Native American Wisdom from Bear Heart

native american wisdomWe 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.

3. Whenever we pray for something and receive it, one thing that Native people are taught to do is say thank you. When you do that, many more blessings come.

4. Native people teach never point a finger of scorn or judgment at your fellow man because when you point, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

5. When you give a lifting hand and make someone feel better for it, you’ve given that person medicine.

6. If you practice using your instincts with small things, such as whether you need your jacket when going outside, you will eventually be able to rely on them for the big decisions in life.

7. When you eat a meal, focus on it. Don’t watch the news or anything heavy because you will be taking that energy into your body along with the food.

8. Live life as though you might die tomorrow. Do what you would like to be doing, and do your best each day.

9. Morning prayer: “I thank You for another day. I ask that You give me the strength to walk worthily this day so that when I lay down at night, I will not be ashamed.”

10. The beauty of silence, the lack of frenzied activity for a period of time helps us collect our thoughts and center our lives so we can maintain a sense of calm when we return to the hectic society and resume our work.

11. Too often we define success in terms of financial achievement. View success instead as doing your very best at all costs.

12. Before taking anything from the earth, be it a flower, a rock or a piece of driftwood, ask permission and say thank you. The earth spirits will notice and bless you in return.

You’ll find more of Bear Heart’s wisdom in our book, The Wind Is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman

Try these in your life and let me know in the comments section how it helped! These lessons have absolutely helped me!

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Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at

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  1. Kat

    Beautiful words! Thank you Molly.

    • Molly Larkin

      You’re most welcome!

  2. glenn schiffman

    thank you for (re)minding me

  3. connie widdis

    Bear Heart’s Wisdom is always welcome and I appreciate it!

  4. connie widdis

    PS turning off TV news, replacing it with music has made a huge difference for our family life! I get enough news from a weekly news magazine and car radio a few minutes at a time.

  5. Marlene Kalb

    Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom. It is very much needed these days!

    • Molly Larkin

      You are most welcome. We all need all the help we can get!

  6. Is Bear Heart still alive? My Godmother bought some books and this book was in the pile. Ive been reading: The Wind is my Mother: for awhile now, taking my time and its incredible. .Ive learned so much already. If Bear Heart isnt alive anymore, did he have any students he tought? I have a great need to talk to someone about something. Its important..

    • Molly Larkin

      Bear Heart passed in 2008. I was one of his students. I’m glad you are enjoying the book.

  7. Molly Larkin, do you have a facebook or website? How can I send you a message?? Thank you for co writing” The Wind is my Mother”…

  8. Pian Granö

    I have just red the book The Wind is my Mother, Bear Heart and You wrote together. I was hoping to find more works with Bear Heart and I am sorry to hear that he passed away 2008, same Year as my mother died in my arms in December 11. She was very special to me and left similar teatchings to me. Do you know anyone of his other students or adopted family and their work ? Maybe you are working together with others or alone like the way you are now?
    I really hope to get contact with You, or if someone else in his great family still are working within the same tradition. Thank you for Your Sharing and work !

    Best Regards

    Pian Granö

    • Molly Larkin

      Dear Pian: Thank you for writing. How wonderful that your mother shared similar teachings as Bear Heart. Many of the traditional cultures around the world share similar teachings. I was an apprentice to Bear Heart and he taught me many of his healing and ceremonial ways. Take a look at the Private Sessions page of my website to learn more. Best, Molly

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