O Canada

 

 

 

Treaty 7

 

Kainaiwa - Blood Tribe
Kainaiwa

Piikani
Piikani

Siksika

Siksika Na.

 


2nd Moon of Happiness

Key: Self-Knowledge

"He who knows others is learned; He who knows himself is wise."
---Lao-Tzu, Tao-te Ching

"The one self-knowledge worth having is to know one's own mind."
---F. H. Bradley (1846-1924), English philosopher

Rule

The pursuit of happiness must begin and end with self-knowledge. "Know thyself", inscribed on the ancient Greek temple of Apollo, has been a guiding maxim of western civilization. Eastern wisdom from Confucius to Zen Buddhism valued self-understanding as a key to enlightenment. To lead a successful life we must know who we are--what values, beliefs and goals we hold.

Presumably we must have reasonably accurate information about ourselves to deal effectively with other people and to regulate ourselves. We must also know something about our deficiencies in order to grow.

Sigmund Freud believed that replacing impulses and blind desires with self-knowledge would increase emotional health. Aaron Beck, founder of cognitive therapy, more recently defined mental health in terms of correct thinking about the self and others which is free of distortion or errors in reasoning. The consistent belief in the importance of self-knowledge has been echoed by business consultants such as psychologist Robert Staub who believes that lack of self-awareness is the Number 1 cause of failure. The ability to see yourself clearly and to walk in another person's shoes to see their viewpoint is the key to success. 

Anne Busquet had been general manager of American Express' Optima Card unit until it was discovered that five of her 2000 employees had hidden $24 million in losses. She was viewed as an intimidating perfectionist who may have instilled so much fear in her subordinates that they stopped reporting bad news to her. Instead of collapsing after losing this job, she decided to attempt a comeback in a smaller American Express division. The first move in her new position was to examine herself more closely. She became a more patient and better listener who encouraged open communication about all news--good and bad (Source: Fortune Magazine, May 1, 1995).

What does psychological research have to say about the role of self- knowledge and happiness. Surprisingly, relatively little direct information is available. As you will see below, 1000's of studies have examined self- esteem, but this deals with how much you like yourself, not how well you know yourself. Psychologists have also studied self-assertion, self- consistency, self-actualization, self-efficacy and so on. But with rare expectations, self-knowledge per se has not been a central focus. Consequently, our knowledge about its important to happiness is not yet clearly established. Until proven otherwise, we consider self-knowledge as the starting point in the pursuit of happiness.

 

Rule

Key: Self-Esteem

"So much is a man worth as he esteems himself."  

---Francois Rabelais (1495-1553), French poet

Like Yourself--and Others Will Too *, the title of a recent book on self-esteem by Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D., puts the issue in simple and direct terms. Since 1990, over four thousand scholarly articles per year have examined the sources of self-esteem. A University of Michigan study of well-being in America found that general life satisfaction was most related to satisfaction with one's self--not with family life, friendships, or income. When self-esteem is threatened, people behave in a more hostile and defensive manner (Myers, 1992). 

With positive self-esteem, it would seem, the sky is the limit. Often people exceed the limit as they reach to find good things about themselves. Psychological research has discovered that healthy people tend to protect their self-esteem by inflating their view of themselves beyond what is statistically possible. Most people, for example, rate themselves as 'above average' in physical attractiveness and over 90% of business managers and college professors rated their performance as superior to their peers! In fact, those people who are too accurate about their flaws may have a greater likelihood of becoming depressed. 

People entering psychotherapy typically report low self-esteem and a major goal of therapy is to improve self-image. We must certainly learn to like ourselves and it couldn't hurt to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt about positive qualities. But remember that over emphasis on self-esteem can lead to the dangers of self-love. Consider Benjamin Franklin's warning that "He that falls in love with himself, will have no rivals. The truth can hurt and self-knowledge often comes at the price of short term pain. Self-esteem may too often be purchased by costly self-deception. Our recommendation: Balance self- liking with a healthy dose of self-knowledge.

 

Rule

The Second Cycle of The Moon!

(From
Wokini' by Billy Mills)

Appreciate What Life Has Given Me

 

The Second stick needed to fuel the Fire of Happiness!

I will be happy because I appreciate what life has given me.

As I sit and wonder about the beauty of life, I come to the belief that I am pleased with all that life has given me. Although I have not received everything I have wanted, I do not feel sadness, because it makes me love the thing I have much more. If I had perfect health, would I appreciate a challenging walk? If I was incredibly beautiful, would I appreciate someone who thought I was attractive? If I had immense wealth, would I appreciate a gift given to me by a friend? No, I know it would be impossible. Because I know and accept this truth, I am able to understand why I have not been given everything I want. I am Apis-To-Too-Ki's special child. Apis-To-Too-Ki knows I am strong enough not to think of what I don't have, but to appreciate what I do have. Thank you, Apis-To-Too-Ki , for having faith in me.

I will appreciate what life has given me.

Instead of dwelling on what I do not have, today I will think of my mind and all it offers. It is the power of my mind that separates me from the animals and all others in the world. With it I can think of beauty and love. I can think of peace and fulfillment. What else can I do with my mind? Anything! I can fly like an eagle or run like a wolf. In my dreams, I never go hungry or grow tired. There are no bounds to my world, no limits to what I can accomplish. How I love this aspect of my life!

I will appreciate what life has given me.

I know it is my nature to want more than I will ever receive. It is part of my soul and separates me from other creatures. It is a strength I can use to better my life. I know there is nothing wrong with desires, dreams, ambitions or wants because they fuel a fire which burns in me. Yet, deep down, I realize that none of the things I want in life can make me happy. Instead, to be happy, I must think of how many wonderful things I have now, at the present time. I must think that life itself is so incredibly special that I must not waste a minute dwelling on negative things. I must know that I am special, that all life is special, and that I am able to enjoy it now. I must know that I can be happy if none of my dreams come true, because all happiness takes is an appreciation of life.

I will appreciate what life has given me.

I know that happiness is both the beginning and end of my journey in life. I know that I must be happy in order to reach my goals, because negative thoughts would stop me long before I reached them. Yet, why do I have goals which I try to reach? So I can be happy! Happiness is a circular journey, one in which my end is my beginning. What does this mean? It means that I can feel good about myself whether or not I reach my goal. It means I don't need a reason to be happy. It means I can be happy all the time. These simple thoughts are enough to make me appreciate my life now.

I will appreciate what life has given me.

I have so many wonderful things. What do I have? I have life. I have an ability to love. I can think. I can dream. I can hope. I can pray. I can feel. I can breathe. I can smell. I can see. I can walk. I can talk. I can help. I can be happy. Only I can do these things for me. And if there are some things I cannot do or do not have, it doesn't matter, because I have the most precious gift of all. I have myself and no one can ever take it from me.

I will appreciate what life has given me.

I will adjust to life accordingly. Life has given me so much that I don't need anything else. I know I can be happy because of this fact. I will adjust positively to the bad things that happen to me and be happy because of it. I will not expect all my goals or dreams to come true, but I will be happy! Others may have more things than I, but I will be happy! Others may be more attractive, but I will be happy! And why will I be happy? Because I know and appreciate what life has given me. I am happy because I want to be happy, and to honor myself I will be happy. Like a circle. The end and the beginning. Happiness. Thank you, life, for all you have given me.

 

Rule

 

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