The Home of the Brave

I was watching a show on Netflix called, The West last night with my husband. I was so full of emotions because I am North American Indian, Potawatomi and Chippewa Cree from Turtle Mountain. I have such a connection to the land and my people without ever having direct relatives teaching me the ways. I was fortunate to have a family friend that I called after my mother died that was a legendary American Indian Elder. His name was Tone-Key, pronounced "Tonkey Eye." His daughter and my mom were best friends, and as fate would have it, they died within a year of year other. When I called him, after finding his number in my mom's phone book, I just wanted to send my condolences, and I desperately needed more connection to my mom, my people, and myself. I was pregnant with my fourth child, and I woke up in the middle of the night with this profound feeling of loss. It wasn't just the loss of my mother, albeit, there is none more significant. I felt a loss of a part of myse

How does this vast spinning ball called planet earth work?

The classic dilemma of the decades. Do we wait around and hope that dreams really do come true, or do we move forward and go for the things in life we want? This is one of my biggest quandaries. I have no regrets over the times that life did not hand me the answers, so I went for them as best as I could. I never have been a wait and see kind of a gal. I am far too curious and impatient. I feel as though every stone must be unturned before I can rest. I light the candle at both ends. I exhaust every ounce that life has to offer rather than wasting any of it. I have this underlying theme that I'll miss something. And what is so wrong with that? Where is my trust? I do not have to make everything happen, and everything that needs to be done will get done. The people that I love will get their fair share of my love and attention. All the things I need to see will be seen. All the accomplishments that I desire to do and experiences will happen. Of course then my next thought is "bu


I decided after 3 years of "taking a break," in a doctoral program in Human Services with Walden to head on back to class. My first class is Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis. It is hairy, and difficult and - it is all online. With this in mind, my 19 year old daughter is in boot camp with a fractured hip, telling me, "Only 20% of the people make it through boot camp with this injury." I told her, "but that is not true for you." All the while, as I write this; I failed my first assignment in the course. I considered the fact that many people don't make it through the program. I got in my head about how, "I don't need that degree," and I second guessed myself that this going back was all a big mistake. You know, the usual. After a day of marinating in the illusions. I began to deal with the truth. It's just a paper. It's not the end of the world. Nothing is - ever. We don't really know the rest of the story. I decided to stop

I told my son, "Screw you."

I generally do not nit pick my children. I allow them to live, and move and have their being, and when they need me - I am always here for them. Even with their homework! If it doesn't get done, they fail. I learned that it is okay to allow kids to live with their mistakes. I get involved to correct them, not to punish them. The only time I boldly step in, in when they are unloving. My 16 year old son is a red headed boy, that I have gone rounds with...till one day when he was about 5 years old - I said, "I'm gonna stomp off your freckles," and we both laughed. That was it. It was over. I stopped the resistance to my parenting, and made it about his life. When I did not care about the perception, but more about the real mother and son relationship, things changed. To this day, after giving me lots of grey hair that I cover often, he is in Modeling United Nations (MUN) with his school, honors classes, football, wrestling, and into girls, oh - and rap. He doesn't

Talking to kids about Drugs

Speaking to children about drugs is as simple as speaking to them about everything. If parents are connecting to their children regularly anyway, then asking them what they know about drugs should be easy. The only time it is difficult to discuss these heavy matters is when you have been avoiding the deep subjects of life altogether. Make a special date specifically to speak with your children on these topics. Take them out for people watching, or any time together away from the home for less distractions. Being a disciplinarian is not our only parental role. Being a mentor to our young people will keep the doors of communication open, which is important because the topic of drug use should come from parents not from the outside world. When children feel heard, and when they know their opinion is respected, you will get their input. Once you discover what they know about drugs, and where they heard it, it is simple to get the facts straight together. If you really do not know the tr
1) The number one symptom revealing that you are suffering from anxiety is lack of clarity. This is the plaguing mind chatter that includes second guessing yourself, (and everyone else), being forgetful, and the overall lack luster of life that weighs down your body and mind is - anxiety. The things you used to live for, can now be easily blown off to crawl into bed. When isolation seems like a good idea, perhaps the symptoms are not just from a long week, or year, but perhaps even years of the drain that stress has taken. Even if we are overall fairly healthy, our emotions will take the toll on our physical body. When your "get up and go, must have got up and went," as Aerosmith puts it succinctly, it must be looked at much more closely than fatigue. We could all do well listen to our bodies, hearts and souls. 2) What is the difference between fatigue and stress symptoms? Fatigue is easily overcome with a few good nights rest, and replenishment. Anxiety is a perptual feeli

What do I contribute?

I was asked by my client this week, "If you were to die tomorrow, would you consider yourself successful?" I really struggled with that question. He further prompted, "I know a counselor that asked me to do an assignment of the Top 100 Things I want to do in life List. It really helped me to get more clear on life." I was given my own Good Medicine! I began to think, write and discuss this notion of success; and here is what I came up with: Yes, I am successful. My idea of success is bleeding every drop from life that I possibly can. The cool new concept of success that I have stumbled upon of late, is that acceptance is also very peace giving. I have peace that I did the best I could, except when I don't, "cause sometimes you won't," to quote Dr. Seuss. Some are given a golden spoon, and their ability to be successful in the world's eyes is easier. They have access to nurturing parents, exceptional educations, and a stellar sphere of influen