In a world where many have too much “stuff”, gift ideas at the holidays are often a perplexing problem.
I love to gift experiences, often in the form of books, and you might consider doing the same.
An inspirational gift idea:
The Wind Is My Mother; the Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman is beloved throughout the world. There’s a reason it’s been in continuous print since 1996 and translated into a dozen languages:
“An extremely inspirational book filled with wisdom that has been passed down for centuries. It is a combination of Universal Truths and every-day living. Grandfather Bear Heart sits right up there with Fools Crow as one of the True Holy Men of our time.” – Amazon reader
“What an incredible book! It was warm, witty, insightful but mostly a “Keeper”! I leave it by my bed, and open it when I wish to be surrounded by the warmth of Bear Heart.” – Amazon reader
“Bear Heart has a wisdom in his words that I use daily to further my spiritual growth. My copy lives right there on my nightstand and gets referred to on a regular basis. I have bought about three dozen copies of this book to share with friends and family trying to get their spiritual lives in balance.” – Amazon reader
Many people have heard of “smudging,” and may even practice it, but there’s great value in knowing its history, and understanding the true sacredness of it.
There are three primary herbs used in the Native American tradition for smudging: sage, cedar and sweetgrass.
- Sage is used to dispel negative energy.
- Cedar is used for an overall blessing or to cleanse where there has been illness.
- Sweetgrass draws in positive energy.
I have been taught the importance of burning only one herb at a time for smudging, otherwise you are giving mixed messages.
Sage is the most commonly used for cleansing the energy field of a person, place or thing, so I will focus on it for this post.
Water. The original peoples teach that it is sacred and we cannot live without it.
It is the first thing we use every morning, and the last thing we use every night.
It allows us to thrive, and plants, trees and our food to grow. It is essential to all life.
And yet we poison it at every turn:
- It’s reported that at the Rio Olympics, swimmers need to ingest only three teaspoons of water to contract a virus. Rio de Janeiro waterways are contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria.
- 14 billion pounds of garbage, mostly plastic, is dumped into the ocean each year, killing sea life. In January, 2016, thirteen sperm whales washed up dead in Germany, their stomachs full of plastic and auto parts.
In 1993, while traveling with a family of Maoris through the Australian outback, I fell in love with bone broth.
I had gone to Australia to assist Lakota elder Wallace Black Elk at a conference of Native Americans, Maoris and Aborigines.
It was my first introduction to Maoris. These indigenous people of New Zealand are fun-loving, always laughing, singing and cooking and often invited the other elders and teachers over to their cabin for a meal. One thing they always seemed to have on hand, in addition to coffee, was a good bone broth as the first ingredient for a larger meal.
I found I loved the broth by itself: it seemed nutritious and thick and warming. I savored it, yet forgot about it when I returned home.
This post was first published on www.havingtime.com
Quite a few years ago, during a routine medical exam, my doctor found some abnormal cells – pre-cancerous, or what today would be called Stage Zero cancer.
She recommended laser surgery to remove them. Even back then, I was very holistic and didn’t want surgery of any kind, even laser surgery, so I considered my alternatives.
As part of my Native American studies, I had heard of prayer fetishes: objects that are created, personalized, and prayed over, to bring about a particular outcome. Taking a leap of faith, I decided I would make a health fetish as my path to curing my condition.