Friday, January 22, 2010

Attitudes of the Medicine Wheel

“Are you ready to see the beauty that I see in YOU?”

The Medicine Wheel introduces us to four great life attitudes. The question is – are we ready to listen and adopt these attitudes?

1. We should walk and talk with beauty and abundance.

2. We should quest to learn and heal.

3. We should inter-relate, find common ground, find consciousness.

4. We should be glad – appreciate and live in a sacred manner.

Fifteen years ago I was in the Maritimes waiting to lecture a group of First Nation people on Indigenous Dreaming and the Medicine Wheel. I remember being in the bathroom, hiding basically in a stall, waiting for the moment where I’d be called to talk to a group of 100+ people. Two ladies came into the washroom and started talking about me.

One of them said: “I can’t wait to meet the Dream Lady. I heard she’s really special.”

The other replied: “She’s young too and that’s cool.”

When I finally came out from my secret nook there was an Malacete elder who washing her hands at the sink. She glanced at me through the mirror and asked with a grin: “Nervous?” I giggled as if I had gotten caught and remembered feeling exactly like that as a child. I nodded and shrugged while my cheeks flushed. She smiled and told me: “I like you already. You’re humble and the child in you is not afraid to show herself. There’s space for healing there…” She told me that she was afraid at first that I was going there to teach them about something they already knew. She looked at me straight in the eyes and said: “I look forward to finally learning something new.”

I must have hyperventilated for a good 5 minutes before they called my name. If I didn’t think there was an expectation before I certainly knew there were some now. And I didn’t do good with expectation…

I remembered the dream I had the night before where EC, a Passamaquody elder friend said to me “the best way to handle fear is to give it back to Grand-Mother Spider. Own it by identifying it and acknowledging it but don’t own it by becoming it.”

Here I was on center stage hearing my knees knock together and for the first time in years I was scared and worried. How could I give back the fear to Grand-Mother Spider?

“I’m nervous as hell,” I finally said, “why am I here?”

People stared at me somewhat surprised and disappointed at first. I saw in them this desire to be in the presence of a hero of someone better and stronger than them. This is how it is in the North East of the Medicine Wheel when we stand under the Morning Star – at the start of the Wheel just before we give it movement, just before we give it life, just before we step into the life of it all. In this space, this reality – we want to stand in the presence of God or Goddess.

I told them that how I hide in the bathroom; how I faced the presence and fears of my inner children while I waited; how others saw my moons on my Wheel and commented on them; and how I was standing in the East with the Spider – looking for a way to move to let go: Let go of fear, let go of expectations, let of people’s judgments and compliments even…. I walked off the stage and joined the crowd. I sat amongst the people and we moved the chairs to form a circle. People liked what I said and liked the teaching of the Wheel that I shared.

A small spider moved across my arm and down my hand at that point and I saw it. I showed it to the people besides me and they marvelled over the synchronicity. I got up and opened the window. I let the spider go…

“How easy was that?” I said impressed with phenomenon, with the Wheel.

Everyone smiled and I continued to move around the Wheel and to speak about the journey we were taking together.

“We grow up,” I said, “we let go of fear, we make choices, we inter-relate, we let go, we renew, we experience etc…”

It just felt like it was happening right there, in the moment while I was talking to this crowd of people. We spoke of dreams, we spoke of totems, we spoke of ceremonies, and we spoke of spirit. After three hours these people were not an audience but members of a family. I understood for the first time in my life the difference between oral tradition and Western academics. Had I gone there to teach or had I gone there to share? There was suddenly a huge difference between the words… because I could feel the power in them and I could feel the dreaming in the stories that I shared.

“What do our inner children need to heal?” I said in closing, “they need to feel like they belong. They need to feel like they are part of a family, a community, a nation – a Sacred Wheel. They need attitudes to follow – and discipline.”

I gave them the four attitudes of the Medicine Wheel and I reminded them to use the teachings in a practical way.

  1. Remember to find beauty and abundance in all things. I made them look at each other and see in each other the beauty and abundance that was there.
  2. Be ready to accept the beauty and the abundance. Be ready to learn and to heal. It is one thing to see beauty and abundance in others - but it must be within as well. It takes learning and healing for that...
  3. Be ready to see that we all share things in common. That we are all the same. Whether we are rich or poor; educated or not; man or woman; black, yellow, red or white --- we all share humanity. Even beyond humanity we share with all CREATION - Life.
  4. And finally, be glad, be happy, be content, be fulfilled, be at peace --- be GRATEFUL. Take the time to feel blessed and take the time to adopt the attitudes that will continue to help you walk in a sacred manner.


Michelle said...

I wrote out these four attitudes and shared them with my children...I love the thought of integrateing these teachings with my children and myself what a great thing to read everyday to help centre and get moving in balance working to strive to attain that balance...THANK YOU....

Wapeyit Malsom said...

Thank you for sharing your comments with me.
They are wonderful.


Ally said...

I read each and every one of your entries, Okwaho - I pass them along to the circle community at TheNest. But I don't often come in an express just how grateful I am that you do this.

Thank you so much for these entries! They are priceless treasures.

Wapeyit Malsom said...

Cool!!! Nice to hear....
Wouldn't mind some blog suggestions every now and again because I DO GET BLANKS. LOL

Great Feedback. Thank you.