How many people have heard the following, “mean what you say and say what you mean?”, or how about, ” walk your talk”.
We often let our beliefs and values go unchecked and unexamined and we fail to see how they have changed or whether or not we are still living by them, acting by them, choosing our words according to them.
A simple example is about a year ago someone had asked me, “What’s your favourite colour?”
I answered, “Robin eggshell blue!”
My favourite colour had always and forever been robin eggshell blue. I even had a baby blue North Carolina jacket when I was 15 and I was smitten with it. However, as soon as the words project out of my mouth by pure habit of answering the question, “robin eggshell blue”, I realised that it was no longer robin eggshell blue. Come to think of it, it hadn’t been my favourite colour in quite sometime.
I rocked a mohawk before that was red and black, most of my clothing was now red or black. Matter of fact, my favourite colour had been red for a few years!
After that I started rethinking simple things, like what my favourite movie was, then this self-examination turned into what my beliefs were, values and so on.
Looking at yourself, and figuring out what ideas and beliefs fill every little nook and cranny of your spirit is time-consuming and you have to do this purposefully.
In, The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo writes “Water fills a hole, the ways of others will fill the space we live in if we don’t fill that space with our own authentic presence.”
If we don’t know who we are, what we believe, what we value, then the question is, whose ideas and beliefs are we operating on?
Furthermore, if and when we do know what we believe then how do we show that in our everyday lives? It is one thing to say that we as Indigenous people, “honour and respect the Earth” , and if you hold this belief, how do your actions align with this? Do you recycle, maybe pick up litter when you see it, belong to a grassroots environmental group, speak and act against harmful development? How is the value reflected in your life.
We are our actions.
Your beliefs can be at war with your actions, and baby that breeds conflict for the spirit! I’ve been there plenty of times and what it comes down too is the truth that we are human. Let that not be an excuse to continually act against what you know because the one you end up cheating is yourself!
Live with purpose.
I believe water is the life blood of the Earth and should be respected.
- I like taking long showers. I sometimes remember to give thanks for the water that I am able to use to cleanse myself, but sometimes I don’t.
- I have an outdated dishwasher that probably uses 10x more water than it needs. The beast sounds like a hurricanes in the house.
- I offer tobacco in rivers and lakes and pray when I can.
- I do not buy plastic water bottles.
- I have a Brita water filter.
- I am vocal on my belief and will work towards the preservation of our water ways the best that I can.
- I will turn the shower off while I lather up with soap and suds then turn it on to rinse off. I will give thanks for the water I use.
- When I drink a glass of water, I can do it more mindfully and give thanks for this too!
- I can hand wash my dishes more often to preserve water and also talk to others in my household about water consumption.
Well, there it is! Figure yourself out, only you can do the work.
One thing for reflection, is looking at Traditional beliefs and tradition and seeing what was done based on what belief. Such as honouring all life, women are sacred, our children are spiritual beings….etc.
How could you carry these beliefs forward now? and what do they look like if they are acted on in your everyday life?
That’s right, the questions can’t stop won’t stop! Self discovery is a beautiful journey :).