Obtaining a positive life to find peace, love, and happiness means to Ojibwe to look within our own spirit. The Ojibwe people are a large Native American tribe located in North America, scattered throughout the Great Lakes Region of the United States. Although it took some time before these natives were recognized as a tribe by Europeans, their part in history and presence today can still widely be seen in Minnesota. Now there are Ojibwe living all throughout the United States and Canada. This large-numbered, wide-reaching tribe has been known under a number of names and spellings, ranging from the now more accepted 'Ojibwe' to Ojibwa, Ojibway, and the Chippewa.
We need to evaluate our mind, body, and spirit throughout our life. Our tribes have been through hardships for centuries. These long sufferings from the time of our ancestors affect our current daily lives. Ojibwe lifestyle means keeping sacred traditions to preserve a good spirit that will carry on to our children and their children. At times this can be difficult because others may question some of the primitive traditions we still practice to this day. I enjoy my traditions within my tribe. I appreciate all the natural elements that make up our culture. "To Embrace Your Culture Is To Know Oneself" -Ayasha
Courage is looking into our own spirit first. It's learning to put bad feelings aside to find peace so that you can be an example for others. Reminding yourself each day what to be grateful for as well as thanking the Creator are things that help me keep in positive balance. Don't get me wrong though, there are bad days that I have as well. Life is filled with many struggles, sufferings, and negativity. It can be too easy to allow the negative vibe to affect you. This is why it is necessary to embrace the positive elements of your culture and inner spirit. Staying occupied within your culture can be very helpful for maintaining a positive lifestyle.
Ojibwe people have been using sage for prayer for centuries. Prayer is important for us. Prayer helps keep us humbled, balanced, and positive. Before you do anything in the day it is important to smudge each morning to give thanks to the Creator for a new day. Smudging your eyes means the craving to see good things, when you smudge your ears it's because you want to only hear positive things, smudging your mouth encourages you to speak of only good things and smudging the heart means you want to speak with the heart. Smudging ahead of you means you want to have a positive journey ahead of you. In my tribe, the Ojibwe we use sweetgrass, sage, tobacco, and cedar to smudge.
The beat of the drums, the sound of the jingle bells, the smell of the burning sage, and the sight of the beautiful eagle feathers dancing together in unity within the circle make my life all worth knowing my culture. There is a peace that lies beneath the feet of a Native American while dancing in the circle. A peace I am honored to be part of. It's a fabulous feeling to be dancing on these soils on one side of the United States (California) while my family is in the circle over in Michigan as well enjoying our lifestyle and carrying on our traditional culture.
At times when the negative pulls me down, I am able to revive my spirit my going to the Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite. It reminds me of the woodlands back home in Michigan. The fresh, clean smell of air bouncing off the morning dew into the trees and plants.
The plentiful trees, variety of meadows painted by the Creator with flowers, and the beautiful animals playing around in the woods with their new babies. My favorite time to go is in late June to July. It is then the bear is likely to visit with me. Bear in my language is called makwa. Gego beshwaji'aaken awe makwa; onzaam naniizaanizi (Don't get friendly with the bear. He's too dangerous). Bear is medicine
The use of plants and animals for food, clothing, and other things used by my tribe is a constant reminder of the interconnectedness with nature. We appreciate what is given to us by nature. Our first teachings begin with respect for nature. We must respect the earth we came from with all it has to offer us in order for us to learn to respect ourselves so we can then go on to respect others as well. In order to achieve this great respect, we must Empower Cultural Connection by accepting cultural differences while educating others on the existence of our culture.
The power of "positive thinking is in your hands. What you do with it each day is determined ultimately by your actions. Each morning sets the tone for each day. Waking up with a positive mind affects the entire day. I take pride each day waking up and saging to begin a day of peace and happiness. Focus your every day on the good not the bad. If you are feeling as if there is nothing but negative to focus on taking the time to read some funny humorous jokes, watch a comedy, or create something. Being creative reinforces positive vibes. Don't think of disappointments or failed attempts as a negative in life. Instead, use them for lessons in life to reevaluate the situation the mistakes to prevent them from happening again. Everyone makes mistakes in life. Without mistakes, we would never be able to learn. If you don't eliminate the negative in life it can consume your whole life and take over your way of thinking, reactions to others, and negatively dictate the outcomes of situations. Free your mind of over worrying. The stress of worrying can cause health issues, mental issues, and communication issues.
If you are looking for ways to obtain a positive lifestyle begin by using these tips first:
- Involve yourself fully in your own culture so you can embrace your traditional roots and be certain of your own identity
- Be willing to learn all of the base foundational elements which your culture has to offer
- Participate in family events with your direct family members as well as in-laws
- Develop new friendships with a circle of friends who are trustable, share the same interests, and/or take an interest in connecting with you culturally so that can respect you for whom you are
- Engage in activities within the community that interest you and your circle of family and friends
- Increase a positive mind clearing all negative thoughts from your mind
- Avoid listening to negative thoughts or other forms of negative influences. When you surround yourself with positive people the positive energy contributions from others feeds your spirit with good vibes.
- Avoid speaking negative or poor mannered about others. If others around you speak in this way dismiss yourself from the conversation.
- Enjoy traveling and vacationing to places you enjoy the most