The cooler air and the feel slight breeze this morning felt great. It brought memories of happenings in my life during the Fall of the year. Leaves are preparing to fall off the trees. Some will be bright colors. Perhaps those represent good closings that will come into my life through this transformational time. Some other leaves will be all brown or partly brown. Maybe those leaves represent a difficult closing in life during this time of the year. Still, green leaves also drop to the ground. Why are they green? Those leaves just might be the goals in life that will continue until next year? Once, when doing a seminar during this time of the year, I asked participants to go outside and find a leaf that represented them. When we begin relating ourselves to those things around us, we become more aware of our relationship to “all.” Try this. See how it represents you. After comparing yourself to a leaf, hug the tree and listen to your thoughts. How are you like that tree? Once I had a vivid dream and in looking at what my dream was about with a friend, she said, “Let’s look at every item in your dream and see how it relates to you.” We did just that. When it came to a simple part of the dream where I picked out a pen to use in writing a note, she said, “How do you think that other pen beside it felt when you picked the other pen? Have you ever felt this way?” Now every time I pick up a pen when it is sitting alongside others, I think about that interpretation of my dream we worked on.
This time of the year has also presented a time of many closings in my life. My husband died at age 39 in the Fall of 1979. This year my brother-in-law died, and my sister-in-law died. I left a position I liked the most in my life during the Fall of 1981. It was building a seven-county comprehensive mental health center and I left to marry a second husband. It was a “wrong choice” as a marriage, but a fantastic experience to teach me so many things! My divorce began in the Fall of 1985. After a two-day court trial in early 1986, I got out of the marriage. John and I dated for six years and then, in 1995, we married. I began closing down my Shaklee nutrition business and my apartment in the Fall of 1996.
During those years between the man that carried major lessons into my life and John, I began a practice of setting goals and writing affirmations every year. This beginning came during the time of Fall! I jotted down notes. Where are my priorities going to be for the upcoming year? What goals do I want to keep in my life next year? What do I want to release from my life? What causes me stress and am I ready to release that? Those are the questions I asked myself as I watched this transitional change in weather. I noted the physical part of my life, including not only my health but also my environment. Then I paid attention to my mental part of Self, my thinking process. Do I want to turn off the TV and focus more on my relationship to God/Spirit and then to family? Next was the Emotional Part of my Self. How are my relationships? What is my heart happy about? How can my heart open to my love for “all,” even those difficult to love. Are there energy-draining relationships that would be good to step back from? Then I move into the Spiritual part of Self, asking myself how I might keep that personal relationship open with all that is invisible? With situations I am struggling with, perhaps this is a good time to put my divine source, Jesus, in the center of my page and ask about each “What would Jesus do in this situation?”
Some very good things have also happened in my life during this time of the year. Due to an amazing dream right before I awakened this morning, I decided to do share with you a special event shown to me in this vivid dream. I stepped back into my Native American Vision Quest days and was outdoors explaining to a group how to prepare for (1) a vision quest and then (2) how to do a vision quest. To be exact, I was even sharing with those in attendance in the dream how to build a fire, how to lay the tobacco first depending on the reason for the quest or quests. I had been taught by a Lakota Medicine Man that would not call himself as such. Others would, but he would not. My dream was detailed.
Why did I have this dream? Fall is a good time for a Vision Quest! Perhaps I was being sent a gift of times past in my life. When the sun hit my face and awakened me, I wanted to stay in the dream. It felt like this dream was a great gift when the sun hit my face and I became completely awake. I got up with a sense of gratitude for all I learned during that twelve years in my life where signs appeared to show me that I was to look at the Native American path to finish my healing through Native American ceremonies. The doors were then thrown open for this to happen through John. I was actually standing on the steps of the house we live in when he told me that he had been to Sun Dance and he had been doing sweat lodges. Then he asked if I wanted to see if this path was for me. What I received has left me in awe ever since that time. We both immersed ourselves in Lakota spiritual experiences in Oklahoma and South Dakota. Other tribes in Oklahoma also shared their ceremonies in Oklahoma with us.
I did my vision quests in the Fall. I also supported others, including John, in theirs. I was receiving answers that I had waited long to receive, and I loved it. I have done four quests. John also did multiple quests. He even did one of his in New Mexico. Gary asked me to do my last one at Bear Butte, South Dakota. John, Savannah, and I went to South Dakota. Supporters even traveled that far to support. It was a great, great trip for all. Everyone got answers. When we did quests at home or somewhere else, we camped for four to eight days. Now that may not sound like fun to some of you. However, those that came, even ones that did not like to camp, were surprised at how much they received in their experience. Every person entering the land where a quest takes place learned to set ego aside as they stepped onto the land. They also learned to watch for their own answers, especially when a quest was taking place. After putting hundreds on the hills to do vision quests, I was told that it was time for me to start putting women on the hill. John also began to put men on the hill about that same time. We watched miracles take place.
Can you tell I pay attention to my dreams? I learned to follow my dreams shortly after my first husband Don died in 1979. So I look at “Did my dream relate to something I saw on television right before bed?” or “Is this a message for me?” I especially like those vivid dreams that do not relate to anything else. In looking at why I had this dream, I knew it was this Fall weather that carried me back to our experiences. I also knew that a discussion on our porch with good friends may have triggered this dream. We had a great conversation about “Killers of the Flower Moon.” It was John, myself, and three great women friends. John shared our experience when we were invited to the Gray Horse Ceremony by our friend Abe Conklin. They knew exactly the ceremony John was talking about due to how the ceremony was described in the book. They wanted to know more. John explained that Abe Conklin, an Osage Elder, had invited us to this annual Inlonshka dance. He asked us to call to confirm that we were coming. We did call Abe and Vicki to let them know that we would be there. When we arrived, we were invited to come to sit with the family. Later in the day, we were called to the center of the circle. Both of us walked to where Abe and a few others were standing. We suddenly realized that we were being brought to the center to be honored. A Pendleton blanket was wrapped around us that we were to take home following the ceremony. As part of the honor, we were allowed to remain in the center and were danced around the entire circle for all to see. Vicki helped me fix my Pendleton properly, We followed Abe and John around the entire circle. We felt ao humbled and so appreciative. Before this, Abe had taken John as a brother and me as a sister. Prior to that, Abe joined us weekly at my apartment in Norman where Gary taught the Lakota language to some of us. He also lead a blessing ceremony for our marriage in 1995.
LESSON: Pay attention to dreams. Write them down as soon as you can or they may leave and you will not remember. Evenually you will understand specific items in your dreams that are showing you something about your own life. You will understand as you watch what is unfolding in life when you have the dream. Dreams help you. Your dreams eventually will turn into prophesying dreams and that will help you in life. Look over your life. Perhaps make a timeline. Our divine source will be a partner that helps create an amazing life. I have had multiple lives in this lifetime, and I bet you also have had multiple lives. Just sit down, stare at a wall, and think about this.
My biggest gift was all of this continued to remind me of how amazing my life has been and how amazing the lives are for those reading this. We each have ups and downs, excitement and difficulties. It takes time to transform our lives into what we want when we have difficulties, but and it is worth it to do the work to get there.
A reminder to list my roles in life again and see how I want to prioritize them. What do I want to release? Also, what goal is important for next year? What do I want to draw to me?
Reminder to enjoy this beautiful weather and know it will change. Seasons change and life changes! And we can learn to have joy at the center of self through all seasons and as we move through all difficulties.