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
Whose God is it, anyway?
That’s the question I asked myself when I received a letter from a reader who was concerned that her prayers to God might be rejected because she’s not a Christian.
That’s a heavy thought, but I immediately reassured her that her prayers would not be rejected by a compassionate, wise, good and just God just because she isn’t a Christian.
The reason is that God is not Christian.
God is not Muslim.
God is not Jewish, or Buddhist or Native American…
There is just one God and whatever your beliefs, your prayers are heard. Period.
We live in a world full of stress, war, ecological disasters, and financial upheaval. Sometimes it even seems that the world situation may be hopeless.
But the fact is that we don’t have to look far for solutions. Indigenous peoples from around the world have much to teach us about living a balanced life.
Decades ago, as I struggled with fear of an uncertain future, money woes and a high stress job, I turned to the simple teachings of my spiritual mentor Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams and they have transformed my life.
Here are twelve life tips from Bear Heart:
1. Never complete a negative statement. You might start out thinking it, but don’t complete it because you’re about to enter it into the computer in your head and it could come true.
2. Develop your powers of observation. Be aware of everything going on around you — it could save your life. Interviews with incarcerated criminals reveal that they seek victims who are not paying attention. Developing your observation skills is also a way to improve your intuition.
This year, the autumn equinox, which is the official start of autumn, occurs on September 22, 2016, at 10:21 a.m. EST.
Our ancestors celebrated all equinoxes and solstices, but the autumn equinox seems to have been a little less celebrated than the others. I’m not sure what the historical reason is, but for myself, I’m sad to see summer coming to an end and am not quite ready to say goodbye to sunny, warm days and welcome in the fall.
But it happens. It’s part of the cycle of life, and to be in tune with the natural world, it’s important to honor these special “natural” events.
As the days get shorter, all of nature knows what to do: here in the Northern United States, nights get cooler, leaves start to turn, pumpkins appear, plants cease their flowering and get ready to let their growth go into their roots. Nature gets quieter, and it’s time for us to follow the same cues.
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.