Thoughts for the Turning of the Year

Sherri Mitchell - Wena'gamu'gwasit - is an Indigenous rights attorney, activist and teacher who melds traditional life-way teachings into spirit-based movements. She is offering a full-day workshop on Native American Spirituality and Social Justice at ChIME on January 7, 2017 (register here). This blog is a reprint from her Facebook page, used by permission.  

What's on my mind? Slow endings and quick beginnings. Reassessing, once again, what stays and what goes. Preparing to set intentions for the new year, where every choice seems critical.

The world desperately needs more kindness, tenderness, and compassion. It needs us to be pliable and willing, to reach through the fire of our own pain and help soothe that of others; to suspend our judgment and cuddle up with deep acceptance. It needs us to challenge our tidy notions of love and be an expression of love in every moment, even when it's messy, even when it's painful, and even when it makes no sense. The world needs us to scratch beneath the surface of bad behavior to see the wounds and fears that are driving it, so that we can offer understanding, patience, and empathy.

During this coming full moon and into the solstice, I'll be working to balance my inner and outer worlds. I'll be asking what that task requires of me, and what it has to offer me; digging deep into the complexity to find the ease of committed certainty, knowing that the only thing that separates us from that ease is a change of mind and a simple choice. I'm going to cultivate relationships that are honest, reliable, and heart-felt. I'm going to admit that I need care and tending. And, I'm going to open myself to receive it. I'm going to acknowledge that the gift I have to offer and the one that I most need to receive are one and the same - the quiet surety of knowing that there is warmth, comfort, and acceptance waiting at home. With that kind of surety, I will be able to step out into the world in all of the ways that are asked of me with courage and conviction. That's what the world needs most, from me and every one of you - for us to show up, right now, as our very best selves. (For more in this writing, see Sherri's Facebook page.)