So every summer has a story, yes! It is mid-August already and the summer is almost over. In the past I have tended towards travel, gardening, going to the beach, etc, etc. Didn't get much time for that this summer.
I have been working out in community and loving it. Most people are great, accepting, kind and considerate. The others I learn to take with a grain of salt. The communities are beautiful. For me, the North is the most beautiful place and I am grateful to be here.
I found this summer self-care challenge, and I really like it. It shows some little things that you can do over the summer, July or August, that just make you feel good. I had been posting self care calendars. Ideas that are achievable but fun. I will work towards a generic one that anyone could use. A bit of a reminder that we have value and are deserving of the same care we encourage on others.
We can't help people when we have nothing left to give. Replenishing our energy is so very vital.
I did have some time for a bit of travel. It was an adventure because we did not plan ahead and we let the map take us where we needed to go. We were flexible enough to work with what we had at the end of each day. It was so much fun. If you get a chance, give it a try, I highly recommend it!
Happy Happy Summer Solstice, it is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. After work I will light a fire and celebrate this day. I am so grateful to be in a place where I can honor our Creator, our ancestors and Mother Earth. I am blessed to be surrounded by great family and friends. I love my children and grandchildren and am so thankful for them everyday. Nobody ever leads a perfect life but you can choose to lead a good life that works for you. I think that you can love and support people but the bottom line is that you are the one to wake up feeling joy at where you are at in life. If you don't, then change it...for you. I wish you a beautiful day and a wonderful year.
I also want to acknowledge that today is also National Indigenous People's Day, which used to be called National Aboriginal Day. For me, every day is Indigenous Day...hahaha. I think it's great, as an act of reconciliation, that we acknowledge and celebrate the First People's of this land. Celebrate the people! yay! and never forget who the original people of this land really is...speak the truth.
The first time I heard a scaling measure for physical pain was when I was with my dad, he was having a heart attack and the EMT was asking him on a scale of one to ten, how bad is the pain. I have since used this scaling measure to ask people at risk of suicide about how they would measure their emotional pain or measure how they were feeling today.
I was reading through some on-line blogs when I stumbled upon "thegracefulpatient" blog. This Mental Health painscale asks the individual to look at themselves and see where they would rate themselves on a daily basis. A measure of their own mental health and also a scale to help when you need additional support.
Here's another one that has been used.
I haven't tried out any of these scales but I will ask other's what they think. Scales might turn out to be a handy tool for some people.
Here we are almost to the end of May. It is so amazing how quickly time flies. I have been blessed to have adventures in the last few months that allow me to see new places and meet amazing people.
I wanted to share with you a new workshop that I have developed called "Health, Hope and Healing". It is from an indigenous perspective and it's all about you and what is needed to maintain great holistic Physical, Mental, Spiritual and Emotional Health.
I often see and hear people refer to departments that deal with the individual aspects of the self. Our traditional teachings and stories tell us about looking at ourselves holistically and as we develop into birth, youth, adult and Elder's, we will continue to strive toward out balance as human beings.
I am not sure who to give credit to the picture of the Cree Medicine Wheel I added but I really like it. It adds teachings to it that might be helpful to someone.
Another important topic is our past. We, as Indigenous people, have a different history than Europeans. We need to talk about that. Not just intergenerational trauma but Intergenerational strengths. We have them, let's use them.
When I talk about grief and loss, in this workshop, I talk about healing. Not just from a individual perspective but also thinking about healing for families and communities. We are so interconnected to others that we need to heal these three aspects but finding the balance in keeping ourselves well at the same time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I am grateful. Hiy Hiy.
Hi folks, so it's the first day of Spring and it's also #internationaldayofhappiness. I think those two go together quite nicely.
I have been thinking about these two events on this day. What I have discovered, in my short life, is that happiness is not something "out there" but it is "inside" of us all.
If you don't feel happy, for a long length of time, it's okay to do something different. None of us feel happy ever day, that's unrealistic but we can feel great moments of happiness on some days.
When I was younger, I used to believe that I had to have this or be this, etc, etc. to be happy. Always in pursuit of something. Over the years, I have looked into myself, who I am and what I love. I made a choice to strive to build on those things, to increase my sense of confidence, to give to others, to love others more. For me, those are moments of happiness.
There is nothing wrong with reaching for your goals and working hard. Those are essential. I like to think about incorporating both things. What do I plan to do this year and how will that increase my happiness, taking into account those I love. It is quite the balance.
Enjoy the day and every day that comes after that. I feel grateful, thankful and blessed. Thank you for reading this.
A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Timmins, Ontario to deliver the workshop "Little Cub: working with Indigenous Children and Suicide". I had two days with a different audience for both days. This workshop was organized and hosted at the Friendship Centre and it was a fantastic experience. I enjoyed meeting the participants from the friendship centre and the many agencies. Also the food was fantastic, the hospitality was so great. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to visit this community and meet great people. One of the activities that I really appreciate about working with an Indigenous agency is the integration of ceremony. They brought in their eagle staff, we smudged and prayed in the morning, and smudged during the day when the material and discussion felt heavy. We also had a young man sing an honour song. The spiritual aspect helped ground the workshop. Thank you to the organizer Debbie!
I wanted to take a bunch of pics during my travels but all I took was a pic of the plane as I left and a pic of the plane as I came home...(shaking my head). I did get one picture of downtown Timmins as I went in search of some fridge magnets for my grand-daughter.
All in all, I thought it was a great journey and I look forward to many more. Hiy Hiy.
Last fall I was asked to facilitate monthly sharing circles for the Elizabeth Fry Society in Edmonton, Alberta. It has been so amazing and fun to work with and support the Indigenous women who access services at this agency.
It is called Elder teachings but honestly I don't consider myself an Elder. I have knowledge given to me by my ancestors, I have learned and continue to learn about women's medicine and I have been in the helping field for almost forty years. I believe I have something to offer so forgive the title if it bothers you.
I have to say that I am continually amazed at the strength and resiliency of the women that come to the circle. I feel blessed to sit with them and learn. It is my hope that we have more women attend who want to share and learn more about themselves and others. It is truly humbling.
The next few Sharing Circle dates are on:
February 14, 2018
March 14, 2018
April 11, 2018
May 16, 2018
June 13, 2018
The time is from 1:00 to 3:30. Please let others know.
For more information call Maddie at: 780-784-2206
or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone and often. The Great Spirit will listen only if you speak.
2. Be tolerant of the people who are lost on their path. Ignorance, jealousy, anger, and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they'll find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Don't allow others to create your path for you. It's your road and yours alone. Others might walk it with you, but nobody can walk it for you.
4. Treat your guests in your home with consideration. Serve them the best food, offer them your best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Don't take what isn't yours either from a person, community or culture. It wasn't earned nor given. It isn't yours.
6. Respect every little thing placed upon the earth.
7. Honor other people’s thoughts, desires, and words. Let each person express themselves.
8. Never speak of others in a mean way. The negative energy you put out into the universe is going to multiply when it returns to you.
9. All people make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Negative thoughts cause illness of the mind, body, and soul. Practice optimism.
11. Nature is not FOR us, but a PART of us. Animals, plants and every other living creature are all part of our worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future. You need to plant love in their hearts and shower them with wisdom and precious life’s lessons. When they're grown, give them space to mature.
13. Avoid hurting other people's heart. The poison of the pain you cause will return to you.
14. Be honest at all times. Honesty and truthfulness are the tests of one’s will within this world.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Work out the body to empower the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional pain.
16. Make conscious decisions regarding who you'll be and how you'll react. Be responsible for your actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of those around you. Don't touch the personal property of others – especially holy and religious objects. That's forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first. You can't nurture and help others unless you can nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others religious beliefs. Don't try to force your beliefs on other people.
20. Share your good fortune with others. Also, participate in charity.
Happy November folks! Another great October has gone by and time for the beginning of cold and snow. The scenery, as I travel, continues to be amazing and breathtaking. I love to see the snow on the trees and feel the crisp air. The only worry that I have tend to be the road conditions but traveling in the day helps. For this month I wish you great days of laughter and love. You are important and you matter.
Here's the latest self care calendar!....please enjoy.
I enjoy my work in human services, I like traveling and meeting amazing people.