New Day New Hope

Morning Prayers

In the traditional way of the Muscogee as well as many other peoples of the world, morning prayers facing the East are the start of the new day. To the East, to Grandfather Sun. To a new day. To a healthier way. As Kris Kristofferson said under another context, but still relevant, “yesterday is dead and gone”. Today is new with each sunrise peaking up over the eastern horizon. New opportunities, new paths and new words. It is hope, one of the biggest gifts of all.

Addictions, moods, poor perspectives of life can all be shaped a little different with the new day. That we don’t have to keep carrying the things we don’t like about ourselves. We don’t have to repeat the same actions and say the same words that keep our balance so, well, out of balance.

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The medicine wheel takes us through the seasons of  a day as well as the seasons of a life. It begins in the East, but it makes the full circle, but where we begin each day is likely where we end the day or the life.

Prayer is a funny thing. We never know if we should just listen or ask. Perhaps in our better moments we listen, but when the times are grave and our pain is intense, at least for me my philosophies give way to asking. Not for a job or millions of dollars or any other small thing like that, but the big stuff. Peace and understanding. Harmony. for pain given and received to dissipate. Those are the big things ! To be better, to see and feel my poorer choices like those that have felt them feel.

This sense of peace mostly not for me but for my children, my family. That the spirit of  things bigger will connect to them, giving them a reason other than themselves to be in this world. For the universe to touch deep in  their soul. For our friends, community and the world.

So as the sun rises on a new day, and as I reach out and watch the smoke from the symbolic cedar and sage rise to the heavens, I pray for all beings. I hope this is your prayer too. Thanks for this new day, I hope you see a difference in me !

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Walking with Their Ancestors

In a world where the squeaky wheel always gets the grease and negative thinking through scare tactics inspired by end times fanaticism can feel like “the truth”, that approach to life isn’t the only one out there !

I wanted to shine a light of love and respect on two Native American men that as of this past week are now walking with their ancestors. Quiet, gentle men with a vision of love and unity in this world. Men whose ears worked better than their tounges. Men with a deep connection to Mother Earth, balance, harmony and justice.

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The Meeko of my Perdido Bay Lower Muskogee Tribe, Bobby Bearheart Johns, quietly crossed over on a beautiful Pensacola Morning. Less than 48 hours earlier, my wife and I among many others were with Bearheart as he released a rehabilitated Red Tail Hawk back to Mother Earth. Watching the joy and connection of freedom on Bearhearts face as the Hawk soared high above the Gulf Coast Pines was a fitting flight that Bearheart himself was set to take. Pictured is Bearheart with his son, Cedarbear. The Native way of honoring elders was never, ever more apparent than in the lives of these two men. I am honored to be a member of Tribe. Cedarbear will lead us on the path of love and unity that his Father set. I was proud to know Bearheart. He was my friend and in the highest of compliments, he was a true human being.

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With the crossing of these two men I have seen an outpouring of love and respect shared on-line. Comments that make me think that the world is by and large in good hands. Hands of care, and honor. Hands of thought and heart. While humans will always be humans and are capable of the darkest of deeds, we are also capable of great light.

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Richard Twiss, activist, author, speaker, and co-founder of Wiconi International, went to walk among his ancestors this past weekend. Gone way too soon, Twiss for over 35 years has been a wonderful, solid voice for Native American rights. Wiconi’s mission as a Christian belief-based organization is to let Native people s know that they don’t have to give up their heritage to be a follower of Christ. That Christ can be experienced through all cultures.

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I saw Richard Twiss speak at Belmont University in Nashville and was really affected by his message. A message that had lived too long dormant and in the bottom of my heart.

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I read a quote by Bearheart one time that said “Take pride in your culture and self. Surround yourself with like friends. Refuse to be coerced into joining habits and events that would harm your mind, body and welfare. You and only you can make life good”. I could camp out in those few words for a lifetime and I know many of my troubles and worries would fade away.

So to all of my relations, be good to yourselves and one another. Is it really as simple as do unto others……………………

To Do Or Not To Do

Pardon me while I crack the door a little to shine a light on a part of life that I struggle with from time to time. Doing. Being motivated to do isn’t always easy for me. Sometmes it’s downright hard. I can drift into a funk and not know I’m headed there. Once I am there, I sure know it and it’s hard to dig out of. It’s not like a bad mood, it’s more like moving in slow motion.

It’s not that I can’t think of things to do. There’s always plenty of household chores to do (yuk). My truck always needs a bath (whatever). I could exercise (right). I think it’s sometimes attached to the weather and that ties to my creativity or in these cases the lack of. I could write a song, work on some dreamcatchers, read, or a host of other things that are good for my soul.

When I woke up this morning, it was 48 degrees. That’s just too damn cold for Nashville in October ! So I had the day off, home alone, and it was cold ! I did manage to pull off a few things, some accomplishments, but I feel like I blew the day. As I get older, I have that sense of mortality, and I hear too many stories that remind me that I’m not promised anything, much less another day. I guess it’s that tension between not wanting to waste a day and being comfortable just hanging out.

Maybe I need a more hectic life to make me appreciate the quietness of a day doing nothing. I don’t really believe that and it’s just not my way of living. I want to make the moments count more. Do you ever have those days? Do you sense mortality and the understanding that time is always ticking?

By tomorrow it will be 70 and sunny here. I plan to be on the water in some fashion. I hope to be more aware and I hope to grasp the thought that being busy isn’t always productive. Sometimes folks are just running in circles. I can’t base my journey on anyone else’s. I have my own walk here and must be busy about finding and holding onto the balance.

I hope you have a good day, more moments where you are really connected to the moment, and that you hope the same for me.

Living In The Spiral

This is my first post here at WordPress.  The spiral will be familiar to most once you see the picture. It is used these days to sell everything from organic products to spa memberships. The spiral is one of the oldest symbols for human spirituality. It has had a ton of different meanings through the years. The spiral has been used as a directional device. It is found in petroglyphs throughout Southwestern Native American tribes for thousands of years. For me personally, it represents a life journey. My approach is that when we are born we are closest to God, at the center of the spiral. As life goes on we begin to find ourselves moving away from the center.  We are busy being human, having a human experience. That’s all good. We have to get out there and bang around feeling what life is giving us. As the Navajo people call Hozjo, we need to find harmony, peace and balance. For me it’s found, it’s sweet little glimpses, are found in the Creator. I move daily on the  path of my spiral, sometimes further away sometimes closer. I take my bumps and bruises and I try to nestle as best I can when Im close to the center. Thanks for listening. I would love to hear your comments and views. images

Simple Things



To find the beauty in simple things really isn’t all that hard. If someone asked you about butterflies you would think, yes they are beautiful. Sunsets, The beaches of , well any beach, everyone would agree they are beautiful. Slowing down long enough to spend time in beauty is the key. Much easier said than done for sure.

There is so much to accomplish in this life. So much to do, so we can enjoy life. Balance is what it’s all about, right? That’s what we are all striving for. Striving for it in how much we work, shuttle kids to ball games, and spend time with friends. We strive for it with our spouses, our families and our hobbies. There are a lot of lives that run at break neck speed, most that run faster than mine, but we are trying to find that balance, so the sweet stuff doesn’t get by us before we see that it’s gone. I sure don’t want to wake up one day to find that the finer things, the things that really matter have passed me by.

I think that will always be true however to some degree. I try to move through this life slower, spend time with family and friends. I share in great conversations around campfires quite often, spend time in reflection, and try to really engage the people along my path. Still it all goes too fast. I did slow down long enough to photograph the cricket shown here and spent time really marveling at how beautiful and intricate it is. I wish I did it more often. Life is a blur. We’ve heard it all our lives and now many of are sensing its truth. Savor the freshness of the morning, hug your loved ones like it’s crucial for your survival. Look an elder in the eye and listen to his stories. Watch for just a minute the wonderment of a small child. The sweet stuff is around us all the time This is what I tell myself, I just don’t listen as often as I should.