You with the brown skin and brown hair. I see you walking this journey, working on trying to be a better man. Anishinaabe Kwewag are counting on you, for your Respect, Love, Honesty, Wisdom, Bravery, Truth and Humility.
These days it seems you have forgotten us. Leaving us to do the work of protecting the sacred. We need your Strength to carry on. We walk in balance but get push off every once in a while by your harsh words and non-compassion. The world has hardened you and we feel it. Our ancestors feel it. You come and go like the winds of seasons change.
When are you going to heal? Your kin, partners and friends are counting on each and every one of you. 1000s ancestors before you have made the same mistakes, it is up to you to heal for your descendants. One day you to will be an ancestor to your relations. If you don’t do the work in this life you will have to do in spirit.
We already have been born with the world against us, just by being NDN. You are worth more than you could ever imagine. We are the First Peoples! Stand proud! Don’t let the temptations of life destroy you. You don’t have to be perfect or live up to anyone’s expectations, and when you fall get back up and go harder. It’s okay to have fun and enjoy life. But seek that balance to be a niishin Anishinaabe Nini.
If you are in a relationship, treat her with the 7 grandfathers and she will push to do better herself. We need each other, whether it be family, friend or partner. Of all the sacred bundles we carry there is none more sacred than Love. The relationship between 2 people is euphoric when it is in its purest form. Love doesn’t mean attachment or co dependance. It means to uplift each other and help each other grow mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Dear NDN man you are enough, respected and cherished. Don’t let the world make you bitter! Find your strength, it’s in you DNA. You matter!
As the sun begins to fade, the waves bounce off the rocks and glide over the sand. Water can be as gentle as a summer’s breeze or hard as a mountain top. Water can make or destroy life; powerful unlike anything other.
As I sit on a rock by the water’s edge I am reminded how beautiful it is to be alive. Water is everything. Without her we are nothing. She is the glue that binds our atoms together. She is energy, she is the one thing we can’t live without.
When the world turns cold she becomes hardened and unbreakable. When she gets heated she is what cools us. We drink her; nourishment in the simplest form. How can we ever take her for granted? She will still be here long after we are gone.
When I am close to her she opens my heart and mind. I offer her tobacco and pray to Creator and her. The greatest gift from Creator is tobacco we should honour that gift to creator everyday.
Thoughts enter my mind. All my insecurities and self doubt arise. I hold my sema in my left hand close to my heart. I don’t have to speak Creator already knows our troubles and doubts. I just give thanks for the blessings and the lesson that unfold while on my journey down the Red Road. I never ask why I just accept what is and leave it in Creator’s hands, he knows whats best for all of us. I leave what no longer serves purpose with the water and she takes it away.
I have many dreams and goals. I work hard to make them happen but, I also know that everything I do is not my doing, it is our Ancestor’s and Creator who guide us. I have faith that they will take me away to higher places. I want to fly as high as the Eagle does, above the clouds close to the stars. I have the vision of an eagle and I see what is inshore for me. The perfect gift Creator has given to Creation is finding high self in simplistic things, and most impotantly never forget to give Creator the greatest gift he gave to us… Sema. He loves to receive the very same gift to from you.
In love one tends to want to feel loved so much that we forget to love ourselves. Love is the most special place to be when it is in it purest form, it is euphoric.
We burden ourselves with the thought of the things or people we love. We self sabotage our existence. Love is enduring, long after it is gone, there is an imprint that imprisons us. Scars bestowed upon us when love comes to an end. Warriors become hardened from the hurt, and as each relationship unfolds, hearts are broken; we are never the same again.
We fall victim to the thought of loneliness, but we are never alone. A higher Power is always present. Once we realize the true greater power of love; we are not in love we are Love. The chains that bind our hearts and minds become detached.
Be in love with every ounce of yourself, you were created with, for and by love. Love is food to the soul. Feed yourself well and others will want to eat at your table. Taking care of yourself first, then Creator. Once you have mastered this only then can you love others.
Don’t be tied to yesterday, for it is already passed. Neither look to the future because of its uncertainty. Love today and break free…
People have been profoundly affected by great works of art. Maybe it was a book, movie, photograph, drawing or painting, a song or musical composition. A movie has had a powerful impact on me. The movie is called A Beautiful Mind. This movie has affected me because even though he suffered from mental illness he was able to triumph in his career. Also how he was able to find peace and love in his life.
A Beautiful mind is based on a true story of John Forbes Nash Jr. John. He was a mathematical genius of the 1950’s, who throughout his life made ground breaking theories that amazed the greatest scholar’s of his time. This movie also tells the story of John’s life long battle with schizophrenia. It tells the tale of his struggle with his mental illness and how he miraculously was able to conquer his disability and win the Noble peace prize in 1994. It also shows the effects his mental illness had on his loved ones. It was clearly challenging and somewhat confusing to John’s wife. Instead of walking away she supported him, helped him overcome his illness by showing him that love is real, not his delusions, they were only imagined. With many years of psychiatric therapy, and loving support from his wife. John was able to return to work at Princeton University and become a well respected professor. This movie has been an inspiration to me.
This movie had a powerful impact on me in more ways than one. I too have suffered from mental illness for many years. Struggled with symptoms, treatments, as well as the isolation that a person with a mental illness experiences. I have also witnessed the effects it has on loved ones. Most importantly, like John I have had to go through therapy to have an understanding of my illness to face the stigma that is associated with being labeled. I have been able to not let my illness define me, and not let it hold me back from being a productive member of society. My illness is different than John’s, its Borderline Personality Disorder. I have had to put my aspirations on hold and take a break to heal. Learn how to cope with symptoms in a healthy way, and to regain the confidence to continue on with my life and family.
John’s wife did not give up on him in spite of all the traumatic experiences she has seen John go through. “I need to know that something extraordinary is possible”. This statement was made by John’s wife when she was just about ready to give up. The love they had for each other had to be stronger in order to conquer his illness. This showed how unconditional love triumphs over any obstacle.
Watching this movie again, after seeing it many years ago I could relate more so to John’s life. How, I too, struggled for quite some time until I was diagnosed in my late 30’s. How the last few years have been hard as well as rewarding, and to see the positive effects therapy has allowed me to progress. The fears I overcame, and how much my loved ones have been there for me. I think the movie was a great work of art not only because of the actors/actresses but because how remarkable John Forbes Nash Jr. was in his life.
Since I have been concentrating on bettering myself life hasn’t gotten any easier, but, it has become more significant. There is meaning in a day. Not that time has become more valuable, more so that it has become a means to make the most of my life.
I have forgotten what it was like to watch the days just pass on by without doing something productive. Now that I have put my efforts into inspiring others to heal; live their life and follow their dreams.
There is great healing for me when I place my head down towards a blank sheet of paper and begin to allow my thoughts to unfold. This is where I feel at most peace. There is a strong connection between my spirit and the creator in this space.
I find many answers to life’s great mysteries; the questions I have about life. My prayers are answered here. When I write I don’t even think about the words, I just let them scatter onto the page, sometimes it doesn’t make sense at the time. But, when I go back later it comes to me like an epiphany.
Creator hears us through our art. Writing is my art. Our prayers are word in the air, but, writing is talking on paper.
What is it that speaks to you? How do you interpret the world? Is there something that you have found that gives you purpose?
Some people have become accustom to living a life without doing the things that bring them joy. Days, weeks, months, years pass by and the only thing they can focus on is how shitty their life has become.
I went through ha bit of writer’s block. I felt as though I had nothing to write. The mundane task of academic writing took away my passion for reading and writing.
Facilitating creative writing has brought me back to me. Who knew that by sharing my gift with others would also help me too.
I also have to accept the writing process. I did not lose my touch, more so, I was in the gestation period of the writing cycle. No guilt or shame has become of this, I continue to share my thoughts and stories.
I remember the things my Nokimis and Noshimis use to say and show me as young child. At the time I did not understand what exactly it was they were trying to teach me. It seemed a bit confusing at the time as I was just a young girl. I was sent to live with my Nokimis when I was 8 and in that time I thought I was sent away from my mom because I wasn’t loved, looking back now, I know that wasn’t the case. My mom sent me to live with her because there was things that she couldn’t teach me that knowledge that only our Elders possess, that comes from life experience.
The knowledge you can’t find in books or that is tokenized on-line. My Nokimis always had a gift with words even though English wasn’t her first language. I use to fade away into her voice listening to her life as a child living off the land and knowing only to take what she needed; possessing value of community and that no one went with out. In the times that there wasn’t much the family pulled together and made due with what little they had.
Colonization had her thinking that her ways were the inferior way of living. She was ashamed of being First Nations and at times would devalue her culture to try to fit in. It was no fault of her own that she felt this way. I know if she were alive today she would be so proud of me reclaiming my identity of an Anishnawbe Kwe. Although, she did not knowingly teaching me the Anishnawbe’s way of life. She made sure that I knew how to make a blanket to keep me warm, how to gut and cook a fish, and always had me following her in the garden.
It was difficult for me living with my aunt and cousins. I was treated rather unkind; not feeling like I belong. I was teased and made to feel shame because I wasn’t with my mom. Because of this my Grandmother was a bit more kinder and paid just a bit more attention to me. Instead of feeding to the fire of jealously from my family, she kept me busy. Back then it felt as though I was always doing chores, she really was teaching me how do keep going no matter what and not to lets others actions or words distract me.
It was hard for all of us growing up (even her), being separated from her siblings, all of them were sent off to residential school. As a child my grandmother had Scarlett fever so she was not sent to school. I am amazed at the strength she had despite all the challenges she had to face. She started having children at 14 years old and didn’t stop until she was 42, and after she raised her own children she was looking after her Grandchildren. When her mother became older she took care of her too. She never got to travel the world, get an education or simply just live life for herself. Everything she did, she did for others to make their live’s just a little bit easier.
This way of life back in the day, the way our Elders lived was simple. The complexity came when they were forced to be separate from the land, language and ways of life. We all need to honour the beauty of our culture as Anishnawbe people and make an effort to bring those ways back. First with ourselves, then, to our communities and beyond. My Grandmother was brought into this world knowing her traditions and when she left, her spirit was sent home in a traditional good way.
I carry her and a thousand ancestors before me in my blood. My life only became more meaningful once I had realized this. Once the healing within myself began I started looking at all the challenges I had as lessons. That, I could only lead as far as I had gone. I have experienced great humility, but I have also, felt most proud of being who I am… An Anishnawbe Kwe.
Who am I? It took me 40 years to be able to honestly answer this question. The fact of the matter is that I never really took the time to ask myself this. I was to caught up in trying to figure out who everyone else was around me. The conditionings of my culture had me confused, in a fog like daze, the stereotypes of my people haunted me. I know we are greater than what we have been perceived to be. History’s deception of truth enabled me to fear what others thought of me.
Conditionings of shame, abuse, and trauma held me back from my greatness. Looking back now, I see that this is how colonization wants me to feel. It was intended for me to set myself up for failure, and I succeed at this for many years.
Until the day I had nothing left. The labels I hid behind so well were the pit of my down fall. I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or worth the effort made me fear life its self. For so many years I thought that life had some how failed me, then it dawned on me, this is not who I am!
Who am I? I am an ogititaawe kwe (warrior woman). My bloodline makes me a survivor not a victim. I am strong, noble, honest and fearless. I am a friend, mother, student and teacher. The storms I have survived some would crumble at the thought of what I’ve seen.
Who am I? I am that I am!
Has anyone ever written anything for you? Has anyone ever put their heart on a piece of paper that you can easily tear apart? This is written for you in hopes you see the beauty in your darkest hours.
The words just don’t come out right with conversation. So I am writing this one for you.I wish nothing but good to you and your loved ones. They say if you love something set if free if it comes back you know it was yours in the first place. The difficult part of loving is that most people don’t understand the concept of Love; it is seen more as a feeling than what it actually is… Love is a state of being.
If I didn’t tell you that I loved you then I would be lying to myself and the Creator, for the Creator says we must all love and keep one another. The Bible was meant to teach us what happens to the world when we stop loving one another. When greed takes precedence over kindness and compassion. We are not made to fear each other and form alliances seeded from injustice or hate.
Has anyone ever written anything for you? In all this madness of this world someone thinks of you and silently prays; watches you from the outside, only because you won’t let them in. All your successes and failures guess what; some one was cheering for you regardless. They did this because they know what it feels like to think that the world is against you. Although you may think it is weak to have a friend to rely on, that person is there when ever you look to them.
There has been far to much that hasn’t been written for you. Yet, there has been so much that has been written in to attempt to make you understand that these words are meaningless, if you never really appreciate the simple things in life. There is a blessing in these lines. For you see, I did not write this for you on my own. The Creator has used me as a vessel to spread his divine love unto you; with acknowledgement of the miracle that has transpired, you will see that someone has written something for you. But that someone wasn’t me.
I sit alone staring at the four walls of my tiny one room apartment. Although it is a small place in this big city. It is a roof over my head and I am warm, life is good.
I close my eyes and see clearly what the future has in store for me, love, peace, prosperity and health. My well being is important to me. I don’t have much to give as I don’t have much myself. I try my best to be kind and loving towards others. It seems as though I’ve been giving and giving. Not that I mind giving, but days like this I just wonder what is it all for?
My life is simple and perfectly imperfect for me. I like the small space I call home, its just enough for me. I am open to receive what the Creator has planned for me. I have a gift that he has chosen for me. The only thing is I isolate myself. In the world of writing I tend to get caught up in the familiarity of my own stories. They are what bring me comfort and understanding.
I am just a small part to something that is much much bigger, I’m desperately trying not to fuck it up. I have come so close to many goals but something inside me keeps saying; What’s it all for? Why do you even try?
I myself, my own worse enemy at times. Creeps up all of a sudden, just when I am sure of my intentions and standing on my own two feet with confidence. The demons I struggled with in my head won’t let me be. It’s like a nightmare that never ends.
I know it is just fear and fear is not real, but why does it feel so alive. There are days that I feel like I am on top of the world, doing what I love to do, and feeling the joy life has to offer.
How do I stop these mind games? I know I have struggled with mental illness, why can’t it just go away and leave me alone. The answers are all inside me I don’t need to go far to find them. I know that I have acquired ways to cope. But, some days I just wonder what is this all for?