Arrow – Truth As Protection

From Sacred Path Cards, The Discovery of Self Through Native Teachings by Jamie Sams:

The Warrior Clans of Native America were the protection of the People. The spirit of the Warrior Clan is represented by the Arrow…Courage was the main ingredient in the making of a Warrior, but it had to be tempered with truth, common sense, physical prowess, integrity, and connection to spirit before the right to be Warrior Clan was earned.

…Upon being bestowed the honor of the title of Chief, a man could never again raise his voice to a woman or child. This was the unspoken law of Warrior Clan. They were the protection of future generations and the living treasures that the women as Mother-Nurturers represented.

…At the core of the Warrior Clan’s principles was the balanced male/female within each Brave. This balance was found through the willingness to bend like the Bow of Beauty and send the Arrow of Truth into the world.

…Remember that the Arrow’s path is straight and narrow and that its target is the heart. At the heart of every Warrior is the compassion a of the Chief and the legacy of leadership for the good of all the people.

Powerful stuff this, right? No campaign funding, no campaign period. A chief had to earn his right to lead, prove himself both strong and willing to bend for the good of the People. What touched my heart most deeply is that the Chief would never raise his  voice to a woman or a child. It was the law of the Warrior Clan…so every warrior had to develop this quality lest he not qualify to remain in his Clan or to one day become Chief.

Why do most Americans and almost all of our leadership believe that our way is the most enlightened and that it is what would be best for the entire world – for all of the People?  Does the above come even close to describing our nation’s leaders? Mmm…

May our hearts and minds be open and know Truth. May we remember that Truth is our protection. May we all, male and female alike, walk in the tradition of our Native brothers and sisters. May we honor the balance of male/female within ourselves and may we express love and compassion for one another – for the good of all the People.

I must add a note concerning “Truth.” This is not “my” truth and “your” truth. This idea of “Truth” is based on that fundamental male/female balance, a spiritual connection to Great Spirit, and a profound humility arising from the knowledge that my Highest Good contributes to the Highest Good of all the people. Living in this way simplifies and expands Truth in ways I continue to learn, feel, and absorb in order to abide in Truth.

Control or Release?

This is so often the question, isn’t it? Which is more powerful – to be in control of a situation or to release control of that situation? It seems obvious that the “right” answer is to release control. Most of us have or are dealing with our control issues. It is easier than it used to be as it is such a common thing to discuss now.

In the path of enlightened awareness, the motivation comes from a deep place within. Intellectually, I am very clear that control simply doesn’t work even though it may appear to in the short term. Self-control is most useful in creating a healthier flow of life, especially until I grow up in some specific area of my life. Once my awareness level catches up with the heart desire to change a behavior, there is little or need to exercise self-control because I am able to flow with that desire in a very natural way.

As with many healing insights, I begin to have a breakthrough when I recognize that the nature of what I am looking at is yet another one of the paradoxes of this human life experience. Power appears to come through the ability to be in the position of control which often manifests in arrogance. In spite of this, I find the most powerful leaders are those who come from a place of humility and deep respect for themselves and others. They know they have the final say but they are willing to listen and learn. In return, those who interact with them trust their right to lead and their ultimate decisions.

How does this manifest in one’s personal life? I don’t have time to write a book this morning so I’ll simply offer a few thoughts. Control manifests in so many ways it boggles the mind. It can be outright, arrogant, and demanding or it can be subtle, deceptive, and manipulative. None of these things lead to true and lasting relationships. None of these things nurture a person’s soul or result in a loving and compassionate expression of self. These things can create a false sense of security in this wild and wooly world. I get it. However, I do not resonate with it.  It took me a long while but I have come to see that trying to control myself or other people or circumstances stops the flow of creative energy in my life. For me, release has proved to be more powerful than any other approach.

Yoga and meditation are my primary tools to develop the ability to release into the flow of my life. How do you respond when you have shared a struggle you are having with someone and they say, “You just have to let that go.” Really? Like I can do that when the pain is up and my emotions are screaming to be heard. Yeah, I’ll just let that go and move on. Isn’t that called stuffing your emotions? When I tried that behavior on, it affected my physical health on a frightening level. In yoga I have learned to release into my body by feeling it resist, breathing into those muscles or joints and inviting them to release into my breath. It works. Then I learned the same techniques work with emotions and mental gymnastics… long as I am willing to experience those things as I have learned to experience physical resistance. I must make a space for those emotions and those meandering thoughts. I must be with them long enough to breathe into them and then invite them to release into my breath. In allowing them to exist with awareness, I allow them to fulfill their purpose and dissipate.

This is not always a comfortable process but my yoga practice isn’t always comfortable either. I still do it because I have learned that the end result is well worth the discomfort. My emotional practice isn’t always comfortable but the end result is so freeing, so comforting and self-nurturing that I embrace it fully. As with hatha yoga, the more faithful I am with this practice, the more quickly and easily I move through to its rewards.

Release brings me into the natural flow of life which is much more fun and relaxing.

Aum shanti. Namaste.