Walter Littlemoon

Walter Littlemoon passed through my life briefly during a time of personal healing and searching. I carry him in my heart and mind because he looked into my soul and knew me. He honored my journey when I didn’t understand it myself. I remember him as a tall, quiet, gentle man of great intelligence and profound compassion. He spoke softly, humbly and taught much with very few words.

Walter Littlemoon was born at Wounded Knee in 1942. Taken from his family at the age of 5, he was forced into a federal government boarding school. His family, language and traditions denied him. I met him in the early 1990’s when he visited  friends in Florida. He graciously conducted sweat lodges without asking for payment of any kind. Money offered in gratitude for his presence and teaching was given to the destitute community of Wounded Knee. His entire life has been dedicated to restoring his people and his land. I sat in stunned silence when he told us he was not supposed to leave the reservation without official permission. How could that be in a free country?!  Fortunately for all of us, Walter answered to a power higher than any government and traveled where Great Spirit led him.

I will not presume to tell his story for I cannot do him or the Lakota people justice. I hope you will search him out on the internet. You will be blessed.

When I told him I was nervous about doing my first sweat lodge (in summer, in Florida), he very lightly touched my shoulder and quietly said, “Trust the Creator. You are meant to be here.” At his touch, a calm peacefulness spread through me and I entered the lodge. Those words have carried me through many challenging life experiences. I could easily feel the sacredness of Walter Littlemoon’s path; he helped me understand the sacredness of my own.

Even as I struggle to share something of my experience with him, I hear his sweet voice, “Trust the Creator. You are meant to be here.”

“Here” is wherever I am in the moment, whatever I am experiencing in the moment. “Here” is all that I have been in the past, all that I am in this moment, and all that I will be in the future. “Here” transcends geography, ethnicity, gender, religion, politics. Let this be your meditation today:

TRUST  THE  CREATOR.    YOU  ARE  MEANT  TO  BE  HERE.

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Let Life Be Easier

On the opening page of his book The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck says:

Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

What are the illusions that have given birth to your expectations of yourself, others and life itself? Do you believe, somewhere deep inside, that “someday” everything will be perfect? Are you always waiting and hoping for what lies out in the future somewhere?

A young sage once said to me as we walked through a farmers’ market on a crisp sunny morning,

This, this is the essence of life: Do what you love doing. Do it with people you love. And let it be easy.

Sitting on a quiet beach on the Emerald Coast of the Florida panhandle, I watched the gulf waters. The water was so still it looked more like a lake. A few weeks earlier it had raged, sending huge waves crashing across the highway into the small bay behind me. In that moment I realized that water is consistently true to itself whether it is quietly lapping at the shore or ripping into that shore so deeply that it is forever changed. I could see that because water is consistently true to its own nature,  it is able to shape the continents and I was looking at a different Florida coastline.

Life is like that. It is consistently true to itself, ever-changing, relentlessly being what it is. Life ebbs and flows. At times so quiet and peaceful I want this moment to last forever. Other times it rips and tears at the fabric of my being. It dares me to resist its flow, to deny its very nature and, in the process, to deny my own and be taken down and devastated by its storms.

M. Scott Peck is right. The only way to embrace the very nature of life is to accept the reality of its true nature. When I surrender my illusions, I set myself free to ride the waves. World class surfers travel the globe, following storms and ocean surges, looking for the fiercest waves in order to ride them! I want to ride the waves of life with that kind of confidence and openness of mind and heart. Like my young sage, I want to let life be easy.

So when life is a challenge, I sit down and breathe. I breathe slowly and quietly until I remember that this is the nature of life. I am not being punished or tested. Life is what it is. I meditate and pray for guidance. I wait for the inner voice of wisdom. The challenges don’t disappear but they look different to me then. I know that, when this storm passes, the waters of my life will be calm again while I rest and restore my energy.

It won’t be the last storm so I rest in knowing that I am more adept at embracing all of life’s experiences. I seek out the quiet within when everything around me is raging. My own true nature carries me as I flow with life rather than fighting it, even when it hurts.

This moment is enough for me no matter what it contains. Blessings can be as overwhelming as challenges. Looking to some future that may never come is not the answer. This moment is all I have. Whatever this moment contains, I choose to be present in it because I can let this one moment be easy.

The Wisdom of A Child

My darling granddaughter is four years old. She is bright and funny and astoundingly strong-willed.  Around the age of three, she came to my home for a play date. I asked her to start picking up so that we could get her home on time. She silently continued playing as though I did not exist. I then quietly asked her to look at me so that I knew she was listening and she calmly kept playing – again as though I did not exist. I stood there and silently asked my Soul for wisdom. This is what came to mind so I said it lovingly and quietly:

Sweetheart, I have no desire to struggle with you so I am going to finish cleaning up the kitchen before I take you home.

The silence continued from the other room. About five minutes later I peeked into the room and she was putting everything away with great care. We straightened the living room together and had time to walk to her house instead of using the car 💓. This idea of not creating a struggle with her has been a theme ever since.

Very recently I was sitting on her bed with her. She is allowed to watch a short tv show after her nap so I was setting up one of her favorites on an iPad … or so I thought. Nothing was working and I was starting to feel frustrated. She is very intuitive and is often aware of our feelings before we are. She leaned into me and touched my arm lightly as she said

You don’t need to struggle, Gama. Just try again.

Then she kissed my cheek, I thanked her for reminding me and we figured it out together!

Need I say more?

Blessings to you this day. Each day comes as a gift, right? Right!

Morning Quiet Time

I sit in my bentwood rocker each morning. I love my rocking chair. It is rattan, made in Taiwan. It came back with me from Guam about 30 years ago. It welcomes me every morning as I settle in with a cup of coffee, inspirational reading, and a time of quiet to form my intention for the day.

This morning I am aware of the stark polarities in my world. Peace/War. Compassion/Understanding. Acceptance/Rejection. Love/Indifference. Hope/Fear.

I breathe into this moment and know that Love is. God is. 

And because God is Love and both are indefinable, I am alert, aware, open, seeing, listening, receiving, trusting, be-ing.

What else makes any sense at all. The Divine simply Is. Knowing that, I simply am present in this moment being all that I am, resting in that awareness. It has to be enough because this moment is all there is, all I have. It is everything.

Trust Is Not A Gift

I raised my children before computers and cell phones. As they began to venture out with friends, spend nights in other people’s homes, etc., I began setting boundaries, telling them to check in with me, and being sure they had change for pay phones. One of them asked me why I didn’t trust them, after all they were my children!

This is when I began to teach them why the virtue of trust and being trusted is so valuable….because it is earned. It is proven by a history of behaviors that have shown others that they would consistently do what they said they were going to do. Now that they would be making many decisions on their own, they needed to show me that they would consistently keep agreements with me and live up to the expectations those agreements created. I also taught them the agreements must be spoken and agreed upon by everyone involved, i.e. each of them and their father and me.

I remember saying to them “I don’t trust you because you exist. I will trust you because you show me that you can be trusted.” Then I reminded them that they grew to trust me because when I said I would do something, I did it.  Over and over again.

Trust is not a gift. It must be earned.

May each of us find ourselves trust-worthy today. Blessings.

Enlightenment Is A Journey

Like Life, Enlightenment is a journey rather than the destination.

Do I consider myself an enlightened being? Yes….in certain areas and ways of life, I get it…I have experienced true enlightenment. In other areas, I still don’t quite get it…my journey of enlightenment is not complete. If it were, I would definitely handle some things way better than I do after all of these years.

So I journey on, staying open and receptive to higher learning, higher understanding, deeper wisdom, love, and compassion. I am learning to let the journey be its own fulfillment. To think I have “arrived” is to set myself up for disappointment and a sense of futility. That does not sound like fun to me!

May your journey, and mine, be gentle today. Peace.