22 years ago I was teaching School Health Education in the Syracuse City School District. The district graciously sent me "home" to a week long health conference at St. Lawrence University, Canton. I attended an amazing workshop presented by Ed McGaa, Eagle Man, Sioux Tribal Leader and purchased both of his books.
Now this was not my 1st experience with Native American culture; growing up 20 minutes from the Mohawk Nation and involved with the local lacrosse team, I was exposed to and aware of Native culture and philosophy. But honestly, traditional Native American spirituality is not something that was shared openly.
Over the past 22 years I have read many books by great Native American writers, healers, and visionaries. My latest book by Ehanamani, Dr. A.C. Ross, member of the Dakota Nation - Sioux Native Americans is titled "Mitakuye Oyasin." In this book, Ehanamani introduces me to the Native American principle of the Red Road.
The Red Road is a mind set, a way of thinking that carries one through their day's decisions. It is a way to make the best decision for you and the greater good, right now in this moment, without having that decision be the only choice you have for the rest of your life.
Let me give you an example:
- Someone offers me a large chunk of gooey dessert. My Red Road decision looks like this: "Not now, not today, this is not best for my health." Now this does not mean I can't decide tomorrow to have a gooey hunk of dessert. It just means that right now I am going to make the best decision for my health, for my higher self, for the greater good.
Taking the Red Road path in life gives you the emotional / spiritual comfort of not crossing out the possibility forever.
We have all done this sort of lifestyle planning... "I am not going to"
- eat desserts ever again
- drink alcohol ever again
- eat pasta and bread ever again...
Then maybe 2 days or 2 weeks into our "not going to" lifestyle plan we have gooey desserts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Taking the Red Road path in life spares the feeling of deprivation. It is a choice to do the best right now, in this moment.
I find that all paths of spiritual growth and transformation work on this same principle of mindfulness and choosing to do what is best for our personal growth or higher self. I have practiced yoga daily for 16 years and yoga teachings us, through practice, to make healing choices without our feeling deprived. A post I wrote in 2013 delves deeper into this Red Road perk of yoga: Why I Love Yoga And Other Thoughts On Whole Food, Whole Health Healing
We can also compare Red Road and yoga to other spiritual teachings: Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Reiki... any deep and true spiritual teachings.
Open the door to new possibilities, take the first step on your personal Red Road Path... a lifestyle that supports health and healing.
If I can be a helpful part of your health repair plan, give me a shout! Happy Spring.