Native American culture & teachings through a modern lens

Tag: Self-Love

#DearGirlMadeofHoney on YouTube

This adventure in blogging has brought so many new connections to my life. I am so fortunate to connect with many of you through this blog and each of our social media outlets. When I first posted “Dear Girl Made of Honey“, it was truly meant to be a reminder for the way I wanted to love. But even as I wrote it, it grew to be my hope for the way my niece would love as well.

Since its publishing, I have heard so much feedback from mostly women about their connection to aspects of this piece that it prompted me to want to share how I wrote, what it sounds like to me. With this thought and the help of my friend Jeff Slim, I recorded my reading of this treasured of poem. I hope you enjoy it and share it with those you love. While it will always be for Angela, my niece, it will also be for all asdzaan (women). I share it with hopes we continue to “shine our prismatic rays”.

Hai Reflections in Spring

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The agaves and ocotillo have been blooming here in the desert. I love seasons changing! I have written that before here on Grownup Navajo. But its magic never fails in amazing me. I am completely taken away as I run, hike and simply be in the desert.

At the heart of the transition of seasons is a movement from an ending of one period to the start of another. While these shifts are gradual they can be in retrospect monumental. The past six months have been one of the most intense periods of my life. It has taught me so many lessons and truly dared me to rise like a mountain in the desert.

As a celebration of my favorite season, winter or Hai in Navajo, I challenged myself to not only continue my gratitude practice but incorporate a visual element. The daughter of a photographer, I love taking photos. I love capturing a moment. Through my Instagram account, and in this last season of my life, I made a conscious effort to share a photo each day of a moment that made me incredibly happy and grateful.

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Using the hashtag #HappyHaiJac, I shared a photo each day. The result is a collection of 88 photos of my winter moments. I am one photo short. It’s the day I lost my best friend Jet, my fur baby – dog. I looked but could not find anything in that day that brought me joy. One of my best friends pointed out to me that Jet remained in my life through my hard moments on purpose and now that I was stronger, she thought he realized he could leave me. Though my heart still hurts for his steady companionship, I think she was right.

I often hear from people how they hate winter. I try to understand this but it always misses me. I am at home, in my element, in the winter. In my culture, winter is focused on healing. It’s when we rebuild ourselves through our ceremonies. When I look at this past fall and winter, this truly was the focus. I learned to risk, say goodbye and hello, I reconnected with my soul’s needs, and I began to see all of my power and fell unapologetically in love with it.

FullSizeRender (5)On the Winter Solstice, I climbed Piestewa Peak, here in the desert, my favorite mountain to hike. My spirit was heavy but I was hopeful as I watched the sunrise that morning. What has happened since then has been full of so much power, I don’t have words to describe it all. All I have is gratitude.

There is a saying I often repeat, when I find myself speechless at the universe’s outpouring of love for me – “Ahé’hee…more please”. It’s my small, mindful prayer to the Holy People. My way of accepting my life as it is in this moment. I find so much, especially in the time of the seasons change, in this month with so much earthen energy to be grateful for. From the vibrant yellow of the Palo Verde trees, to the fire in the Ocotillo blooms, life is everywhere and the desert’s beauty leaves me with a full heart and today, now, all I have to say is…

Ahé’hee…more please.

 

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Please remember everyone will be drawn to the vivacity of your sweetness. Take note of who loves you without wanting more than you can be. Remember, especially, the ones who know you are still growing and leave room for you to be all your beautiful forms at once, as you choose.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Watch for those whose words align so beautifully with their actions that you lose track of what is said and what is done because the lines of distinction have been erased with intention, attention and devotion.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Live your promise to be the giant of your dreams, the queen who is king, never bowing down, submitting to anything less than you deserve.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Your light can brighten the darkest places but don’t fear reaching out for a hand to hold. It’s in the darkness where touch can feel the warmest, where kisses can go deep and love of your true self can reach back into the cave within.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Remember you come from the heavens. You are not solely stardust but the core of its brightness, your shine will at times be too bright for those around you. Look for the ones who instead of walking away or turn their back on you, sit in your presence with heart-shaped sunglasses so they can continue to stand in your love light.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

You are the goodness of the nectar, the sweetness of the fruit, the genesis of the bloom…you, dearheart, are a gift, hold that truth close.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

Remember you are beautiful and are the strength of your people, your mother, her mother and her mother. You are the pulse of a bloodline that traces the circle we walk around the fire in the Hogan. You are the antidote, the medicine that cures.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

You are a vision prayed into existence, the gift to a people, the leader of the next generation, a vessel of solutions to your people’s heartache. Continue to shine your prismatic rays as you uncover the treasure in the womb of your soul.

Dear Girl-Made-of-Honey,

You are not simply a universe…your existence is the past, present and future. You are a resilient multiverse brimming with the light of millions of ancestors and descendants. So rest in the simplicity of your greatness knowing deep within you there is only complexity of the love of the people you are from.

Earthen Powers

The leaves are changing. From the high country in Mescalero Apacheland to the gorgeous towering crests of the Sandias in New Mexico to the belt of aspens around the San Francisco Peaks the colors of Aa’kęę (fall) are washing over the mountain ranges in the southwest.

In the past month, we marked the autumnal equinox, a Super Blood Moon, lunar eclipse, new moon and full moon alike. I recently commented to a friend how I can feel the power of the earth, moon and stars move in me. This omnipresent force is guiding me lately to turn inward thinking about the ways to cultivate more practices of self-love.

It is in this reverence I find myself tonight. Having spent the afternoon with a group of empowering women reflecting on ways we can cultivate more practices of self care. A critical conversation as waiting and sitting are extraordinarily difficult for this asdzaan Diné (Navajo woman) with a hummingbird spirit. I am forever on the go and rarely make time to be still.

I recently learned that a common practice of Diné prior to ceremonies would involve the person having a prayer or ceremony spend the four days before a ceremony preparing for the practice. They then would take the time to have the ceremony and then spend the four days after being reverent, observing taboos and keeping close in prayer.

Corresponding to this palpable presence of earthen energy, my life has been full of changes. In this period of flux, I am thinking of the power of preparing to take action. Thinking of the heavenly bodies moving outside and around me, the changing temperatures of the Navajo New Year (the month of October), a natural time used by my people to set intentions for the cold weather coming in the winter months. Amidst all of this, I am urged by a whisper to be still and wait in active preparation.

We falsely assume grand revelations to be scarce as “the waiting” occurs. In actuality, we need to remind ourselves to prepare with an open heart. It is with this grace of heart that revolutions of greater self-acceptance, grand self-realizations, and monumental moments of healing can commence. I believe this is why we take time to prepare in ceremony for our ceremonies. One cannot act brashly hoping to heal but must act thoughtfully knowing greater healing can come from waiting in thoughtful motion. To be still in action and “run with patience” understanding more blessings can be received if we not only set intentions but prepare for healing and blessings with an open, humble heart. So this is where I rest tonight, thinking of the many changes in my life, not fully understanding them but also knowing in my waiting, I am at the epicenter of many earthen powers which will guide my heart as it continues its radical venture.