What most attracts you to your chosen
Back in 1988 when I asked Spirit for a new spiritual path, I requested a path that was more earth-based and honoring of the feminine than what I had been working with through the Inner Peace Movement. When Dragonfly caught my attention and led me to the native teachings through the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson and then the Sacred Path Cards and The 13 Original Clan Mothers (both by Jamie Sams), it was clear that the core of the native teachings on which everything revolves is reverence, respect and being in an intimate relationship with Mother Earth and all our relations that live upon her. This basis creates a sturdy foundation on which to build a spiritual path, as by its very nature, that shines with the truths of interconnectedness, interdependency, being accountable for our thoughts, words and actions, and our equality with every manifestation of Life Force.
As to the honoring of the Feminine, I am most grateful to Spirit for leading me to a Cherokee teacher and healer, Will Rockingbear, who, by his profound respect and honoring of the Feminine within himself and in each of us whether in a female or male body, brought a healing balm to an angry wound within my soul that had been left unhealed for many lifetimes. Now I too honor and respect the Divine Feminine in myself and others, and in so doing, now can truly honor and respect the Divine Masculine as well. Both need each other as is the case with all the physical dualities, bringing balance and harmony in our quest to walking through our life as Sacred Human Beings. This is what we call the Beauty Way.
What is the goal of your spiritual practice? Do you consider this the goal of life?
The way my elders have taught me, I only engage in my spiritual practice every time my heart beats and when I master that, then also in every space between each heartbeat. It is a way of life, a way of being, not something that is separate from me or something that I "do" when in crisis or need. My spiritual practice involves much laughter, play with my Animal Totems, intimacy with Spirit, kind understanding and non-judgment of my learning lessons and others' learning lessons. It is the continual journey of remembering who I truly am - a vast, limitless spiritual being of light that is connected to every other manifestation of Life Force and Intelligence.
What is your favorite spiritual practice? How do you feel it affects you?
For me, the foundational spiritual practice on which all others rest is Spiritual Cleansing. When I am spiritually cleansed - centered, balanced, my aura whole and expanded, encompassing me in a sphere, feeling energized and relaxed, peaceful yet alert - then I am in that perfect communion and connectedness with Spirit, Life Force, Divine Light, God, or whatever name you wish to call All That Is. Then I experience crystal clear clarity with my own heart and mind, with the Spirit Helpers, Guardian Angels or Animal Totems that assist me, and with All My Relations - the two-leggeds, four-leggeds, creepy-crawlers, finned ones, winged ones, tree and plant people, stone beings, all the beings in each of the 7 directions.
We can energetically cleanse ourselves with our electro-magnetic energy, using the smoke of plant medicine beings, i.e. sage, cedar, sweetgrass, through visualization, and many other ways.
What is your favorite story or teaching from your tradition?
There are so many of course, but here is one that was told to me by my teacher. A fellow healer and teacher (we'll call him Robert) went to a Shaman high in the mountains south of here to learn of his ways. Together they were to journey a fair distance to visit a sacred site even higher up in the mountains. After many miles of arduous walking, they stopped for a break. The Shaman reached into his Medicine Bag and pulled out a beautiful, ripe peach and handed it to Robert. Robert didn't accept the peach, saying "No thanks, you brought it all this long way, it is yours, you eat it."
The Shaman then explained that he had brought it along just for Robert, knowing that he was unused to the high altitude and would need it to refresh himself during the journey. Robert then accepted the peach, but hastily added, "Thanks but I'll cut it in half so you can have some too." The Shaman threw his hands up, exclaiming, "If this is the way you receive, I would hate to see the way you give!"
We have been taught that it is better to give than to receive, so our receiving muscles are mightily underdeveloped. But if we are always giving, who is receiving? To receive from each other is a blessing, a sacred act that binds us to one another, erasing the separateness that we have been taught to feel. All giving and no receiving is an act of stinginess - telling the universe that we are too special to share in the bounty of life. Receiving shows us how to be intimate with Spirit and receive the gifts and blessings bestowed upon us, not because we earned them, but simply because we are loved.
What is the ultimate expression of the highest teaching of your tradition?
For me it is to live as a Sacred Human Being with congruence between my thoughts, words and actions, expressing my gratitude, love and compassion through my thoughts, words and actions, and laughing, drinking in the sweetness of life, dancing the joy of being a sentient being connected to All of Life for All Time. These are my words.