Every year I write at the end of the year to introduce a theme for the new year. In the past, there was the Year of Unity and the Year of Hope. These served as an anchor to my writings for a continued theme through the year. These were accompanied by the occasional Wisdom From a Fortune Cookie. I had enjoyed writing these as besides hopefully inspiring others, they helped me to reflect on my own journey and things I might do to reconnect with others and try to bring unity in this world. This past year, though, was spent mostly working. A major project occupied most of my time throughout the year leaving me little time for my own spiritual journey or writing. Most of the time, I was just plain exhausted and couldn’t even think let alone write. This preoccupation with work left me spiritually devoid and sometimes even depressed. My life was mostly my work, which left me unbalanced.
What is balance? Balance is finding that equilibrium between physical, spiritual, emotional, and learning. Some use a medicine wheel symbol to remind themselves to keep this balance. Each direction, East, South, West and North, represent a different facet. When we put too much emphasis in any of these “directions”, we become imbalanced. This manifests itself in many forms from simple uneasiness to deep depression. Outwardly, the frustrations felt can manifest themselves as anger, withdrawal and even mental illness.
I watched myself as I slowly withdrew, fighting to maintain a sense of spirituality. I saw myself getting increasingly angry and snapping at times. The added stress of trying to find a new home, trying to sell ours, and then when finally sold, moving. We have a great house now with a large yard that we fenced in so that the dogs can run free in the back yard. Yeah, dogs, we added a brother for Brandy so that she would have a playmate. So we have a beautiful yard, great dogs, and nice neighbors. We are in the country and I have a little pine grove I can retreat to and space for a couple of gardens for herbs and veggies. Yet, I was so caught up in work, I have had little time to enjoy it all.
How many of us go through things like this. How many of us find ourselves more heavily involved in one of the directions forsaking the others? Do we spend so much time in spiritual pursuits that we fail ourselves physically? Do we spend so much of our time trying to accumulate all the knowledge and wisdom of the world, that we forget to live in it? Do we get so wrapped up in the drama of our life that we miss the simplest of wisdoms that may help us get through?
So what can we do to find that balance. First, we must remind ourselves that we must live in balance. Create a symbol to reflect that, which we may put up to remind ourselves each day. When you look at this symbol, be sure to speak each “direction”. For example, east is spiritual. Remind yourself to take time during the day to be in touch with your spiritual self whatever path your follow. Look towards the next, say south and emotional. Emotion is not just anger, but also joy, happiness, and love. Looking towards the west and physical, we have to remind ourselves to make sure we eat right, get exercise, and take care of our physical self. Finally moving to the north and intellectual pursuits, knowledge and wisdom. We must always nurture our minds by always seeking knowledge. In acquiring knowledge and combining that with our life experiences we gain wisdom. Over time that collection of knowledge and wisdom is what we will use as elders to help those who follow on their journeys.
So, where do I go from here? Well, for one, I need to stop playing games online. Caught up in the games on Facebook and Tagged, I have used it to escape for the past year. I have managed to write a few times, but very infrequent. So with the demands of the job easing just a bit, and the new year on the horizon, I am going to play for one more week and use the new year as a jumping point forward. Come the new year, I will start reading more. I have a whole stack of books to go through. I had been devouring two books at a time, but this year, I think if I read four books I was lucky. I plan on getting out and hiking a bit more to take care of my physical self. I also plan on eating better if I can. Which means, no more working through lunch. I will be trying to have a piece of fruit or two a day. Probably the most important is to take more time with my family. I have been so disconnected from them while my mind was engrossed in work, that I had put them second. So I will be trying to spend more quality time with them.
If I find that work’s demands just won’t allow any of this, then maybe it is time to move on. As I learned after putting work ahead of all else only to find they were considering outsourcing it all, they do not have my best interests at heart. I will give it a few months and see how things go. If things don’t change, then it is time.
So here’s to 2010. I pray for all of us that it is a year that turns things around to a brighter future. Remember, we have the ability to change our perspective. We can see the negative in everything or we can see the positive. There is always something positive even if just a lesson to be learned. The past year or so has been a great struggle. However, I am going to work to change my perspective and regain that balance in my life. “Leaders don’t force people to follow – they invite them on a journey” (Charles S. Lauer) I invite you to join me on my journey. Seek each day to find balance and harmony. Then go a step further and extend that out into the world around you. Maybe when we relearn to bring balance and harmony into our own lives, we will echo that into our external world and all we come in contact with.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
I wish to also share with you a prayer that I used to say every day. It helped me to keep in balance and I hope to return to it. You may use it if you like to fashion your own daily spiritual routines and prayers if you like.
White Wolf’s Prayer
Creator, I thank you for my life and journey. I pray my heart will be open for your teachings and guidance. I pray that I will be open to do your will and be of service to the people with an open heart. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Sky Father, I give thanks to you. I thank you for the air I breathe. I thank you for the healing waters of rain and snow. I thank you for Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon and the Star people. I pray we will realize what we are doing to the skies and will work to bring healing to you and in turn ourselves. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Earth Mother, I give thanks to you. I thank you for the healing herbs and the herbs to flavor the bounty which you provide. I give thanks for the trees that filter our air. The grasses, the flowers, the fruit, the vegatables and all that grows. I give thanks for all the beings that give of their life so that we may live. I pray that we will come to realize the damage that we are doing to you and work to bring healing to your and ourselves. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Spirit of the East, I give thanks to you. I thank you for your spiritual guidance. Help me to walk in beauty, to be a spiritual person, and to help others along their path. I open my heart to you and to the other spirits. Let my heart be open so as to hear the spirits and heed their guidance. Help me to be in strong in spirit to help others. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart, to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Spirit of the South, I give thanks to you. I thank you for the emotions that help me to live life. Help me to temper my anger with wisdom. Help me to find joy in the simplest of things. Help me to open my heart to others and to share the joy and love of life with all who come near. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart, to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Spirit of the West, I give thanks to you. I thank you for the strength you give me. Help me to be strong for the people. Help me to be strong in all I do. Help me to be strong of spirit, of wisdom, of body, of soul. Help me have the strength of the thunder beings and the mighty buffalo so that I may be strong for the people. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Spirit of the North, I give thanks to you. I thank you for the wisdom you bring. Help me to be wise for the people so that I may help others along their path. Guide me in all I do so that I may do things in a good way with wisdom and knowledge. Help me to be the teacher and to return the gifts of knowledge and wisdom shared with me. I pray my heart open for your guidance and your wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
And so we return to the east and the circle is complete. I will remember always that life is a circle and will honor this.
To all the spirits who have come before, I give thanks. I thank you for the times you have carried me, for the times you have held me up, for the times you have showed the way. I give thanks for the wisdom that you have shared with me. I give thanks when you have only pointed the way. I pray my heart will always be open to hear your words, to feel your spirit. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
To all the spirits who have yet to come. Who may come into my life for a moment, a minute, a day, a month, a year, or a lifetime, I give thanks to you. I thank you for helping me on my path, for teaching me, for helping me to grow so that I may serve the people well. I pray that my heart will always be open to your guidance and wisdom. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
To the Sacred White Buffalo Calf, I give thanks. I pray you strength and safety on your journey. I pray as a symbol of peace and harmony that you will touch many hearts. I pray that those hearts will bloom and spread love to other hearts until we have created a new world, the fifth world of peace and harmony. I pray my heart open to you, my heart, to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
Sacred Turtle, you whose spirit called me to the desert. I give thanks. I thank you for the honor to have gone to the desert to perform ceremony. I am humbled for I am not worthy of this honor. I give thanks for your welcoming me into your heart. I pray you safety and strength on your journey. I pray that you will touch many hearts and those hearts will open and blossom and spread love across the land. You are the symbol of unity. You are the symbol of peace. Let your spirit touch many hearts. I pray my heart open for your guidance and wisdom, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit. Aho.
Mitakuye Oyasin Pilamaya, Wado, Thank You We Are All Related