“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, 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?
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.
A few months ago I did something I’ve never done before. I ate my lunch without simultaneously reading or working; instead I ate on my screened porch and listened to the wind. Then I sat and listened some more.
It was a very strong wind; there were no other sounds to be heard over it. The birds that are usually so vocal during the day were relatively silent, perhaps holding onto tree branches for dear life.Continue reading