Being and becoming

“I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves’ answer to Stephen Colbert’s question, “what happens when we die?” (above) reminds me of a collection of things I’ve read, or heard (Justin Bieber’s “Purpose”) or written myself.

I love the term Nahko uses, human beings and becomings.

Arrive at our gathering this fall with whatever shape your heart is in. Full, broken, in pieces, strong, hopeful, hurting, overflowing, all of it. We’ll help best we can. The more time we spend together in this way, the more whole we can become. The Medicine Tribe is a community, a village, a movement of human beings and becomings. We are many colors and creeds, sharing that breath of life. We are the music, a common language. It’s our way out of the maze. It’s that missing puzzle piece. It’s us. Together.
So here’s to expanding beyond our initial beliefs. To opening our minds to higher reasoning, to fields of toroidal blossoms where we can lay in stacks of dimensional light and turn off the oppressive broadcasting station of the patriarch and tune our dials to the matriarchal podcast within nature, human and non-human. Here’s to taking our power back.

Nahko Bear

When you’re feeling bad, when you’re feeling frustrated, put all your prayer into your palms, put them to the ground, put them back to the sky, honor the Father, the Mother, just know it will be alright.

Nahko Bear

ALL THAT WE ARE IS STORY. From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here. It is what we arrive with. It is all we leave behind. We are not the things we accumulate. We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us. What comes to matter then is the creation of the best possible story we can while we’re here; you, me, us, together. When we can do that and we take the time to share those stories with each other, we get bigger inside, we see each other, we recognize our kinship — we change the world one story at a time.

Richard Wagamese (October 14, 1955-March 10, 2017)
Ojibwe from Wabeseemoong Independent Nations, Canada

Lorene and Albert Standing led truly exemplary lives. I think the greatest accomplishment of one’s life would be to set an example that others would like to follow, and they most certainly did that. Over the years there have been any number of times I’ve stopped and asked myself, “What would Grandma and Grandpa (and/or Mom and Dad) do in this situation?”
Although they seemed old to us when we were growing up, they didn’t act that way. I remember both of them up on stilts when we had a picnic in the park in Logan.
Grandma was a master of living in the moment. She enjoyed wherever she was, whoever she was with. She would always try to talk about something she thought would interest you, not her. She was one of the few people brave enough to ask me about my work. Since I am in medicine, she would always share her interest in homeopathic medicine, which I did find interesting.
One of Grandma’s great concerns was passing on the oral family history. Her knowledge of the family’s genealogy was amazing and fascinating.
We don’t know what happens after we die, but one aspect of life after death we do know about is the influence someone like Lorene and Albert continue to exert on the lives of those who knew and loved them. Not only do memories of them continue to comfort us, but what they said, how they lived, things they did with and for us remain with us always.
No one will be surprised to hear that when I told my godchildren about Grandma’s death, Brandon said, “I remember the quilt she made for you when I was little.”

Jeff Kisling at my grandmother, Lorene Standing’s Memorial
Albert and Lorene Standing and grandson Jeff Kisling

Have you come to the Red Sea place in your life? Where in spite of all you can do, there is no way out, no way back, there is no other way but through? Then wait on the Lord, with a trust serene, till the night of your fear is gone. He will send the winds, He will heap the floods, when He says to your soul, “Go on!”

Celia Ann Smith (Quaker)

Justin Bieber recounts a time that he was at the end of his rope, but God blessed him with purpose, “the best gift that I’ve ever known.” Patrick Ryan, USA Today, November 13, 2015.

The song sounds like a hymn to me.

Feeling like I’m breathing my last breath
Feeling like I’m walking my last steps
Look at all of these tears I’ve wept
Look at all the promises that I’ve kept
I put my all into your hands
Here’s my soul to keep
I let you in with all that I can
You’re not hard to reach
And you bless me with the best gift
That I’ve ever known
You give me purpose
Yeah, you’ve given me purpose
Thinking my journey’s come to an end
Sending out a farewell to my friends, for inner peace
Ask you to forgive me for my sins, oh would you please?
I’m more than grateful for the time we spent, my spirit’s at ease
I put my heart into your hands
Learn the lessons you teach
No matter when, wherever I am
You’re not hard to reach

Purpose, Justin Bieber

I have been thinking about what a spiritual warrior might be, and if people can be trained to be spiritual warriors ever since I received the following message from my friend Joshua Taflinger.

I am inspired to share with you all more directly a post I wrote (below), because I consider you an established & effective nature/spiritual warrior, and believe that there is a need for the perspectives shared in the attached post to be more common thought in the minds of the many.
If you feel truth from this writing, and are inspired, I highly encourage you to re-write your own version, in your own words/perspectives, and post to your network.
With the intention of helping us all wake up, with awareness, clarity, and direction.
..spreading and weaving reality back into the world…

What has risen to the surface at Standing Rock is a physical/spiritual movement. Learn how to quiet your mind. To find the silent receptive space to receive guidance. To learn to adapt and follow the pull of synchronicity to guide you to where you will find your greatest support and strength.
What I have found in my time praying in the indigenous earth based ways, is that it’s not about putting your hands together and talking to god…. It’s about quieting and connecting with the baseline of creation, of nature. Tuning into the frequency and vibration of the natural world, the nature spirits. The beings and entities that have been in existence, for all of existence, the examples and realities of sustainability and harmony.
It’s about becoming receptive to these things. Being open and flowing with them. The spirit guides us, but we have to make ourselves receptive to feel, sense, and respond to this guidance..

my friend Joshua Taflinger, #NoDAPL organizer
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