Look around you. Look at your community, your town, your city, state and country. Look at the world itself. Look at our media, our politics, our businesses, our culture. Everywhere, people act as if they are separate, alone. Everywhere, people think and behave in ways that cause needless suffering, further division and reckless destruction. As you see all the cruelty, arrogance and suffering, you may want to withdraw from the people or situations around you, but there is another way to live, work and be.
Remembering Who We Are
As our thoughts and minds fill to bursting with more reasons to separate from perceived ‘otherness’ all around us in life, at home and at work, we can take a deep breath, open our hearts, and remember that we all come from indigenous ancestry. Each of us, regardless of skin color, can trace back our roots to the earliest of our human ancestors. Our people once lived close to the land, depending on the earth’s cycles and seasons for their very survival. From this shared truth, we can begin to imagine ourselves as ONE race: the human race, in all our beautiful presentations. In fact, we can imagine ourselves as one with the earth and all its creatures.
Indigenous elders around the world draw a circle in the air while explaining this wisdom: ‘To live as a whole human being is to live in balance, understanding our connection to people, to earth and to spirit. To hurt one of these is to hurt all of these. To love one of these is to love all of these. Everyone and everything has a place in this circle. This is true abundance — the intimate interconnection of all life.’
This is what it means to live as a whole human being, understanding the joy and responsibility of living in harmony with all beings, knowing that we are all connected, we are all one. When we let all of those connections in, our hearts are healed. When we allow our healed hearts to guide our behavior, our lives find a deeper meaning.
The Four Gifts
To more deeply consider this work of our hearts, we can draw on Mohican Don Coyhis’ vision of a sacred hoop surrounded by one hundred eagle feathers. In 1994, this Eagle Hoop Prophecy came into our world in a ceremony where revered indigenous elders from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas joined together to offer four gifts to humankind that they believe we all need to receive in order to do the sacred work of remembering our oneness.
1. The first gift is the power to forgive the unforgivable,
2. The second gift is the power to heal,
3. The third gift is the power of unity,
4. The fourth gift is the power of hope.
These four gifts are our inheritance, our joy and responsibility as human beings. Each calls on us to deepen our connection to all of our relations, all of creation. As we embrace these gifts and wisdom, we illuminate our true purpose, heal our past, deepen our relationships, and we become a powerful source of inspiration and leadership for the well-being of the earth and all humankind. This is the story of a coming springtime after a long winter; this is our path to individual wholeness, and harmony and connection with the earth.