, they came to us and said that not only were they ready, they had built up their internal strength and organization and had a pretty kick ass team ready to go! Their youth are strong and bright and taking on their own governance in ways I have not seen before. It is inspiring and I may not have been blessed with the opportunity to be part of this amazing journey had I pushed for this from day one.
  5. Early on, I was so focused on tangible results and “measuring impact”, I missed the fact that it’s all about process, trust and relationships. Three people working well together is the equivalent of an entire army in what is achievable. And you get there by drinking a lot of tea with people!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Begin to see each other again, valuing each other’s unique gifts. To begin to recognize the value of diversity — look at nature — the more diverse an ecosystem, the healthier it is. The more diverse and colourful your dinner plate, the more nutritious. The more diverse the human tapestry, the richer our experience and creative our solutions.

There is so much pain in the world from not embracing and celebrating our own unique gifts — from shame, to self-esteem issues, to fear of standing out, being yourself, to conflicts and war. We all want to be seen, our pain and suffering acknowledged.

I’d like to start a movement of going back to our humanity. Look into a stranger’s eyes and say hello. Maybe even go as far as to give them a smile. In this way we begin to build a world based on love not fear, abundance not scarcity, peace not conflict, compassion not aggression. And that is the world that I want to live in.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Mother Theresa once said that she would never go to an “anti-war rally” only to a “peace protest”. These are wise words as our minds and the energy we put behind our words, creates our reality. What we focus on, we perpetuate (just how manifesting works!). She was able to recognize that what we want to create is peace not war and by fighting something, we are still focusing our energy on that thing we are fighting. By focusing on what we do want to create, we move energy in that direction.

Early in my own personal journey, as a young activist, there was always an injustice, a cause that I wanted to fight. I saw the brutality and hatred in the world. And the negativity I let into my life created a great amount of fear and sickness in my body. I was always worrying, stressed and angry. I had to completely change my mindset from fear and negativity, to love and empowerment. I literally started to retrain my mind — every time I thought a negative thought, I would stop and state the opposing positive. This is something that Dr. Joe Dispenza, the neuroscientist, talks a lot about in re-programming your mind to create the reality you wish to experience.

This is not to say that we can’t get angry or call out the injustices that exist — absolutely, truth is an important aspect of supporting healthy life, and in fact many would say it is the foundation of life. But if we let that fear into our bodies and allow it to consume us, we are in no position to build the world we want to create. In order to create something, it starts with the imagination — we must be able to picture it, feel it, smell it, taste it. Then we begin to co-create with Source energy. It was a journey to remembering that I had the power within myself to be a co-creator of my life and begin to believe again in what is possible.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I’d love to spend time speaking with Robin Wall Kimmerer, the author of the book “Braiding Sweetgrass”. She is a scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in the U.S. She is also founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. Her book Braiding Sweetgrass is such a beautiful weaving of the western science view together with traditional knowledge, that encourages us to build a reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world, for, she says, only when we can hear the language of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return. I love the paragraph where she talks about fruiting of trees, “If one tree fruits, they all fruit — there are no soloists. Not one tree in a grove, but the whole grove; not one grove in a forest, but every grove; all across the country and all across the state. The trees act not as individuals, but somehow as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t yet know. But what we see is the power of unity. What happens to one happens to us all. We can starve together or feast together.”

How can our readers follow you on social media?


Instagram: globalindigenoustrust; soniamolodecky (personal)


Youtube channel:

Twitter: @indigenizetrust; @SoniaMolodecky

Linkedin: Sonia Molodecky

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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