You stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" hungry for your next fix, a new dress, another pair of shoes or looks of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who pass by. Then you discover that it is truly in "giving" that we receive, and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of the giving. And you recognize the importance of "creating" and "contributing" rather than "obtaining" and "accumulating."
Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.
When you wake this morning, clear your eyes, mind, heart and soul. Stop and think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, and to enjoy your tender surroundings. Because in this moment someone is falling to their knees shattered in the pain of emptiness... Think of how truly blessed you are, you were given a chance to start a new day... Peace be with you... Love, Laugh, Respect...
What we think, we become.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.
The wise man does not lay up his own treasures.
The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.
Cree Culture: Death and Renewal/Rebirth, Redemption and Reconciliation.
I have been asked many times about what are my beliefs. In my culture (Cree) the word Death means: My people, Cree, we highly believe that it is both the living and nonliving that make up the natural world, and both are connected. We find honor in death, because it is one of the stages in the circle of life. Death does not cut off relationships between the living and the dead as both can communicate through dreams and visions. After a person has died, to help the separation process we are not allowed to cry “during the night after the fourth sun has set”.
All of the persons belonging are divided and given to members of the community. The burial ritual goes as follows: Women wash and dress the body in clean clothes, fresh moccasins are made and put onto the feet of the body, and sweet grass is placed in the right hand. Tobacco is believed to be important between the connection of body and Creator, and is buried with the body, as well as the person’s pipe, and select few personal belongings.
The casket is covered in a blanket before it is lowered into the ground. The blanket that is used to cover the casket is often the persons personal blanket or if they were married it is the marriage blanket that is used.
Sweet Grass that is used in Death Ceremony:
Many times during old days in war, a formal burial could not be performed, but my people stayed within their traditions by bringing sweetgrass into the ceremony.
We dig silent and steady, the body beside wrapped tightly in his blanket. When the hole is deep enough, we put the dead into it. I prefer the old way of placing the body high in a tree so that the soul can leave it without hindrance, but no trees sometimes would stand for miles around. We burn a little sprig of sweet grass that is carried and whisper more prayers to drift up with it. The body is covered with shovelfuls of dirt.
“When the body is no longer viable the spirit ascends into another realm.”
The universal meaning of redemption is the action of being saved or saving from sin or evil. In Cree or by the First Nations standards, this is done by using every part of an animal. First Nations, don't believe in wasting and use every part including the bones, hide, eyes, brain and guts etc. By doing this, we show respect to the spirits and to the animal which, intern pleases the spirits thus providing us with security through our religion and food supply (we believe by doing spiritual rituals it will provide us with luck for more food).
Reconciliation: The restoration of a symbolic relationship (provides advantages to both people)
We do this throughout our life to each other and the things around us.