“Bear Heart has a wisdom in his words that I use daily to further my spiritual growth. My copy of The Wind Is My Mother 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.”
The above is a review on Amazon.com from a reader of The Wind Is My Mother, which I had the privilege of co-authoring with my spiritual teacher, Bear Heart.
There are dozens more reviews like it, such as “Any time that I’m feeling depressed, I reread this book,” and “This book changed my life forever.”
How The Wind Is My Mother came to be
I first met Bear Heart at a time when my life was in shambles, and just a short half hour meeting with him gave me hope and started to turn my life around.
After a few years of knowing him, I asked if I could write a book about his teachings. I figured if a half hour conversation with him could make such a profound difference in my life, a book of his wisdom could surely help many others.
My request was quite audacious since I had never had anything published before! But, amazingly, he said, “yes.”
Did you know the world’s largest garbage patch is in the ocean?
And that it consists of what was once hailed as a great future?
In the 1967 film, The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman, the new college graduate is cornered by a friend of the family with advice for his future:
Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
[Note: the bolded line is ranked #42 in the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.]
Little did we know that the great future of plastics could turn out to be The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – and a persistent tragedy on our planet.
Sadly, very few people even know about it.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A quick oceanography lesson:
A gyre is a naturally occurring vortex of wind and currents that rotate in clockwise direction in the northern hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
There are five major oceanic gyres on the planet. The North Pacific Gyre is the largest ecosystem on Earth and it covers most of the Northern Pacific Ocean. It has a clockwise circular pattern formed by four prevailing ocean currents.
The whirlpool effect of the gyre collects plastic debris that has been discarded into the ocean. An ironic example of The Law of Attraction at work.
In 1988, reporter Mike Watkiss interviewed Muskogee Creek elder Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams for the television show A Current Affair.
This first segment is Bear Heart’s answer to the questions: What is it that you do? How do you help people?
Traditionally trained as a healer of his tribe (what most people call a “medicine man),” Bear Heart speaks of some of the techniques he uses.
Do you keep your word? Or are you an “Indian Giver?” Do you even know what that means?
When I was a child, the term “Indian giver” was thrown around as a derogatory term when someone gave something and then wanted it back.
At the time, I thought it meant that Native Americans used to do that: give gifts then take them back.
But I was wrong.
The origin of the term is a bit murky: there are references back in the 1790s of Europeans complaining about Natives asking for remuneration for things they gave the Europeans.
Why would the Europeans complain about that? Why wouldn’t they expect to give a fair exchange?
Bear Heart used to joke that, “It’s hard to have humility because you can’t brag about it – if you’re really humble.”
That’s true. But of course, the truly humble person wouldn’t even want to brag.
What’s the opposite of humility?
I have occasionally met people who loved to talk about their accomplishments to the point that a conversation with them is a conversation about them.
A simple, “How are you?” can lead to a 5 minute monologue on their recent achievements.
I can only assume that stems from a deep-seated lack of self-worth; why else would a person feel a need to work so hard to validate themselves in your eyes?
It shows that they don’t understand the simple tenet that people will judge you by your actions, not what you say about your actions.