First Nation issues, Historical Trauma and Self-empowerment strategies

A creative space to share what I am learning on my healing journey

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. - Buddha
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Coming soon…

Watch for my first book coming out later this month!

“Starblanket”
An Anishinawbe mother’s gift to her son. The Morningstar guides us from darkness into light, Starblanket guides readers to self awareness, one story at a time.

Permissions and use of EarthTALKER intellectual property

I have been mulling over the posting of a “author permission clause” or “use of work” clause since this is an area of my life that is very new. While it may be quite late to post as I am in my second year of blogging, I’ve decided a good opportunity to share teachings related to “sources”

While our communities originally passed our culture on through oral teachings and sharing, I have heard that we ALWAYS acknowledge our sources.
Times have changed. People, however have not. Some still take teachings and incorporate them as their own without acknowledging sources.
Despite the changes, our teachings still persist. Respect. Integrity. Sharing.
Respect the work:
A lot of what is written in the accompanying pages was gained through hundreds (perhaps thousands) of hours in consultation with Elders, friends, in ceremony, meditation and stillness. I share it freely because it may help someone else.
If it is useful to you – GREAT!
Take what you need and leave the rest. Another Elder wisdom :)

It would be great if you would link back to EarthTALKER or quote as “Amy Desjarlais – of EarthTALKER but you don’t have to…your integrity is your own, your karma is your own. Generally, if I have found something useful, I try to support the original source, it’s respectful to the WISDOM, to the individual who shared it, and to the people or community that supports that individual.

If I share a wisdom and generally mention “the Elders” it’s because many people from many different instances share the same notion, not always in the same way but the sentiment is similar.
If a teaching is specific to that Elder and I haven’t heard it somewhere else, I would try quote the Elder specifically, or by place, event, community.
If I learned something through video, audio, website, etc. I also try to link back and mention where I received the inspiration, or source. Sometimes we come across people who came up with similar thoughts, if you find something you’ve written that is similar, let me know and we can also link up. I’d love to share or circulate your messages and teachings too, if you are open to doing so!

Appropriation, Acculturation, Assimilation and Sharing are not synonymous. Use of the words found here and incorporation of these teachings in your life does not entitle you to self-identify as Indigenous, qualify you as “bi-cultural”, or multi-cultural, an Elder, Indian, Native, First Nations or traditional healer. Unless of course, your community has recognized you as such. That being said, we are all on a journey, I appreciate your stopping by.

Sharing these teachings is not a means of “vetting” anyone, or as a conclusive healing program or therapy.
If you are experiencing troubling issues in your life, I urge you to seek an Elder from your area or local therapist in your life who can help you regain balance, and get back on the path.
A work in progress these terms may change slightly from time to time. Always a good idea to send me a note if you aren’t sure about something.
– Miigwetch, and good journey!

Wonderment

I wish you happiness, and I wish you joy. I wish you love, for I will always love you. – Dolly Parton

It has been an interesting week. I’ve been reviewing some teachings that have surfaced. I needed to clear more space and let go of things that do not serve my highest purpose.
I can feel my brain expanding trying to accomodate the new learning. I am filled with blessed abundance.
I have come to an understanding about openness. Long ago someone taught me about learning to be open. I found many reasons to hide from the light, and I made a choice I found later I would regret. Openness can be likened to standing on a high precipice contemplating taking the plunge.
Fear will breed in abundance. I did not jump.
Instead, I walked away.
It is something I have come to accept. It took a long time but I do. Reflecting on this experience, I am reminded of a teaching…it’s actually a Rumi quote that my friend introduced me to once. It talks about understanding that we are love at our core. Our job is to clear away the things we’ve used to block love out. As I write this, I feel such a mixture of emotions. I find that I got in my own way. I feel a little sad, a little humbled and yet I feel a great sense of purpose. Abundance. It is overwhelming and I gift it out to the universe.
I am preparing myself…to meet that challenge the next time I find myself at a precipice. As I worked through these teachings, I was shown shadow side and am accepting the things I see there. I was angry for a really long time. I stubbornly held the belief that it was all so UNFAIR. Life was so unfair! I did everything RIGHT, why the hell?? I saw that I had landed myself back into victimhood.
I couldn’t accept my choices and so I relied on things outside of myself to act as the scapegoat. I chose to suffer for a really long time.
Well, enough is enough. Its time to move forward. I made so many promises through my entire life. Promises to be there, to support my love. A devotion. Such loyalty. I wanted someone to make that same devotion, with such passion. I wanted someone capable of telling me how much he cared for me, how he just wants to see me happy. So very happy everyday for the rest of our lives.
I just wanted it all.
Until, I realized I was expecting someone to fill that void.
I wanted all of my needs to be met in the way I needed. I wanted to be loved in the way I wanted to be loved, I wanted it to be met from outside.
When this awareness came, I understood completely. Right then and there I made a promise to myself. I would be the one who would wake up everyday with undying devotion to my dreams. I would spend every day trying to bring a beautiful radiant smile to my face. I decided that I would do what was necessary to fill my life with such abundance and goodness.
I would be there every single minute of every single day living my dreams into creation.
Eventually, I found I needed to invite wonderment back into my life. I NEED wonderment. I NEED MAGIC. So I would create the magic necessary to clear the blockages so when the time comes, I will shine brighter than any sun.

This is what I wish for you too. We spend so much time searching outside. If I can do anything with my life, it would be to make that journey inside a little smoother. A little lighter. But you’re going to have to be willing to do the work. It is a beautiful journey.

Living is so rewarding

I am sitting in my livingroom. Candles lit. Child asleep.
Background noise…softly playing. Soft glow reflecting off the walls. I lived a good day.
A rewarding day. I cried today.
I smiled. I laughed. I enjoyed self-care.
Today I made good decisions. Today I acknowledged the hurt inside. I talked to someone. Today I took a step forward.

Everyday we live a rewarding life. Even more rewarding is noticing your strength inside. The resolve.
I’ve taken another step forward. Living my life is like knowing that I need to do certain things but indulging way too much. My excuse? I deserve it I work so hard. At avoiding. At being lazy, at coming up with more excuses.

I have forgotten my compliments.
I enjoy compliments, since I don’t often hear them I used to schedule it in my calendar “Hello lovely, my what a beautiful smile” :)
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to be kind to us. Too often I’ve raked myself over the coals, or compared myself to others and found myself lacking.
Too often my brain loves to bring back so many defunct memories to help me cope. It’s tiring.
I have to be vigilant with my thoughts. And loving with myself. Keeping in mind my vision of my brighter future. My vision for my life. Eventually I will love it into being.

I’ve been learning about establishing goals and rewarding good behaviour. Consistency has never been my strong suit but something has got to give. I’ve spent far too much time and energy on other people who never really deserve my precious energy. I give so freely. I am unwilling to leak anymore of this light on things that do not serve my highest vibration.

I am grateful to this over-analytical brain, I am thankful for a day full of renewal. I am thankful and aknowledge all of the good work I’ve been doing for myself. Sometimes we don’t fully give ourselves credit for the way we are changing our stars. Little by little. One day, one moment at a time.

On the land

I went for a walk on the land the other day. It was a place I used to visit when I was young. I am surprised at the shambles the place was in. Junk heaper here and there, old rusty bits lay about. I was sad.
I remember it so much different. As I walked about in the bush, I recall wondering why I never explored that area when I was younger. It was so different than I imagined it would be. The land looked different from this perspective.
It was windy that day and I was close to the water and could hear the sound of the waves as I crunched through the leaves. I imagined what it would be like living out there, on my own. No internet, no wifi, no invisible waves traveling through the air. How could I live my life differently and protect the land I want to inhabit.
Life would be harder, I’d have to work harder. What would I give up. How would I change my life to give the land another chance.
I’ve been thinking about my future a lot lately. Wondering about where my life is heading and continuing to make plans. I shift my thoughts and alter my vibration to it’s highest yet. I have been letting go of a lot of things and each minute I feel more open, more vulnerable and more curious.
I welcome my higher self and dream big dreams.
Perhaps one day my visions of the future will be my reality.
For now I stay present. I continue to remain in the present and think positive thoughts.

Consistency

I’ve noticed the last little while that in many ways, my practice seems to be somewhat lacking.
Sometimes I catch myself in the midst of bad habits. Perhaps I even get bogged down in what I should be doing to worry about actually getting stuff done. I’ve noticed certain things slipping again, and I wonder what the trigger is. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. Yet…there is struggle. Today was quiet. A little too quiet but perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. Too often I need stimulation to distract me from my thoughts.
I had a strange dream last night. I haven’t really been sleeping. Perhaps that’s it. Dutiful restful sleep is all I need to get back on track. Eat right, exercise.
I’m tired again. I hear the same tired excuses. I ignore what my body needs. Consistency has never been my strong suit. In order to be consistent you have to know what you need to do and commit to a routine. Schedule, plan and execute.
You have to have conviction.
Unequivocably decide you will do something and forge ahead unwavering. I should be used to this by now. After all, when in my life have I been unwavering. That teaching of discipline…elusive. Once again.
Find that place. Go there. Do what you must. The ego, the body, the thoughts will all fight change. But we must persevere.
It takes 21 days to change a habit. I am fighting complacency. Perhaps that is where my energy has gone. I’ve been fighting myself. Choosing to wage war on my own traitorous thoughts. It has been a number of days since I made a critical decision. I’ve never fought harder for anything than to get a hold of runaway thought patterns.
Yes, that is it. I thought myself lazy, incompetent even. The things we tell ourselves are destructive but even those thought patterns can change.
Now that I understand. I can level the playing field and lower my expectations for myself. I’m not operating at 100 percent efficiency right now. I’m doing the best I can. That’s all I can ask of myself.
Do my best. I’m realizing while I’m more organized now for the sake of my little one. I also need consistency for myself and for the sake of my own organization. If I’m going to teach my son about self-discipline, I’d better be able to teach by example. I’ve started putting appointments in my calendar and remembering to check my schedule before agreeing to something. That’s always important.
I have started to go over my son’s organizer with him as well. I’m learning different ways to express, organize myself so I can teach him. He’s growing up and will need to get himself where he needs to go. Self sufficient. He’s getting there, slowly. So am I. It’s a lot like getting to know yourself and what’s important. Having a clear picture gives you conviction in your priorities.
Projects can get finished. Goals will be achieved. One appointment, one reminder at a time. Write blog post…check!

Harvest time, you reap what you sow…

I facilitated a workshop on Harvest teachings last week. It was wonderful to see the beautiful circle of women sharing together. Some of the things I like to do at this time is to reflect on the year. How have I changed this year? What new learning have I picked up. Fall Equinox, a change of seasons.

This year, more than any other I am witnessing a shift. Individuals being vocal about EVERYTHING from #MMIW Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, to people hogging bus seats. In this day in age where technology allows us to document every single thought and share it with the world…many unfiltered thoughts are getting sent around the world.

I have never been one for vocalizing the many annoyances but this year, I’ve noticed things have changed. I am clearer about certain things, certain boundaries. And I am loving it. I’m being true to me.

While I will not go into all of the changes, suffice it to say I’m in a new place. I used to create memory books with my family to  gather and express gratitude for the beautiful growing season.

I love this time of year, the beautiful fall colours and crisp, cool air. It’s so refreshing!

Also!

Visit me on twitter tonight as we gather to be thankful for the momentum that the #MMIW is gaining new ground. We gather tonight to discuss how and if we should teach our children about #MMIW. What do you think? What do our children need to  know about this issue, do they need to understand and why? Tune in tonight on twitter 7-8pm #MMIW September 28 @msearthtalker

Momentum

I am feeling very blessed right now. There has been a huge shift in energies for a long time. Mother Earth is changing, and has been changing for some time now. We can feel the changes. I am feeling very blessed at this moment to sit at the edge of equinox and see substantive changes in our humanity as a response. In the same week, well-known UN ambassadors calling on us to change. Feminism includes men and boys, climate change calling on society to become earth conscious…and the story of our prophecies are being shared. Saying, it is time. We are in the time of the Seventh Fire. Two paths lie before us.
It is time to choose.

Our paths have remained separate for long, long time. The newcomers have changed the landscapes of our home.
What will the future look like?
What is the future that we want for our children, and grand children.
All of those questions need to be asked, and examined.
The work of the buffalo is happening once again, their hoof marks replaced by human tracks.
A re-balancing is occurring.

Simulatenously I walk through my life and totter on the edge of imbalance. Working through my own humanity, awakening to a new and heightened sense of instruction.
I have been called to lift out of a very familiar way of being. I’ve grown so comfortable, so complacent with this way of being that I’ve become lazy.
Convinced that this is the way life is, I continue to tell myself lies so I don’t have to change.
And yet, I hear whispers from within urging me up…out of my complacency. I feel something calling me to my path in this life, and that path does not resemble anything I know.
And I drag my feet.

I became aware recently that I have allowed myself to ruminate, once again. I did not let go completely, and in not doing so, I swam in the sludge of my own making. There have been many reminders lately of the work I must do. Though I know this time i need help getting there.
I reached out today, and I will continue to reach out because everything inside of me is telling me that I am worth it.
Everything inside of me is telling me that i must do what ever it takes, I must dig deeper than I have ever been in order to find that peace within.
Everything inside of me is telling me that I am not alone. Slowly, the world outside is shifting and the messages are starting to line up.
Positive messages from friends and loved ones letting me know they support me, kindnesses and smiles from strangers.
I am feeling so very blessed to be riding the wave of change. It is a momentum that will sweep all we know aside and re-create something so beautiful we cannnot even imagine it.
We must continue to pour our most postive, loving energy into all we do, and think, and create. For all that we imagine will come to fruition with our most loving thoughts.
Peace, love & light…

Violence, Women, Water Aka: Climate change EarthTALKER RemiXX

On the last day of summer, thousands around the worldarch for #climate change.
Many organizations are coming together to discuss the topics most urgent. Water, Women, Violence and Climate change. There seems to be an awakening, and in ever increasing numbers…the messages overlap. Freedom from colonialism, Oppression, Capitalism, violence against women, privatization of clean water, gender equality, Missing women in Canada and the US, AND yes, the South as well.

All of these things are related. And urgently needing our attention. Our countries Canada and the United States BECAME the most powerful BECAUSE their unrelenting destruction continued UNCHECKED. First it was exploitation of the South American gold, the fur trade, Lumber, and people. Squanto & Pocahontas were only two of MANY individuals who cross the oceans, most as slaves or “oddities” to be peered at by jeering, curious crowds…much like our Amazonian cousins of today who are venturing forth from deep in the Rainforest

What is most troubling about todays problems is the ingrained need for EXCESS. Not only are the decision makers NOT responding to urgent concerns like Missing & Murdered Indigenous women; Anti-fracking demonstrations, they are continuing their agenda by seeking FURTHER extra terrestrial resources like our closest neighbour – Our Grandmother moon. I heard about the NASA moon “bombings” and was furious. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LCROSS/main/prelim_water_results.html#.VB9RmGS9Kc0
Not only do they (politicians, general public) not care about the mess the Earth is in, they want to destroy other areaa for the resources too.
Enough is enough. You won’t find what you are looking for out there. There isn’t an universe big enough to fill the void you are trying to fill.
That emptiness inside.
Is IN you.
Searching constantly for something outside isn’t going to satiate it. All of this violent behaviour is a cause from not knowing and understanding #Love
We love our Earth and many of us are willing to stand up for her health and well-being. We care for the young ones yet to come, we want to ensure their health and well-being.

Join me tonight to discuss the parallels between colonialism and gender violence tonight on twitter. The third of Four twitter chats leading up to Oct 4, 2014 Sisters in Spirit vigil. Join hands, its not about US and Them any more. It never really was. #MMIW Sept
7-8pm @MsEarthTALKER
Universal love, and change…there is nothing to fear…

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Rumination. A deadly thing for the love addicted. Something I’ve only noticed this week. A sick, delusional belief I’ve carried, likely a result of watching my parents play out their own delusional relationship fantasies.
Love. Beyond all limits. Devotion. Even if it kills. Until this week I believed I cared about someone who not only was a terrible choice for me but whom I chose to walk away from. I believed in my own way that I was not good enough. I had convinced myself that I did not know what I wanted out of the relationship…Except, when I looked deeper, I realized that I knew exactly what I wanted. I was just too afraid of hurting someone else in the process. I knew that getting what I wanted meant hurting someone else. While I did what was necessary, I ended up dragging myself through the mud. Convinced I had thrown away the best thing that had ever happened to me…except…it was a terrible experience. I wasn’t allowed to be myself. I couldn’t speak my mind freely. I was not respected, supported or made to feel important at all, yet…I cared deeply for such a person.
I believe this individual was an important teacher. This experience an important one. I chose differently. I knew somewhere deep inside that this was not what I wanted. I saw myself changing, becoming disempowered and I got out. What happened to me in this learning is that I carried the guilt, I heaped it on. Believing in my heart that I was at fault. Well…I looked that belief in straight in the eye and i said NO.
I WILL not believe I wrecked this. I am a kind hearted, good person who was forced to be tough in order to protect myself. I only realized it because I’ve had to do a lot of standing up to people who cannot see outside of their own pain and hurt. My teachers say that sometimes we are forced to be tough, when we have to be…when we are pushed. It feels strange because we are, at our essence kind people. I don’t like having to be “mean” or “tough” but sometimes we have to be in order to stop someone from walking over us.
I want to be kind. I want to be happy and content. The people around me should highlight those qualities in me, not the opposite. If there is someone in my life that does not bring those qualities out, perhaps that relationship needs to be examined. I noticed I was not enforcing my boundaries.
I’m better at doing so after such an experience.
In fact I’m getting so good at it, sometimes I feel a bit like a jerk. I can’t stand some of the things peoples say to one another, and I seem to have less tolerance for s**t.
Maybe I’m just living into my own. It’s good, it means I’m beginning to be authenic, instead of pretending things are all right when they are not.
I’ve learned so many valuable things this week. Today, I feel abundance like none other. It means freedom from letting go, and I envisioned my most favorite things coming to fruition. Directed that abundance back to my life. I’ve wasted enough time on people that don’t matter. It’s time for me now. Time to grow my life into the kind of life i can be proud of. It’s beautiful you know? When you finally learn how to direct wasted energy? When you learn how to plug up the holes that drain your precious abundance. Put it into something you care about.
Life is too short to berate yourself, to feel guilty or bad about stuff. Just stop. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Learn from your mistakes, stand up to the bullies in your life, face the fear and learn to live…one step at a time.
You know what? It feels good. Getting out from the shadows. Today is a good day.
This moment right here, is exactly what I need and I am exactly where I am meant to be, knowing fully that I deserve the best. Understanding that I deserve NO less than the best. Yeah, it’s cool. Finally knowing what that means. Knowing that I will not allow anyone to treat me badly ever again. They won’t get that chance, cause I love me more than that. It feels good to stand on these two feet. I know that I won’t be responsible for anyone elses guilt or shame or pain any more. I deserve better than that…and I give away all that is not mine to carry. I welcome love, light and peace. Little by little I learn to be good to myself.
I continue to be a work in progress, there are many things to work on, but I’m gonna love every single bit of me as long as I live. Acceptance, Caring and in kindness. I chose the path of happiness and contentment because I can.

Let’s talk re-visited

I want to do something…to help. Anything. I hate that every week it seems, someone else goes missing.
What would you do if someone you knew and loved didn’t come home? What if people you knew were missing someone too? What if you asked for help, ask people to care and they didn’t?
Well, those things are going on, every day. Epidemic levels, of women going missing. Children losing their mothers.
And what is the response? Indifference. In some cases, anger, sadness, outrage, and sometimes…FEAR.
Face it, we are the remnant society of a country born out of colonialism. Imperialism. Power and Control.
Out of every winner…”conquerers” there are losers…we are not conquered. Indigenous Nations are here to stay. Our principles of allowing others to make their own mistakes sometimes bring our own bitter ends.
What do you do if instead of controling ones behaviour you let them make their own mistakes?
I don’t know. As an Indigenous woman in Canada, my lineage is born out of control, forced and learned dependence, fear-based love, physical, emotional and mental abuse.
What do we know of empowerment?
What DON’T we know?
Every day we wake and can be grateful for the teachings of our ancestors, every day we wake and see the pain as a lesson…that WE chose.
Every day we wake and take responsibility for our own actions…how we teach our children to be responsible for their OWN actions…THESE are the traits born of RESILIENCY.
These are traits born out of people who hold ALL life sacred.
Who hold water as the sacred life giving entity.
How do we empower ourselves? That is our discussion these days. How do we give ourselves permission to leave that reservation of our minds.
How do we accept ourselves as sacred human beings. We need others to see us and acknowledge…
Too see us and hear us and respond with honesty wrapped in kindness. Kindness….
Twitter #MMIW Sept 14: Self-empowerment