Mitakuye Oyasin: A Personal Narrative for Choosing Peaceful Protection of Sacred Spaces and Connections from Within.

Mitakuye Oyasin is a Lakota phrase, which means, We Are All Related.

* See postscript for an update to this post.

I have 35 blog drafts, uncompleted – false starts over the last several months. It’s been complicated, lately.

Part of that is my own doing – spending a lot of time keeping up with Standing Rock on social media.

I have 4 video tabs open to watch and share, as I type this. Already, I’m about eight hours behind the latest action and feel compelled to catch up and share the updates.

I’ve shared and shared what I learn – virtually devoting my personal Facebook page (and Twitter when I have time) – to spreading awareness about the updates, the needs, the injustices, the courage, the compassion, the human connection – and I’ve managed to donate scant amounts from my anemic PayPal account to indigenous media sources – nothing to brag about, but it helps me feel like I’m doing a little to help the movement.

I am in awe of those who have put their lives on hold, or virtually shifted family and professional gears entirely to become part of the Oceti Sakowin camp, Protectors at the front lines.

I feel it is a larger issue of our time – bigger than any POTUS election. It is too close to 2020 for us to not be moving on to alternative energy production, but we’ve become mired into a system of corporate greed that exacts exponential harm to humanity and earth, enslaved to the point where people fear for their jobs despite moral conflict, and few are comfortable embracing significant change despite massive industrial complexes driven by continuous reliance on fossil fuels. We’ve also found diversion from what really matters through divisive politics, a reflection of our collective feelings of powerlessness.

Imagine the energies born of November 8th being channeled instead to protecting our sacred spaces.

I live in fossil-rich Wyoming. But, it isn’t so much the fuel I resent, as the disrespect and oppression of Indigenous Peoples and the treaty lands of First Nations that have been raped of resources and stolen by the United States Government and her moneyed bedfellows.

Our sacred spaces – to which I have ample access here in the Big Horns – are defined not just by indigenous treaty lands and sites of archaeological significance.

Sacred spaces are the unspoiled National Parks and Forests, and places where the ecosystems  provide us with the renewal of Nature’s profound connection.

All are in need of our protection from greedy industries that create jobs, plunder the resources, and then leave people unemployed and ecosystems disrupted, or even shattered.

I could devote far more of my “pen” to this topic, but as a human being, I’m feeling depleted by the dip in my personal cycle of spiraling out.

My role in the universe is focused inwardly, healing, gathering strength, examining dark spaces, organizing the chaos of my own life before I can be of significant good to others. At the same time, my energies are pulled apart by concerns that are focused on a world in chaos and divisiveness.

But, I do (always) see the light, encouraging me to keep within. I see the point where I will begin radiating outwardly again into the flow, surely to ebb once again after yet another period of my “earthly” rotations brings me into another spate of new growth and awareness.

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This process is whereby we all have the opportunity to lift the veil of our existence and become higher beings with each revolution. I believe it is our responsibility to embrace the pain and healing that must occur each time we spiral out in this way. The protectors at Oceti Sakowin are healing generations of human and sovereign rights abuses.On a personal level, I’m trying to focus my brain on getting personal tasks accomplished and figuring out where I put things that I packed away back in June and July when I had hoped the house would sell and my child and I would be moving out readily.I’m beleaguered by health issues compounded by all the stress of these major life changes at a not so spry age, anymore. I’m frustrated because I know I can control these things given the breadth of a more predictable existence. I’m also trying to practice self forgiveness, acceptance, and extend that to others (the hardest part of retracting while within the flow, from my perspective).

I am grateful that a Super Moon has provided a grounding for my energy at a time when all of us need reminding that we are connected by our vibrations. But, how many of us will stop for more than one moonlit November night to consider how small and trivial is our egoistic selfishness?

Alas, I myself am settling in to spend the holidays here once again in the log house, even as I’m trying to scheme out Plan B, because nearly six months as spouses-turned-roommates makes for a strange situation. It is just a weird time.

I am trying to remember to trust the flow (and am seeing 11:11 on the clocks nearly twice daily, it seems), but sometimes I feel like a big rock in the middle of the stream with all the water rippling around me.

The bona fide winter storms are making their way into the Big Horns tonight, so I feel truly out-of-place in familiar surroundings when I’m supposed to be moving, yet here I am, getting ready to focus on Christmas. To the snow, I submit. It is something I have loved my entire life, and this one is a vigorous gift from the Pacific.

I have the constant that is my relationship with my son, with whom I prioritize friendship against all societal norms for how adults relate to children. My child is my friend, and I am so grateful that I don’t miss anything.

I’m with our son so much that I don’t fret over his increasing independence, and I love thinking about how free he will feel when he breaks away someday without me clinging for it to last longer, or while knowing that there is no timetable for his flight.

I’d give anything to spend a few days with the former toddler zooming down the hall in his walker, or the little boy who spoke in three-word sentences, because those little-kid days go by so fast. But, pre-adolescence was not overly quick. It was just right. Or maybe it was just right for a mother in her 50s who isn’t  busy trying to prove her professional mark upon the world and appreciates the slower pace. I’m looking forward to the glimpses of the teen I see emerging within my 9-year-old and enjoy how much he teaches me every single day.

I’ve had a rough cold, so I had to drop him off at martial arts, whereas he normally likes for me to be there to watch him. I enjoy watching him, too. When I picked him up last night, I asked him how it went, just as I did after dropping him off one night last week.

But, this time, I received very generalized answers, and it dawned on me that in this instance, my unschooled child sounded like typical kids when they get home from school and want to decompress. Their parents haven’t been there all day to see what they’ve gotten up to, and it is more trouble to recall in detail what has gone on by the time the family settles in for the evening. Perhaps important or weighty interactions have gotten suppressed, and avoidance and recharging at that point is easier than opening fresh wounds.

I can remember giving my own parents simplistic answers about my school day, generally not appreciating the question at 4 p.m. when I was finally able to experience freedom from rigor and where finally in the day, I wouldn’t be pulled out from within my own head.

This small taste of what most parents experience renewed my gratitude that I don’t have to miss out on the high points, the low points, and the mundane in my child’s life, ever.

I’ve always got a finger on his pulse, which helps both of us ebb and flow in and out of moments of every kind. It helps me release when he needs freedom, to empathize when he needs connection, and to organize my day around anticipating those needs.

To come full circle, perhaps that is what is needed – to offer protection and support to others, to facilitate the access to sacred spaces within us and throughout the world.

Perhaps the greatest lesson from Standing Rock is that connections are everything – that when faced with daunting opposition, weird marital circumstances (haha), or societal instability, we must all turn within and take responsibility for what we radiate outwardly.

In all of our endeavors, we must take responsibility for healing ourselves both figuratively and literally, and model that compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness to every other human, even as we stake our rightful claim on the boundaries for sacred spaces, relationships, and personal growth.

We must remain authentic in all things, never apologizing for being ourselves, but always conscious of how we impact our world.

We must resign ego.

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“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” ~Rumi

Most of all, giving prayers and intentions through our personal vibrations has the power to magnify connection, to impact true change. It is like the ripples in water, or as powerful as the radiation that booms outwardly from a mushroom cloud. Imagine peace as the intention of every protector. Imagine every human as a protector.

This is what we take away. We are responsible for remembering that our role in the universe in the second decade of the 21st century is as Protectors of Connection.

Connections are everything.
*Postscript, June 11, 2017: I re-shared this post to Facebook with the following comments… 

 

As within, so without. This was a post from November 2016. I thought about separating it into two separate posts, but the overarching themes are tied together at the end.

Seven months after writing this post, I’m personally in a new space, but one carefully projected at that time. It isn’t what I expected, but I had no expectations beyond transformation and centering… and preserving connection.

The centering is within my grasp, but I haven’t quite learned the art of remaining still. The hardest part of trying to get there is, daily, deciding to balance self care with the unrelenting job of grabbing the bull by the horns… taking the world on like a storm… taking the time for salt baths while managing single motherhood.

It’s been a task of great proportions to tease apart the financial entanglement of nearly two decades. The true art form is massaging the needs and sovereignty of three people who will forever be connected, but need to establish various types of boundaries at the same time.

It simply isn’t the cliché people assume it to be, and that’s even without our individually perceived efforts for rewriting how to do Divorce within a partnership paradigm (where the child gets an equal vote and is fully respected).

And then there is the spiraling out of relationships with Sean’s sisters and their loved ones as they cultivate their own boundaries and learn to nurture themselves, conscious of the impact of their family’s dynamic upon their own souls.

Threads dangle everywhere, and some need to remain untied, left alone. Others are more tedious to untangle.

But, even as I traverse this journey as an inward transformation, I’m still spiraling in flow, outwardly, conscious of the big picture, simplifying the nature of existence in my own mind to encompass the greater themes of love and compassion.

The big picture must be respected as we toil inwardly to release ego: We must let go of things that do not serve us, and defend with our lives the gifts that contribute to our connection and capacity for radiating positive vibrations across the field of existence.

As I flow, so there the world goes.

#CreateLight #DefendTheSacred #BeMeaningful

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