Discipline comes from the Middle English (in the sense ‘mortification by scourging oneself’): via Old French from Latin disciplina ‘instruction, knowledge.
It is interesting how the Middle English meaning was to scourge oneself. As if exercising your will power was some sort of punishment.
I suppose it tends to be a little difficult to self instruct or have self knowledge. Difficult meaning it takes time, and experiences… both good and bad. It is a road full of learning and growing… expanding past all we ever thought we were or could be.
Having co-creators in this reality is really all about learning about who we are through different lenses. To see ourselves through others eyes, but also to see the world through another’s eyes. The world speaks to us all differently, and so we have different things to share with one another.
Self vs Other
Though the other seems to be outside of ourselves. We know we are all connected, micro-cosmicly, we are all of one source energy, however we perceive that energy to be… no matter what labels we choose to give it. We are all here to remind one another of the fact that we are all connected, and here together… reflections of source, of self.
Having that realization, I think self discipline becomes straight forward. Doing what we will, which is aligned with who we are. When we are aligned in our authentic truth, then we know that in every moment we are being self disciplined.
Most adults I speak to do not see themselves as creative at all. So before we can “change the system”: we have to first realize how creativity is key to a growth mindset which is vital to true learning. This can only be done if we are actively seeking knowledge of self.
Our imagination is what we use to create our realities. So therefore creativity is spirituality. A creative person is connected to their soul and has unique ways of showcasing their spiritual connection through art and imagination. Spiritual intelligence is an all-encompassing form of intelligence.
Creativity and the use of our imaginations is the first step to everything we do, even our spirituality. When we are praying or meditating, we are using our ‘imagination” to envision our higher selves, our spirit guides, or our prayers coming into fruition. The mind’s eye sets the stage for what we draw to us in the astral realm. Our thoughts and visions of the world come from our perception which is molded and created by our choices and experiences.
Spirituality is an ongoing journey and learning experience from the inside out. Where as creativity is the ability to take that learning and apply it to our reality.
Sustain comes from the latin root words that mean ‘from below‘, to ‘hold’.
bear (the weight of an object) without breaking or falling.
undergo or suffer (something unpleasant, especially an injury).
cause to continue or be prolonged for an extended period or without interruption.
If we really analyze the definition, to sustain something seems to be contradictory to keeping something alive.
Think about it, Life happens because of its duality… death.
In order for things to grow effectively, old things must pass away. We must let go of the things that no longer serve the highest good of the goal. If the goal is life, we must allow death to occur.
If we are simply sustaining life… we are bearing the weight of life, we aren’t living. We are undergoing suffering so that we can prolong life.
To cause something to continue or be prolonged for an extended period of time takes away from the natural order of things and disrupts the balance, with or without intent.
What does this mean for the idea of being self-sustaining?
Some people think being self-sustaining means to be able to take care of your life on your own. However by the previous definition, to be self sustaining would mean to hold yourself back, and to allow yourself to suffer for an extended period of time.
So perhaps when we speak of being able to be self staining
we actually mean to be self sovereign.
Sovereign comes from the Latin word super, which means ‘above‘. Amazing how changing one word changes so much!
possessing supreme or ultimate power.
acting or done independently and without outside interference.
possessing royal power and status.
very good or effective.
When we say self-sovereign, we mean to possess ultimate power of self and to do so independently. Its interesting that the archaic definition was to possess royal power or status. We all possess a power that only we have, and it’s what this journey is all about. Knowledge of self… exploration of self through creative expression.
This is not to say that sometimes being self-sustaining isn’t important. We must all ground ourselves in order to be reminded of our power and the ability we have to create a beautiful world with our actions.
Remember in the beginning was the word… let’s be impeccable with our words and use them wisely.
Its been a week since I got home from Turtle Mountain Reservation, North Dakota. It feels like I was there yesterday. My heart misses the learning, the deep immersion in the knowledge of my people, the love of my new teachers and friends, the land full of space.
This past week has been a rollercoaster emotionally.
I am happy to be home with my family. Happy to have time to rest and process all that I’ve learned and the things I’ve been through. Excited to have time to clean out things that no longer serve me in my emotional and physical space.
But all of this comes with a longing to be back in the immersion of the knowledge, surrounded by the land that my ancestors and family call home.
Realizing who I am and where I come from is huge. I mean, I thought I knew myself…but I was only skimming the surface. I am realizing that you do not know yourself until you dive deep into where you’ve come from and the lineage that your connected to.
The events and situations my mother has gone through…
The events and situations my grandmother and grandfather went through…
The events and situations my great mothers and great grandfathers went through…
all of these things have built the foundation for me to be who I am.
And again thats only skimming the surface, I still have my fathers side to learn.
Its interesting the difference I feel when I think of learning about my mothers side versus my fathers side.
My father is German…we have a family tree and written history…the Germans have integrated into American culture almost so completely. When I ask people their ethnicity, a lot of people say German. When I want to look into the history, I find a lot of it in textbooks, many written accounts, as well as stories from my fathers relatives.
Though as I sit here and write this I think there must surely be something I do not know about my German heritage as well. I feel in my heart it is just as important and valuable to learn about my fathers side, however there is something about being Turtle Mountain Chippewa that is calling me and drawing me to know more. Something about my Ojibwe lineage that feels close to my being.
I learned so much about the ancient traditions, ceremonies, legends, and stories of my people. I learned so much about life on the reservation, yet I still only know very little.
The Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation is only 6 miles by 12 miles wide. Only a small percentage of people practice our traditional Ojibwe ways. Only a small percentage of people know the traditions of their people.
The most eye opening thing to me is how little people know about themselves even though we might think we know who we are because we know where are parents are from, and we know our favorite people, places and things…we know how we feel about certain issues, and what we think about certain topics… but it wasn’t until my trip that I realized most of us know nothing of our true selves.
We are all connected to a lineage of people who have gained and sacrificed things which have allowed us to become who we are and to have what we have today. Our lineage is an important aspect of ourselves that we don’t always think about, nor have an opportunity to know. There are many cultures that have lost the knowledge of their ancestors, due to natural disasters, diseases, as well as colonization. Its sad that colonization plays a major role in the lost of knowledge, when we are taught that colonization is about gaining knowledge.
Imagine if people would have celebrated each others differences and learned from one another in brotherhood… how much more prosperous and thriving the human race would be. If we could see each other through eyes of love and curiosity instead of fear, we would know all the mysteries of the universe.
I am home from being fully immersed in the tradition and culture of my Ojibwe lineage, to reintegrate into the culture which comes more from my German lineage. I will to walk the middle way, realizing that both are important to making me who I am and receive all the universe has in store for me.
As I learn more about myself… I realize the magnitude of what I have to share. I realize what I am called to do. I see now the importance of deeply knowing ourselves.
Raining in the Dawn Woman
Turtle Mountain Chippewa
With all that’s happening in this world, I know many may feel as though they are suffering, and yet others feel a sense of centeredness that they may have never felt before.
You might ask how that can be? If we are all living in the same world… how can some of us feel as though we might not be able to make it, while others seem so bright and cheery.
I feel like the answer is within, as with all things. Personally, I am not sad, nor suffering… I have no fear of what the future brings because I know that no matter what, I am that I am… and all is as it shall be.
I am that I am…
I am what I think… I am what I focus on… I am what I put my energy into. Life IS what I make of it. MY perception shapes my experiences.
So how does this relate to the middle way… well if you think about all the options of ways to respond or even sometimes react to situations… we always have choices. This or that, left or right, up or down… most times we even have more than just two options to choose from.
Imagine a ball in your hand, with rays shooting out from the center in 360 degrees. Each ray is a different perspective to the experience. Now imagine you area of and know each perspective… you can then grasp how each perspective is just as valid as the others because each ray is necessary in making up the whole of the ball.
Seeing it this way helps in realizing that… every ray is interconnected, no matter how different they might be, they are all apart of the ball.
Well…once I realized this, I was able to see myself clearer… I was able to get that the middle way is in this realization. The way of self awareness, self knowledge. Standing in my center, because that’s the only perspective that I will ever know with 100% of my being.
This ties directly into the Ojibwe teachings that all roads shine light and lead to better awareness of each person’s own journey.
This moment in history aligns with many native prophecies, where The New People, and the young generations will start asking questions, start seeing, and start listening to all of their relations and realizing we are all connected.
That’s what I feel is vital about going back to our elders and learning the traditional ways… those roads are roads that will lift us up and out of this suffering, and back to our center… our inter-connectedness with all of existence.
Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ (All Are Related)
We are one part of the whole, but our part is most vital…. Being who we are to the best of our ability. Knowing thyself allows others to know themselves more clearly…its a ripple effect.
But it all begins with the middle way, the drop into the unknown… letting go of fear and knowing I am that I am….and that is exactly what I should be. I couldn’t be anything other than myself.