Pray, Prepare, Perform


Down to the last two weeks of the semester and I’m finalizing all the little details for both my coursework and my son’s namegiving.

During this time I’ve had to decline opportunities knowing I had reached my limit. With fatigue and feeling under the weather, I plowed through last week with the anticipation of successfully completing projects. Both scholastic and craftswomanship.

In the process I also found myself thinking about healing. As individuals we each have a way of healing ourselves. Some of us have the strength to carry through and process healthy on our own. Others need and seek the help of others, whether professional or spiritual, help is help IS help. Then, there are those who choose not to heal.

In that moment of time I understood my limitations. I made a conscious decision to have a naming for my son based on my Indigenous value system. I chose to have his namegiving in a time of great demands. More importantly, in the last year, I chose to heal myself through the creative process in order to be the woman I needed to be. Whether through writing, sewing, gathering, beading, or cooking… I made a loving choice each time in preparation for this time.

From each project, I believed in the sacredness behind the teachings and values for my sons namegiving ceremony but also, I believe in what it will teach my son. There is no time like now. Despite being in the 4th year of my doctoral program, my 81 year old aunt will not always be around to share her wisdom and the opportunity for my son to experience an old custom of our Nimiipuu community outweighs a western education by far. Not only does my son learn a little bit of wisdom, he will personally experience what his ancestors went through when they received their names. Long story short, we won’t find Indigenous knowledge systems pertaining to a family namegiving in a library book… and hence goes the saying, “being Indigenous is a lived experience.” You won’t find ‘how to be Indigenous’ or the answer to ‘what does it mean to be Indigenous?’ in a “how to” manual. It is a way of life and lived. I am aware that every word typed, each pattern cut and sewn, and every huckleberry and khouse-khouse I loving gathered is by far the best creations I have made.

As I journey through this time as a mother, daughter, sister, friend, and relative, I believe the words to live by, “Never under estimate the power within” speaks volumes. We have the capacity to do whatever it is we set out to do. With proper time management and help, it IS possible to complete anything we set our minds to. With schooling and a family, preparing the mental and physical state of being is important but so is the emotional. They are woven together like a braid of sweet grass (or our hair) to remind us we need balance in our lives every day when setting out to accomplish goals.

Incidently, my mantra has become Pray, Prepare, Perform which was shared by a dear friend of a friend who shared it to keep us focused. Today I share it with others.

Here’s to all journies. Peace be with you. Namaste.

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