Gather: The book that I Can't Stop Rereading, Teaching, and Talking About
Octavia Raheem is a mother, mentor, yoga professional, and teacher who has received national attention for her work in diversifying the wellness industry. She also happens to be the author of what has become one of the most read and most used books in my collection: Gather.
At The Kaivalya Yoga Method and across the courses at AlannaK.com, we talk quite a bit about spiritual leadership and becoming the leader that your community needs. We do that by defining and committing to our spiritual practices through the yamas and niyamas, self-study, and learning more about yoga to uplevel our skills. I would argue that this text offers us insight and a pathway to the same type of development.
Raheem describes this text on the back cover as a “collection of soulful sayings, poetry, and flashes of insight sewn together into a sacred garment.” It feels like just that. The book is organized in three sections, inviting you to gather ancestors, courage, and rest. Each entry/writing/page offers us a mantra or meditation and related question to explore–and that’s what I love. Not only is the writing soulful, relevant, and really just beautiful, the mantras alone are all so powerful all on their own. The questions are an invitation to turn inward, for self-study, for meditation. Each time I reread a passage, I get something different. I ponder something different. I’m gathered.
I even lead a conversation at last week’s open campus community check-in around one of the prompts around being kind to ourselves. Raheem’s words feel like a healing balm over a wound, like a soft place to rest, and like the encouragement and wisdom you seek from an aunty–someone who sees the best in you when you need the reminder to see it in yourself.
The passage that I visit most often and share with some of my own clients is the first one in the book, “When I put down what is not mine to carry, I am free.” Go ahead and reread that and let it bless you.
In addition to the book, she also has a monthly membership called Gather Ourselves. It is an inclusive virtual community for all to come and feel, share, journal, reflect, cry, fall apart, and gather. It’s a place to do your inner work together.
I hope that you treat yourself to this wisdom and diversify your bookshelves with this book. For more information on Octavia or how to purchase the book, visit https://octaviaraheem.com.