Life Is Choice Driven!
Day 001/365: Calo’s Birthday | January 8, 2023
January 8th was Dr. Carolyn Juanita Pierce’s Birthday! Calo is my BFF4E! She’s no longer with us in our physical world but she’s very active as an Ancestor. The theme and concept of life being about choices were the backbone of Calo’s ministry teachings. So on her birthday, in celebration of my “Yellow Feather Machapunga Pow Wow Best Friend,” I pledge to choose to walk out the next 13 Moons as a Writer, STEAM Teaching Artist, Pow Wow Dancer, Land Based Fiber Artist, and Oil Painter.
Years ago I attended a Capital Entrepreneurship workshop at Penland School. One of the first assignments was to write your obituary, and creatively walk out your life forward from the end. After my near-death experience last year, I get it! We all leave something behind. I have to make the choice to walk out my life with purpose, or to sit back with Joe 6-Pack complaining and finding fault. Life isn’t fair! And, none of us get out alive. Our lives are short, fragile, and filled with disappointments. For me, hope in abundance is found in indigenous ways of doing, knowing, and interacting with “All My Relations.” The revelation of the power of Ceremony for native people came as part of my physical healing on First Nation Treaty Lands in Canada.
Three land-based indigenous ceremonies last year changed the course of the river of my life. The first was the Indigenous Arts Intensive at the University of British Columbia at Okanagan on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Syilx people. Next, was sharing space on sacred land near Athabasca, Alberta at Whispering Lodge at Thunder Rock: Two Spirit & Friends Sweat Lodge which is part of the Dancing to Eagle Spirit Society. Finally, the Indigenous Women’s Healing Circle next to the Columbia River at Spillimacheen, British Columbia in the Rocky Mountain Trench. It was at this ceremony that I learned about IFOT, Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy. This was the most healing ceremony that I’ve ever witnessed. It speaks to the core of my being and connects me with an intertribal network of women focused on healing ourselves, our communities, and our land.
Today marks an end and a new beginning. My sunset on being overwhelmed by The Blues of my life, and welcoming a sunrise of hope by sharing with the people of tomorrow.