We live in a world full of stress, war, ecological disasters, and financial upheaval, yet we don’t have to look far for solutions. Indigenous peoples from around the world have much to teach us about living a balanced life.
Decades ago, as I struggled with fear of an uncertain future, money woes and a high stress job, I turned to the simple teachings of my spiritual mentor Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams and they have transformed my life.
Here are twelve life tips from Bear Heart:
1. Never complete a negative statement. You might start out thinking it, but don’t complete it because you’re about to enter it into the computer in your head and it could come true.
2. Develop your powers of observation. Be aware of everything going on around you — it could save your life. Interviews with incarcerated criminals reveal that they seek victims who are not paying attention.
3. Whenever we pray for something and receive it, one thing that Native people are taught to do is say thank you. When you do that, many more blessings come.
4. Native people teach never point a finger of scorn or judgment at others because when you point, there are three fingers pointing back at you.
5. When you give a lifting hand and make someone feel better for it, you’ve given that person medicine.
6. If you practice using your instincts with small things, such as whether you need your jacket when going outside, you will eventually be able to rely on them for the big decisions in life.
7. When you eat a meal, focus on it. Don’t watch the news or anything heavy because you will be taking that energy into your body along with the food.
8. Live life as though you might die tomorrow. Do what you would like to be doing, and do your best each day.
9. Morning prayer: “I thank You for another day. I ask that You give me the strength to walk worthily this day so that when I lay down at night, I will not be ashamed.”
10. The beauty of silence, the lack of frenzied activity for a period of time helps us collect our thoughts and center our lives so we can maintain a sense of calm when we return to the hectic society and resume our work.
11. Too often we define success in terms of financial achievement. View success instead as doing your very best at all costs.
12. Before taking anything from the earth, be it a flower, a rock or a piece of driftwood, ask permission and say thank you. The earth spirits will notice and bless you in return.
Molly Larkin is the co-author, with Bear Heart, of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She blogs about Ancient Wisdom for a Life in Balance at http://www.mollylarkin.com where you can subscribe to her blog and receive a free e-book of inspirational quotes, “What Lies Within You.” She is also a licensed trainer for Healing in America, the U.S. affiliate of The Healing Trust, the largest energy healing organization in Europe.
Photo. S. Hermann & F. Richter