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Friday, July 30, 2021

What If

What if you’re never ready?

What if, this is as close to being ready that you’ll ever actually be?

What if, the biggest regret you have when you look back on your life, is that you wasted time waiting, waiting to be better, when you were already so very much enough?

What if, the last thought you have when your life comes to an end, is that you didn’t do enough living whilst you were alive?

My friend, this is it.

This is your life, right here, right now.

And let me tell you something, somebody somewhere went to sleep last night assuming tomorrow would be a new day.

And it wasn’t.

Today is the day.

Every day is the day.

Life waits for no one.

Seize the moment, seize the day.

Dance like nobody’s watching.

Watch the sunset.

Eat the delicious cake.

Put your bare feet on the cool grass.

Be alive.


Put your hand on your chest and feel that heartbeat pulsing through your body.

That’s all you need to be ready.

That is truly all the purpose you ever really need.

You, my friend, are alive.

So live.

From ‘to the women’ by Donna Ashworth:

Monday, July 26, 2021

She Learned the Hard Way

She learned at a young age you could not depend on anyone.
She learned people will disappoint you and turn their backs on you.
She learned to trust herself...
The small voice within and let it guide her.
She learned the hard way the world can be cruel and fate even crueler.
She learned if you want something you go after it yourself…
That no one is going to give you anything.
She learned love can be masked behind brokenness, wounds, and pain so deep that it can break you too.
She learned that a genuine human being will ask nothing of you, take nothing from you, and show you kindness and mercy.
She learned through much heartache that if a man truly loves you he'll treat you like his queen.
She learned to love herself back to whole and found her voice again in a world that was dead set on silencing her…
Keeping her down and invisible.
She learned her song and sang it with grace.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

New Way of Being

he's the first man

that brings rest to your heart

and a smile to your face

but it's hard for you

to allow this new way of being

after living with someone

for so long

that made you feel unloved

funny how you almost

have to reteach yourself

how to accept love 

from another human being


Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Teachings of the Teepee

The Cree people use 15 poles to make the structure of the tipi. For every pole in that tipi, there is a teaching. So there are 15 teachings that hold up the tipi. Other Nations use 16 poles, and maybe more or less.

The tipi does not have to face east all the time; it can rotate in any direction. It is only the first time that it is requested that the tipi face east, because of the opening ceremony.
To start, we take three poles and bind them together to make a tripod. Each pole also has a very specific meaning.
These three together fortify the structure. They are obedience, respect and humility. Notice the poles, the way they stand. If they stood straight up and down, they couldn’t support a tipi. But balanced properly together, they are able to reinforce each other.
There’s a teaching in that. In order to make a family, you need three: the two parents and the child, to make that balance.
The tops of the poles have many teachings. Each one points in a different direction. We are like those poles. We all need the strength and support of our families and communities, but we accept that we all have different journeys and point in different directions.
The poles also teach us that no matter what version of the Great Spirit we believe in, we still go to the same Creator from those many directions and belief systems; we just have different journeys to get there. And where the poles come out together at the top, it’s like they’re creating a nest. And they also resemble a bird with its wings up when it comes to land, and that’s another teaching: the spirit coming to land, holding its wings up.
We could talk about each of these poles for a long time; each one holds many teachings, and takes a long time and much experience to truly understand. I will give you some words on each pole, to give a beginning idea of what the poles represent.
Obedience means accepting guidance and wisdom from outside of ourselves, using our ears before our mouth. We learn by listening to traditional stories, by listening to our parents or guardians, our fellow students and our teachers. We learn by their behaviors and reminders, so that we know what is right and what is wrong.
Respect means giving honor to our Elders and fellow students, to the strangers that come to visit our community, and to all of life. We must honor the basic rights of all others.
We are not above or below others in the circle of life. We feel humbled when we understand our relationship with Creation. We are so small compared to the majestic expanse of Creation, just a “strand in the web of life.” Understanding this helps us to respect and value life.
After the tripod is up, the fourth pole completes your doorway. This fourth pole teaches us happiness. We must show some enthusiasm to encourage others. Our good actions will make our ancestors happy in the next world. This is how we share happiness.
If we are to live in harmony we must accept one another as we are, and accept others who are not in our circle. Love means to be good and kind to one another and to our selves.
We must learn to believe and trust others, to believe in a power greater than ourselves, whom we worship and who gives us strength to be a worthy member of the human race. To sustain our spirituality, we need to walk it every day. Not just sometimes, but every day. It’s not just once a week; it’s your life.
Our family is important to us. This includes our parents, brothers and sisters, who love us and give us roots that tie us to the lifeblood of the earth. It also includes extended family: grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and their in-laws and children. They are also our brothers and sisters and give us a sense of belonging to a community.
Today when we talk about cleanliness, most people think hygiene, and that’s very important. But years ago, when old people talked about cleanliness, they meant spiritual cleanliness. When I used to sit with the old Kookums in their tipis, spiritually, they were so powerfully clean. Clean thoughts come from a clean mind and this comes from our spirituality. With a clean mind and sense of peace within we learn not to inflict ills on others. Good health habits also reflect a clean mind.
We learn to give thanks: to always be thankful for the Creator’s bounty, which we are privileged to share with others, and for all the kind things others do for us.
We learn to be part of a family and community by helping with the provisions of food and other basic needs. Through the sharing of responsibilities we learn the value of working together and enjoying the fruits of our labor.
We are not talking about physical strength, but spiritual strength. That was instilled in us when we were young people through fasting. We must learn to be patient in times of trouble and not to complain but to endure and show understanding. We must accept difficulties and tragedies so that we may give others strength to accept their own difficulties and tragedies.
Children are gifts from the Creator. We are responsible for their wellbeing, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and intellectually, since they are blessed with the gift of representing the continuing circle of life, which we perceive to be the Creator’s will.
We must look forward to moving toward good things. We need to have a sense that the seeds we are planting will bear fruit for our children, families and communities.
This is the ultimate responsibility to achieve the balance and well being of the body, mind, emotions and spirit for the individual, the family, the community and the nation.
The control flaps on a tipi teach that we are all connected by relationship and that we depend on each other. Having respect for and understanding this connection creates and controls harmony and balance in the circle of life. When we don’t know how to use the flaps, it gets all smoky inside the tipi, and you can’t see, which is like life – because if we can’t live in balance, we can’t see clearly where we’re going.
For every time that a pole is added, a rope goes around to bind that pole into place. You have to be there and see it to appreciate that teaching. That rope is a sacred bond, binding all the teachings together until they are all connected.
I have shared these teachings with you with the hope that they will help keep the women strong and will help our communities to nurture healthy, balanced people.~
~Mary Lee, Cree Elder
art: Aaron Paquette

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Time of No Time


"The Mayan people call this the “Time of No Time.” From here on, we’re on Earth time. Mother Earth is shaking to her core. It’s a time of madness, disconnection, and hyper-individualism. It’s also a time when new energies are coming into the world, when people are growing a new skin. The Mayan vision says that we in the West will find safe harbor only if we can journey past a wall of mirrors.

The mirrors will surely drive us mad—unless we have a strong heart. Some mirrors delude us with an infinity of reflections of our vanity and shadows. Others paralyze us with our terror and rage, feeding an empire that manufactures our fear into resignation. But the empire has no roots and it’s toppling all around us. In this time everyone is called to take a stand. Everyone is called to be a leader.
To get beyond the wall of mirrors, the final challenge is to pass through a tiny door. To do this, we must make ourselves very, very small. To be very humble. Then we must burrow down into the Earth, where indigenous consciousness lives. On the other side is a clear pond. There, for the first time, we’ll be able to see our true reflection..."~
~Robbie Warren

Sunday, July 11, 2021

She Builds Herself Brick by Brick

 “The problem when you are a strong, capable, self-confident person, is that more often than not, people think that you don't really need things like comfort, reassurance, loyalty and guidance. People are more likely to look at you and say, "She doesn't need this", "She doesn't need that", "She's already all of this and all of that". But then the truth is that most probably, you are a strong, capable, self-confident person because you built yourself brick-by-brick into that person; because you HAD to BECOME that person; because you had determination enough to make yourself into the image that you knew you needed to become. At the heart of many strong, confident people, is a heart most longing of the things that most others simply take for granted.”

~C. JoyBell C.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Strengthened by Pain

she's been down
this road many times
passing crosses and graves
the wars that have come and gone
from in and out of her
have left a mark on her soul
every demon she slays
rest in peace between her breast
her battles are silent
and her victories untold
she goes to war
when the time calls her
the warrior emerges
and another battle
she's strengthened by pain