Do you know where you come from?
I’m not talking geography here, I’m talking about our ancestors – those who walked before us and paved the way for our life today.
Learning about your ancestors can give your life a whole new meaning.
KNOW YOUR ANCESTORS, KNOW YOURSELF
In 1992, I accompanied a Native American elder to Australia for a conference including Maori and Aborigine elders.
Maoris are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, but the group traveling with us was living in Australia at the time.
Known for their warrior culture, Maoris are also known for their traditional haka war dance. If you’ve ever watched New Zealand’s rugby team, the All-Blacks, you’ve likely seen them perform the haka before the game. It’s meant to intimidate their opponents and raise their own energy and is quite a sight to behold and feel.
But Maoris are also very friendly and fun loving and loved to sit around camp singing and inviting people over for coffee and laughter.
Because they were living in Australia at the time, the Maori family invited our group to come and stay at their home in Adelaide for a few days in between teaching events. It was here that I got the most powerful life lesson of that trip.
How many do you see when you look at this picture?
In most of my classes I hold up my hand and ask this question: “How many do you see?”
I always get one of two answers: “five fingers” or “one hand.”
But a traditional Native American might say, “nine,” because they count the spaces in between.
To them, the invisible world is as real as the visible. And it’s the invisible world we want to connect with in order to maintain the magic in life.
WHAT’S IN THE INVISIBLE WORLD?
What we cannot see is usually depicted in Western society as the stuff of horror stories or science fiction, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with reality.
And, yes, the invisible world is real.
In my years of “walking the red road” as well as well as living in the non-Indian world, I’ve come across a few misconceptions about Native American spirituality that I’d like to lay to rest.
Here are the most common misconceptions I’ve heard:
1. Native Americans idolize things such as bison [buffalo] skulls and nature.
2. Native Americans don’t believe in God.
3. Native Americans believe in ghosts.
None of the above is true. Here’s what is true as to what Native Americans believe in:
Upon finding a road-killed snake last week, “crushing it” took on a whole new meaning for me.
According to urbandictionary.com “crushing it” means: “Being in severe shape, looking good, being better than others, looking hot, feeling positive, having more than others, having relations with other attractive people.”
Or put another way, “doing it all…. well.”
But can we really “crush it” in everything we do?
Not according to television screenwriter/producer Shonda Rhimes in her June 2014 Dartmouth Commencement Speech. Ms. Rhimes is the creative force behind the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal and had this to say:
“As a very successful woman, a single mother of three, who constantly gets asked the question, “How do you do it all?” For once I am going to answer that question with 100 percent honesty here for you now.
“Shonda, how do you do it all?
“The answer is this: I don’t.
“Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life…
“Anyone who tells you they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.”
I love her honest answer, and this is why I want to take a look at how we really “crush it.”Continue reading
How do we teach children?
By example, our words and our actions. That seems pretty obvious. But how do we do it well?
If we are living our best possible lives, we will teach by example and the teaching becomes easy.
I found a great example of it in my own family during a recent visit.
A few weeks ago, I walked into my kitchen and discovered my three-year old grand-nephew standing in front of the open refrigerator precariously holding my great-grandmother’s antique glass serving bowl with just one hand.
“We” versus “I” – which you say the most may determine your success in life.
As a Keith Urban fan, I make a point of listening to interviews with him. Something caught my attention earlier this year when he was being interviewed about his duet with Miranda Lambert on their hit song, “When We Were Us.”
Urban said “Miranda used to open for us…”
Note that this megastar musician who is backed up by his own band said “us” not “me.” He considers his band as important in the equation of success as he is.
And it also shows a high consciousness.
“Us” and “we” consciousness is what makes the world go around in a good way.
“I” and “me” – not so much.
NO SUCCESSFUL PERSON SAYS “I”
Ernesto Sirolli in his September 2012 TED talk has this to say on the subject:
There are five questions I suggest people ask themselves to steer their life in the right direction.
These are questions I’ve asked myself to bring about powerful change.
Questions are motivators: we can’t help but start working on an answer.
In fact, in studying copywriting, the writer is encouraged to phrase statements as questions– because people naturally want to know the answer! Humans are problem solvers at heart.
QUESTION ONE. “IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY AND NEVER HAD TO WORRY ABOUT EARNING AN INCOME AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?”
This was a question asked of me by a career counselor many years ago. And the answer is a key to revealing what you should be doing with your life — even without winning the lottery.
“Did you ask the turtle?”
That’s a question Gloria Steinham was asked in college after helping a turtle to the other side of the road.
It’s a cautionary tale about wanting to help people who don’t need our help.
That can be a hard lesson to learn.
Gloria Steinem, writer and leader of the women’s rights movement, gave a talk to Smith College alumni about impacts from her education, about how seemingly small incidents can have very big impacts.
At Smith, needing to fulfill her science course requirements, Ms. Steinem admitted she took a geology course because she considered it the least scientific of all the sciences.
While on a field trip in the wetlands of New England’s Connecticut River, she saw a giant turtle which had climbed out of the river, crossed a road and was in the mud of an embankment of another road, seemingly about to crawl up and get squashed by a car.
Never think about your age! I learned that from a horse. When I started riding lessons as an adult, the horse I rode most often was a Quarterhorse gelding by the name of Bug. Bug and I got along quite well together and, as a result, my teacher usually paired me with him. He was […]Continue reading
I love Facebook, and not for the usual reasons.
I joined kicking and screaming about five years ago after my Australian friend Barbara convinced me it was a great way to stay in touch with friends around the world.
She was right, but I’ve found it’s also so much more.
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2003 and has since changed the way we live our lives.
Is it misused? Of course. But the good it is doing can’t be minimized – it’s connecting the world, or at least the half a billion people worldwide who use it.
Facebook is an excellent example of the old saying: “you get out of it what you put into it.”
A few decades ago, I had frequent back pain and visited my chiropractor often. That was before I discovered stretching.
There wasn’t anything inherently wrong with my back – my problem was I sat at a desk all day, then was very physically active evenings and weekends without stretching properly before and after walking, running, hiking, cycling, etc.
During one visit, my chiropractor handed me a sheet depicting a morning stretching routine and told me to do it every day.
This post contains links to some good morning stretching routines.
Hopefully in thirty years you can say you’ve done them every day and your body is pain free!
Salt has a bad reputation, through no fault of its own. It’s come about because most people use commercial table salt, an unhealthy concoction which we shouldn’t be ingesting in the first place.
Not all salt is created equal. Natural salt from the earth is what we should be using, and the results can contribute greatly to good health. Commercial table salt does just the opposite.
To the ancients, salt was as valuable as gold.
When you understand its benefits, you may just forget the commercial table salt and “go natural” once again.
Most of us have heard about using affirmations as a way to bring about change in our lives. In fact, many coaches, counselors and motivational teachers recommend using them.
Unfortunately, affirmations are often taught incorrectly or misunderstood.
In this post I’ll teach you the 7 steps to using affirmations to evoke powerful changes in your life.
Did you know you have a superpower? One that can change your life in remarkable ways?
It’s your subconscious mind, which you can communicate with and use to your advantage in many ways.
THE SUPERPOWER OF YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
Have you ever experienced driving down the road and realizing you have no recollection of the past 10 miles? And it makes you wonder how you didn’t have an accident?
You didn’t have an accident because your subconscious mind was doing the driving for you.
My subconscious mind is the reason I can daydream while I mow the lawn with my electric mower and not run over the cord.
Those things we do on automatic are often done by our subconscious mind, so why not learn to use it to our advantage?
Who’s your cheerleader?
And by cheerleader, I mean someone who has believed in you when no one else did.
Someone who encouraged you to act in spite of your being surrounded by obstacles.
The person who saw your potential, the diamond in the lump of coal.
The person who told you, “Yes, you can” when you weren’t so sure you could.
“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; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman, 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.”
In 1988, Colorado was experiencing a snow drought.
I know that seems hard to imagine after the winter we just went through, but that was the case back then.
The Copper Mountain Ski Resort was in danger of having to lay off staff and close, so the owner, a friend of Bear Heart’s, flew him to Colorado to pray for snow.
Before Bear Heart finished his ceremony, a heavy snow storm came in; one that the meteorologists had not predicted.
FED UP is a new documentary the U.S. food industry doesn’t want you to see. But I think everyone simply must watch it.
If you follow my blog, you know my passion is human potential. Yet how can we reach our potential if our health is poor?
If you’re eating the Standard American Diet, your health is on the way to poor, if it isn’t already.
To Native Americans, the food provided by Mother Earth was sacred. Yet it’s becoming harder and harder to find food in the way Mother Earth intended.
So it’s of utmost importance that we educate ourselves. Knowledge is power.
When I work with clients in my healing practice, I ask them to set an intention as to what they want to get out of the session.
They don’t even have to tell me what it is. But an important part of healing is to take an active role and let the universe know what you want.
Intention can be expressed as simply stating, “I am ____________.”
The “I am” is a statement of how you want to live your life, what you’re here for.
Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying, “Everyone has a cell phone, but no one likes their cell phone. I want to create a cell phone everyone loves.”
Where would we be if he came up with that thought and then said, “naa, no one can make that” and gave up?
Steve Jobs stated a goal, “I want to make a cell phone that everyone loves.”
But his intention was to improve our lives through technology. That was his reason for being.
Are you thriving? Or merely surviving?
The first is not as hard to achieve as you might think.
LESSONS FROM A CACTUS GARDEN
In 1999 I bought my first house – in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.
Earth lover that I am, I was excited about landscaping and, since the San Fernando Valley is a bit of a desert, that meant using native plants that would grow with the rainfall and sun usual for that area. Or so I thought.
My friends Bob and Laura were professional landscapers and offered to give me a landscaping consultation as a housewarming gift.
When I told them I wanted drought-tolerant plants and a cactus garden, the last thing I was expecting was the suggestion to put in a sprinkler system. But that’s exactly what they recommended.