celebrating the end of a decade and welcoming in the new w a revived view.
today is my born day. 50 years on this earthly plane and wow. for the last year and half, i been thinking of all the things i’ve said and done. not to mention things i wished i had said or done.
lamenting has a way of bringing me up when im down and this is the day i been waiting to upload this post which i started back in Sept and been editing monthly.
the realest form of self actualization came to me as forgiveness and i’m here for all of it. while this isn’t an exhaustive list, they’re life lessons we could all use a time or two.
turning a half century has me looking forward like i never had before, and looking back on where i come from. i like who i am and have become. it hasn’t always been easy, but today, i do.
i mean what’s been happening on my memory recall is a lot of love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, humility, reflections, and more forgiveness. i learned some big lessons in life and in order to forgive others, i first had to forgive myself.
it’s taken me a long, long, looong time to get to this place in life. as i look back in reflection, there was a time when i didn’t think forgiveness was possible. it is. it just takes time and believe me when i tell you, it is entirely possible.
in fact, forgiveness is not impossible. today i celebrate me, myself, and i and have never under-over- or innerstand forgiveness more than i do today.
the last 49 years of life has taught me forgiveness is more beautiful than bitterness, holding grudges, and never letting stuff go.
for the life of me, i get it.
like, for real-for real. i get it.
forgiveness is not only liberation it is compassion and understanding wrapped up in one pretty little package, just waiting for you to receive with an open heart.
forgiveness has given me a sense of rejuvenation hence my use of revived. as i look back, i want to honor the last ten years and embrace, thank, and express my gratitude for the life lessons. whether in life or love, forgiveness is what helped me see what was needed for my own healing.
the last ten years has taught me through family values and kinship systems that life is worth living and has revealed more to me than i really understood. i read through my FB memories and enjoy seeing photos and yet in the same scroll will see/read posts that make me cringe.
like, seriously, wtf? who i was and how i viewed the world was so different and that’s when i send up my thanks and gratitude for being able to see another day. i have literally had my life extended more than once and i thank the holy people, my creator, and weyekin way who chose me. words can not explain the depth and breadth of what i feel.
i have learned and lived firsthand what sisterhood is and that forgiveness was my liberation. embracing my flaws and accepting i can only control my response to situations has taken me longer to accept and practice.
sisterhood is a sacred bond old as time and goes back to the first ever woman. the mitochondria of female essence.
for starters, i am still processing the loss of some great women writers. when i started this draft a couple months ago, it was for all intent and purposes of sharing what it feels like to be an Indigenist feminist. i included bell hooks who taught me the patriarchy would never love women, and for that very reason, sisterhood is medicine.
sisterhood is soul food. i need it just as much as my sisters. aunty bell left a legacy of wisdom i will never forget, esp for her sacrifices.
they say wisdom comes with age and i been thinking about what life has taught me. if i could leave something for my kids and the youth here is a list of some things life has taught me over the years.
as i lay here writing out my dreams for this birthday, i’m preparing a list of new goals and how i hope to spend the next half of my life.
the first quarter was spent being grounded in Diné matriarchy, or molded as my grandmother shaped me for life. the second quarter was spent in Nimiipuu weyekin ways. i know who i am and where im going.
looking forward, here’s a list of 50 things i learned on this spherical rock we all call Mother Earth. i was inspired by The Captain who totally serves truth on a platter. as an Indigenous matriarch, i could not let this list go without adding to it using some Indigenous knowledge systems, so here it goes:
1) Lauren Hill said it best, “how you gon’ win if you ain’t right within?” what this taught me is, your relationship with yourself will make or break your relationship with everyone else. so, please, take care of your inner self and try to get to a sweat and cleanse that spirit, the rest will follow suit.
2) no plan is perfect and nothing perfect can be planned. perfect doesn’t exist and if you think it does, i’m sorry someone lied to you and made you think it exists. your perfection isn’t perfect and the creator isn’t going to trip.
3) the things we tell ourselves are oftentimes the reasons we miss out. so remember when you hear or see ‘The End’ it also means you get to start over and rewrite another story. for Indigenous ppl, stories don’t really end, they have lessons and meanings to them. and for that reason, keep on moving like Soul II Soul sang.
4) being a parent is a lot like taking care of a garden: you want to plant seeds that are healthy, nurture, care for and raise (someone), fruits, or veggies that aren’t gross or rude and disrespectful. Indigenous ppl have always worked to help create good relatives we can all be proud of.
5) resistance to change is an invitation for pain, so please, ain’t no future in your frontin. change is inevitable and no use stayin’ stuck on stupid and repeating the same ol’song and dance my friend.
6) a lot of good can come from being misunderstood. in fact, i personally think being misunderstood is a blessing cuz it weeds out the riff raff. let them misunderstand you all day everyday and move in silence.
7) until you’re ready to show up for you, you’ll continue to mess things up for yourself and blame others for your bs. this is on life. there is no doubt that self sabotage can look like always looking for something else as if the grass is greener on the other side. or if only a, b, c was x, y, z. unlearn that bs. the grass is green where you water and nurture it, be healthy inside and stop perpetuating and deflecting your issues.
8) division is a mathematical solution, not a human one. so if there is any type of drama there is always a common denominator. and if you don’t find one, it’s you. so check yourself before you wreck yourself and learn to accept that sometimes you are the actually the toxic person and need to unlearn that bs too.
9) leopard print goes with anything esp black and blue jeans (my personal fave is Jaguar). so please, go’on witchur bad self and be the cats meow. buy yourself that animal print and be something sexy and fierce if you dare.
10) when you’re straightforward, your life tends to keep moving forward. don’t move sideways or sit too long on the fence, less you want to miss another opportunity. always keep things moving properly.
11) how you handle failure is more important than how you got there. fall down 8, get back up 9. learning healthy coping mechanisms is critical to this life plane man. and life lessons will keep popping up until you get to the root of the problem.
12) love without boundaries isn’t love, it’s delusion. create them so that ppl don’t get comfortable disrespecting you. each one teach one.
13) poor communication is the cause of most problems. silent treatment is stonewalling and reveals a persons inability or unwillingness to communicate. express yourself and learn how to forgive ppl because those ppl who never learned how to communicate will try you. it’s impt to learn how to accept that apology you will never receive.
14) the past will kill you if you let it define you. so let it go and forgive yourself first so you can forgive those who transgressed against you. once you reach forgiveness, life is much more peaceful. member how this blog post began? this is the biggest life lesson of y’all.
15) always read between the lines and find something new to learn and feed that brain. it will help in the long run. remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.
16) gossip is deadly and poisonous. your tongue can hurt someone deadly, so be responsible with your words. rumor mongering is gossip and drama worship. besides what does the gossiping really say about the individual, let them snakes be.
17) just cuz you have 10K plus followers does not mean you are popular. it just means 10K ppl are following you and it does not = personal importance. learn and know your purpose because that’s where you will find your gift and talent.
18) when you feel uncomfortable, go within and dig deeper. allow yourself to feel what comes through and honor every emotion. this can be a challenge so remember to be kind to yourself too.
19) the truth will always protect you. admit when you’re wrong and accept that you won’t always be right. unless you’re a disgusting self absorbed narcissist who blames ppl for every thing.
20) my favorite hunter is Jim Shockey and he recently shared that hippos kill over 3,000 people a year. smh, who knew?!? so whatever you do, don’t get killed by a hippo.
21) tragedies and heartbreaks happen. although it might not feel like it when it’s happening, but when you’re going through the most, it can offer clarity. so wipe those tears doll and get back up. like Bob shared, everything’s gonna be alright.
22) being at the top doesn’t mean you’re the top. it means somebody helped you get there and always say “Thank you.”
23) ladies, please know that Mean Girls is not a good look and that high school mentality is something most people never graduate from. so please, drink that act right juice and behave.
24) real friends don’t make assumptions; they make time for discussions and are always ready to pick up where you all left off without making you feel bad for intermittent space and time. this is a golden rule to live by.
25) money is nice to have, in fact make that cheddar, but also know that non-monetary self-worth is much better in the long haul. it’s all about self worth.
26) time management is critical to long term happiness. seriously, it allows for you to enjoy your time wherever you are when you need a break, or need to get to that meeting. and remember, enjoyment woven in with rest and relaxation, when the time comes to go on a baecay w your love should be time well spent and planned out accordingly.
27) get to know another culture through their foods. i promise, not only will you learn something new, you will appreciate your own culture and every meal you have will taste better.
28) everyone’s got an opinion and an @$$%^* so don’t let the opinions of what ppl think of you become definitions of who you are without your permission. this is right up there with letting someone live rent free in your head, you better don’t.
29) your surroundings can affect you, so choose your company carefully and remember if you choose some sucker crew, you let them defeat you, so you better don’t again.
30) breathe in fresh air as often as you can. as Indigenous ppl we have a relationship w the land that is as ancient as those Egyptian papyrus scrolls. getting out on the land is a spiritual way of working out any darkness and sheds light w Hozho.
31) emotional intelligence is far more important than thinking you’re intelligent yet lack emotion. want to know a life hack? listen to good music. stop listening to broken down country music and *rewire yourself. forgive others and allow yourself to feel new music. you can feel music and experience emotions. hence, growing emotionally intelligence.
32) self-respect is your self-assigned reputation. so remember to always carry yourself with respect and dignity. no matter wtf anyone says to you, La dignidad is a life hack.
33) there’s power in everything you think. so remember to think positive. while i’m not all positive flow and glow, i learned to allow the negative to coexist. at the end of the day it is all about balance baby, balance.
34) as Indigenous ppl remember to honor the four legged. animals are spirit helpers. when you see a particular one, it is a god sighting and they can bring out hope and blessings. they can show us the creator’s omnipotence and the importance of trusting in signs.
35) ladies and gentlemen, after a certain age, GF becomes some kinda way. and after today, i’m too old to be called a “girlfriend”, instead i’m my partners lady.
36) when in company of good ppl, make note of the nuance and conversation. you will learn about the many ways ppl communicate. everyone has their own style and flavor. keep it classy and always leave a nice tip.
37) learn to listen without saying anything. this is easier said than done and im still practicing how to not say a damn thing when someone’s telling me something. it happens.
38) in a world of social media, do your best to live a private life and keep what you love sacred. social media is extractive and ppl can ruin things. if you love someone, protect them from invasive noisey mfn natures.
39) remember to take breaks. take some time off from the daily hustle and bustle cuz it can wear on you. taking time for yourself is a great way to enact self care. somedays you just need to sleep in and get an extra hour of rest.
40) stay in touch with family. let them know you care and never be too proud to reach out. although if you are estranged, and your family member is toxic, practice discernment and learn to love them from a distance.
41) use your manners. open and hold doors open for everyone, esp your elders, women, children, and the FedEx/UPS curriers. did i say to tip well too? well you should, it’s good manners.
42) goes along w 41. so don’t believe the hype about chivalry being dead. no, it is not. chivalry is still very much alive and in the Indian way, y’all always suppose to behave like grandma is right by your side.
43) remember to tell ppl you love that you love them. COVID-19 taught me for real that we are never promised tomorrow and today counts more than anything.
44) i know i said this earlier, but this one is for real. get out on the land as often as you can and commune with Mother Earth. feel the sun shining on your face and the ways a cool breeze can calm you.
45) learn to listen to water. listening to water is calming and healing. in Indigenous ways of knowing aka Tribal Ecological Knowledge, water is life.
46) always assume the best and smile, big brother is watching.
47) learning how to be trauma informed esp when working in Indigenous communities is a love language.
48) music is healing. it can trigger emotions and nostalgia so cherish the good memories. more importantly, listen to old ceremonial songs. your spirit will be fed and the spiritual strength of a song will help you grow.
49) be yourself. there’s more to this as each day goes by, but an authentic person is much more better to be around than a fake and fraud. be honest and never forget where you come from.
50) never give up on yourself or your dreams. keep going and growing and make today the best day you can have. leave ppl, things, and places better than how you found them.
with that being shared, ladies and gentlemen, here’s to my 50th and more gorgeous nights out, beautiful treks out onto the land, more loving kindness, and continued prayers for my children and beloved relatives i hold near and dear to my heart.