Thursday, February 28, 2013

3/1/13—Walking With Life In A Beautiful Way

Today's Draw Classic*: Wani/The Four Directions from the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards. If you died today, would you be dying without regrets about where you are now? Have you ever had a close call? If so, what did it teach you about life?

In the Lakota language, "wa" means snow and "ni" means life. When snow melts into the earth, it fuels the circle of life. Wani holds one of the most precious teachings—life is beautiful and we must learn to walk with life in a beautiful way. It asks us not to halt life in any way, but to welcome its gifts in all forms. 

Each of the four directions teaches us different lessons. Some are hard to learn, some easy. Some come in loving ways, some come in ways that shake us to our core. This card asks us to sit at the point where all four directions meet and allow all the lessons—ALL of them—to lift us up. Because this is what life is. This is what we signed on for. This is the adventure. Trust that all lessons fuel your higher purpose and if you need help, whether human or divine, ask for it. 

One of my friends had a close brush with death this week. I think this person had learned or was learning to walk with life in a beautiful way. But we can all do more, can't we? This was the last person I ever would have thought would have a life-threatening health issue. It's very eye-opening and jarring. Certainly I could be healthier. And even though I've been quit for 8 years, I realize that 26 years of smoking could be a ticking time bomb within me that could go off at any time. But it goes beyond nutrition, exercise and healthy practices. Our family history plays into it. And it also depends on how we choose to respond to the input from the four directions over the course of our lives—stress, unleashed anger and other unhealthy behaviors. It's such a complicated equation. Which is to say, it could happen to any of us at any time. In fact, another friend lost a friend recently in a car accident. Totally random. We just NEVER know. 

So, on this Friday, I ask a rather depressing question, "Are you ready to die?" And by ready to die, I don't mean are you emotionally ready to meet your maker. I mean have you learned to walk with life in a beautiful way? Are you open to—and at peace with—input from all four directions? And if you're not ready, what are you willing to do about it? Where do you hope to be when that moment comes? Personally, I'd like to be at peace with myself and life, which is tantamount to walking with life in a beautiful way. What about you?

*From 8/5/11

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