I AM Proud

Snowy

I have been on a spiritual path for 11 years now. I did not know till I was a teen that I am half ojibway native on Dads side and half French from Moms side.

My father did not talk about being a native man when I was growing up, I did not see, as a child, single out, a native child in the neighbourhood. As a child, to me, we were just all people. I did not know what my father went through as a native child in northern Ontario Canada.

One day, still in my teen years, he presented me with a laminated card that stated I was a native in the eyes of the Canadian government. When I asked him what was the card for, all he said, was, if you want a higher education or need medication, it will be covered. He told me that I was going to sit before a group of native people on the First Nation and asked questions about what I want from this firstt nations and what could I bring to the reservation. I recall that day very clear, still not clear on what I was doing there or what was about to happen. I was brought into a room with a large table and there were native elders sitting around that table. With quiet voices, I was spoken to in what was the ojibway language, I was asked questions, in the language. There was an English speaking person who repeated the questions quietly to me and I answered what I thought was right answers. I was lost.

For years, to my knowledge I belonged to the reservation according to Dad, cause that is where he and his father come from.

At that time in my life, I did not feel any different or did not know if I was, because I was not talked to about my heritage by anyone on Dads side, nor did we participate in any FN events. I was lost.

11 years ago, I started a spiritual path and I found a lot of the native teachings were working for me. I learnt the majority at a place I worked at, I started to understand but knew there was so much still to learn.

So with each new thing I learnt, I shared through out my writings. The beliefs got me through so much hardships over the years and I began to feel like I was an ojibway man’s daughter. I was and am proud to be my fathers daughter. But life is funny, recently I am questioning my faith once again. And it was more evident when I was told I am half breed, and that my French heritage seemed stronger than my native heritage.

I have always seen my native heritage as being the kinder part of myself, it is the spiritual part that made me feel whole.

I don’t know if I would be alive today if it were not for my native spiritual self.

I gained a new respect for my father, I began to understand who is was as a child many years ago to the adult he grew to be.

I may not speak the ojibway language or live on a first nations community, yet I try to respect the teachings when I am presented with them.

There is a bit of a tug of war going on within me now that I was called a half breed, but again, that is just a label.. I am me, I am a child of the Creator, I am my fathers daughter at the end of the day and no matter who may criticize the native man, woman or child, there is no one that can take away, who they are, who I am, mind, body, soul and spirit.. I shall feed my wonder, my inner peace with the grace of the Creator, as He sees fit.

 

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Behold! You’re Beautiful!

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The first thing when connecting to another human being will be the sense of vision. With many, that is the trait they will judge another on. Men are known to have a strong sense of vision and a lot of times let it over-ride their common sense, more so than women. I won’t use my own first instinct, I tend to dig deeper with people I just meet and even with people I may have known for any amount of time. I will be one of the first ones, that will say, “But, you don’t even know me.”, when another person makes a quick judgement call about me, good or bad, based on my smile and a pancake. 😉

In this world of social media, vision is pretty much what we all tend to LIKE about someone. And that is fine, but the next person on any list who may not be visually attracting will not get the LIKES. When myself or another person will know what type of character/personality, that photogenic person has and if some really knew, they would be disgusted, yet the not so visually appealing person still feels, if not more, just not so beautiful or handsom, because they are basing their beauty on a LIKE system. That makes me sad. So I like to uplift, empower and praise the not so popular young people, male or females in my world. They will be the warriors, the strong, and have the greatest empathy for others, based on their own life experiences.

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it is so much more than that.. A persons true beauty is deep, is spiritual, is in all the things they do, and how they treat the other people in the world around them. That is beautiful!

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TRUE HUMILITY

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I attended a workshop many moons ago with 3 others in Toronto. The workshop was all about listening, pride and humility amongst the indigenous peoples. I walked away from that workshop with a new sight, not only because of the hours spent listening and learning how to really listen to others, but I learnt from others who were there for the same reason as I was. It was almost like this one man was planted within our group of 20, as part of the assignment. He boasted a lot about who he was and what he did, back in his community and where he stood on a greater level as a member of that community. I sat and I listened to this gent, this indigenous man, with the long hair talk about how he lead sunrise ceremonies, how he lead his people during a powwow, how he was a pipe carrier. He could not talk enough about the role he played within his community.

I did not know at the time, one of my fellow co-workers stood close by, could hear the conversation, the one sided conversation between myself and this gent. Once I walked away from him, I felt kind of overwhelmed by what had just occurred and the first thing that come to mind was, is this man trying to impress me? That evening over dinner, my 3 work mates and myself talked about our day, when it was my turn, I told them about the talking circle I participated in, how it was, what I felt like and then I told them about the man who was boasting regarding himself, back in his community.

The one co-worker that overheard the chat earlier that day, said. Any man who has a great role within his community, does not boast the way that man did with you Cynthia. A man will wait to be asked and even then be hesitant about his talents, his abilities, about all that is sacred within the culture. That evening, I listened again and I learnt a lot. There has been since that workshop, people, men and women that I have met up with who boast a lot, brag a lot about who they are and the role they play in this world, the world around them personally. I went in search of humility and the indigenous peoples for my morning coffee read and I came upon a great article with regards to the Atchiksualiq peoples of Alaska.

I don’t see the harm in all peoples practicing this.

The information below is from that article and the thoughts of certain contributors to the

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

a the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Submitted by Asiqluq on Tue, 02/25/2014

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Humility is a good quality to have, especially for the Inupiat. It helps them recognize their place in the world.

In the past, humility played an important role in the Inupiaq culture. People who put themselves above others were not working for the good of all.

Long ago, people lived in small cabins, sod houses or temporary shelters. It was important that people got along and did not brag or were too proud. Humility is important in today’s Inupiat culture because the environment hasn’t changed much over the decade. It is still important that our Inupiat people recognize and respect their place in this world.

Eric Gooden
Kiana
9th grade

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When we were young, being humble was taught to all the young. We were taught never to boast about anything. But in this day and age, you hear people boasting about themselves.

Somewhere along the line, we lost our Inupiaq value about being humble. The chain was broken, so to speak. The person who isn’t humble doesn’t have any friends.

Our Elders were a good example for us. No matter how old they are they never say, I’m too tired,” or “I’m too old.” It seems the Elders appreciate everything around them where the younger generation does not.

We need to start showing the children about humility again. Atchiksauqta. . .let’s be humble

 

 

His father then cautioned him that that kind of feat was something a person didn’t talk about to other people. You just quietly appreciate your abilities but not talk about them. You never know what some jealous person might do to cripple such a talented person. Better to keep quiet about it but know within the family what your own capabilities are in an emergency.

Besides personal capabilities, people didn’t talk about their own accomplishments. I think that’s one of the reasons why our people have a hard time expressing themselves in job interviews. They are not used to “selling” themselves. Usually another person will talk about a person’s accomplishments and wonderful capabilities. An Inupiaq didn’t do this for himself. But, if someone who knows of his capabilities asks him to do something, the person must show respect to the requester and comply, giving his best efforts. This is also probably why few people will volunteer their services but will comply with appointments.

Another area where the Inupiat were strict about expressing humility was in regard to the animals and birds. No one boasted that he would get X number of animals or birds when he went hunting. Because the animals had spirits, they could “hear” the person’s boastful pride and perceive his negative feelings toward others and stay away from his hunting environment.

Hunters must approach their hunting with the best of feelings toward each other and the wildlife they are hunting. There must be harmony of feelings.

Some years ago, when the International Whaling Commission decided to ban bowhead whale hunting in Alaska, there was a lot of hard talking and discussion about the whales. A small quota was eventually established to give the Natives an opportunity to harvest some whales. But the hunters felt the number was insufficient and so they made a lot of to-do about it. The next season, not a single whale was caught.

The women then reminded the hunters that we are not supposed to fight over animals because they can hear us.

Personally, I think that until the hunters can get together and plan a strategy of hunting together in harmony, there will be no beluga to be had. That’s the way it’s been from time immemorial and it has not changed. Animals are still the same. You can’t fight over them if you want to enjoy them.

The old Inupiat teach us that sooner or later a boastful person gets an opportunity to fulfill his boasting. Most of the time he gets to eat a lot of humble pie. The old Inupiat teach us it is better to keep quiet about our super capabilities because sooner or later people will find out about them without our saying so. Then they can tell the whole world how wonderful we are!

Elder Rachel Craig
Kotzebue

 

I’m Touchy Feely Dependent On You

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My last job, which I loved was working in the addictions field. Not only did the addicts learn how to start a new life, I learned about starting over for myself. We live in a world of addicts and addictions. We can be addicted to drugs and alcohol or we can be dependent on an addict and their addiction, which makes us co-dependent. When we fill out forms during income tax time, we are asked, how many dependents? And we are given bonus money to claim for each person dependent on us. We were all children at one time in our lives, we were all dependent on someone at that time, our parents. And not just for a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, but we’re dependent on parents for love. As babies and into adult hood we are dependent on our parents touch, which aids in our ability to grow. And the ability of touch to make us grow, does not stop at any age. It is sad that over the years, we have come to believe that being dependent on someone is a bad thing, especially when we reach our adult years. To the point that we see it as a weakness. Then later on in our adult relationships, with husbands, wives, couples in general, we are wondering why our relationships are falling apart. Because we have lost the ability to depend on someone else for support and that magical term, unconditional love.

Being single for years now, each relationship I have or try to have, I make sure I state that I am a touchy feely type person and the man I am trying to connect with, says he likes that. But that does not mean, just the touch of skin, it goes further than that. I want to connect on many levels with a mate, from the inside out and I want my partner to be just as vulnerable when it comes to connecting from the inside out.

At my age now, I do have the patience to wait for a man to catch up to me when it comes to being touchy feely, because in learning to unlearn that it is okay to be dependent on the opposite sex when comes to feeling secure and wanted, we are building a great relationship. I want to respond to my partners call, I want him to know he is cherished for depending on me, for hugs, a shoulder to cry on and to have my partner do the same for me, without making me feel like I am weak for doing so, or for me not to make him feel weak for doing so, either.

As individuals we don’t know everything, so seeking out answers is and shows a persons willingness to become a better person. A few years back I read an article, that said so much to me and helped me regain some dependency back, first with my self, then with how I reacted to the world around me, specifically in any close relationship, but I will admit, it is hard to find someone who does not see my being dependent on them as a weakness, but a greater strength, that would tie any relationship bond, tighter and closer.

Enjoy the read at this link and learn from it..  things can only get better when we are touchy feely.

HOLD ME TIGHT

 

Oh Those Blogger Newbies!

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I became a blogger many moons ago. I don’t look for praise with it or expect everyone to like what I post. I do it because I like to do it. And it is a bonus when someone LIKES or FOLLOWS me.

I have learnt over the years, being original is best. Learning proper blogging etiquette is a must!

One thing you learn in a hurry when  newbie is, copying and pasting someone elses work does not make you unique, actually it is faux pas! and you can be spanked for doing so.. But we live and learn with most things in our lives.

You need to give credit where credit is due.

Follow this link to the does and don’ts regarding copying and pasting someone elses blog.

Bloggers Who Copy & Paste Other Blogs

Oh by the way… the goods at the end of the link are not my posted views, they are Sue Waters. 😉

My Top Shelf Is Bare!

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I love the feeling of having purged so much crap before moving into a new home, but once I start unpacking, I wonder why I did not toss more out. OMG, I hate unpacking! Even groceries, I hate it with a passion, but it is one of those things one must do. Having my daughters and granddaughters help me on moving day with the unpacking was a God send!. But once the dust settles and you start looking for things that I use on a daily basis, I can’t find them, then the phone calls to the little helpers start.. Where is this? Where is that?

Slowly I am finding things and it is funny how those missing things are never that far away, actually they are just out of reach… on a top shelf!!! Being 4’10” tall, everything is pretty much top shelf reach for me and everyone else is taller than me. So, where are my mixing bowls, my every day plastics? On a top shelf! I end up having to grab an ottoman to get that extra 12 inches to reach things all my little helpers have put out of reach for me.. I laugh because I know they will laugh when I tell them what my dilemma of the day was. It is just one of those things that keep life interesting for me and how my height is something that can start a great conversation among a few.

So the next time you open a short person’s cupboard, everything on the top shelf is things that don’t use pretty much.. Or better yet… like me.. My top shelf is bare!