O Canada

 

 

 

Treaty 7

 

Kainaiwa - Blood Tribe
Kainaiwa

Piikani
Piikani

Siksika

Siksika Na.

 


6th Moon of Happiness

Key: Balanced Living - "Nothing in excess"

---Delphic Oracle

"Step not beyond the center of the balance."

---Pythagoras

Rule

Positive self-esteem is clearly one key to happiness. But we observed in earlier lessons that a focus on self-liking must also be accompanied by a healthy dose of self-knowledge. This can make us aware of faults or deficiencies which temper our self-love. Is this good or bad? If a person's self-esteem is low, the first step is to find ways of elevating it. A person who views herself as less worthy or attractive than she really is needs to first enhance her positive view to bring it to a normal level. But should her self-esteem rise to a 100% level of positivity? Most people recognize that a person who can only find good things to say about themselves would be an unrealistic and annoying figure. Also, perfection in the self-image would leave no room for personal growth. Clearly, self- esteem must be a balance of positive thoughts and feelings about the self tempered with enough negatives to stay in touch with reality and direct self-growth. Perhaps an 80-20 positive-negative balance would be healthier than a 100 positive self-image. Even pursuing self-knowledge can lead to an excessive preoccupation with the self. Well intended truth seekers or people seeking relief from personal distress sometimes get trapped into endless self-exploration. Spiritual paths to happiness hold that the goal of self-knowledge is to allow a person to get beyond themselves and into the world of action and helping others. But many people find they go to the extreme and end up as frustrated "people pleasers" who lose sight of their own needs. An optimal self-other balance must give sufficient attention to the self with as much giving to others as possible.

This illustrates a universal law of nature that must be obeyed in the pursuit of happiness: Life requires a dynamic balance of opposing forces. We see this in the need to maintain a precise balance of elements in the earth's atmosphere or in the human need to have oxygen and carbon dioxide delicately balanced in the bloodstream. Even small shifts in the oxygen- carbon dioxide balance in humans can cause anxiety, dizziness, fainting, and ultimately death.

Throughout history, both Eastern and Western medicine has defined health as a balance and illness as an imbalance. Ancient physicians believed that an imbalance in vaguely defined "body humors" caused depression and other disorders; today's scientists have shown that specific chemical imbalances in the brain's neurotransmitters do in fact relate to emotional problems. An interesting study of 350,000 men on the controversial cholesterol question found either abnormally high or low levels of cholesterol were more likely to cause death. Moderation or balance in cholesterol was healthier. So balance within physical nature, the human body and the brain are fundamental requirements of existence. Perhaps we should be less surprised with the intriguing discovery that balance is also the rule with in the human mind. Psychologist Jack Adams- Webber and mathematician Vladimir Lefebvre has shown that the mind has an internal self-regulatory system which maintains extremely precise balances of positive and negative thoughts and emotions. This is not very different from the idea that we have feedback systems to make sure our body temperature stays close to 98.6 degrees. If a normal person gets too sad, he will try to find a way to find more cheer; if he gets too happy, someone may tell him to settle down. Extremes of mood are avoided. This is consistent with psychologist Ed Diener's finding that well-being is associated with frequent moderately positive experiences,not with intense positive highs. Extreme positive moods were followed by lows which washed out happiness whereas steady, moderate pleasures sustained well- being over time.

Some scientific research on balance, illness and health conducted with a team of distinguished collaborators at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has supported this idea. They found that anxious or depressed people have imbalanced states of mind consisting of about 30%-40% positive thoughts and feelings. That means for every 10 thoughts, a depressed person would have only 3 or so positive ones.

Healthy people and patients successfully treated with either therapy or antidepressant medication had balanced states of mind of about 70% to 80% positivity. For every 10 thoughts or feelings in the normal mind, about 7 to 8 are positive,a healthy or optimal balance. This research has been so precise in even identifying differences between normal and optimal states that we feel we have measured something similar to "mental temperature." There soon will be offered simple and quick ways that you can take your mental or emotional temperature to find out if you are in an imbalanced, normal or optimal state of mind,a scientific answer to the question "How's your positive mental attitude?"

Although more difficult to measure, a happy life is one that maintains a dynamic and harmonious balance. Popular books such as LIFE BALANCE by Linda and Richard Eyre guide people to find a healthy balance between work, family and self, between structure and spontaneity, and between achievement striving and relationships with others. Less well-known but worth exploring is Ascent to Harmony, a classic work on harmonious balance from a Kabbalistic perspective by the distinguished French Rabbi Elie Munk. "This great ideal that gives beauty and meaning to creation is not perfection, but harmony...It is the very purpose of life, for it is man's mission to harmonize the threads of his being, his talents, his thoughts, his actions, and his emotions so that he will be in harmony with God's creation" (Munk, 1987, vii). Ultimate happiness, according to Munk, comes from unifying and balancing the seemingly opposite forces that create tension in life such as flesh and spirit, justice and love, reason and faith. Love, the great unifying force, is the key to achieving harmony.

In this age of excess, we may do well to harken back to the cardinal virtue of temperance, moderation in all things. Now science supports it.

 

Rule

The Sixth Cycle of The Moon!

(From Wokini' by Billy Mills)

ADJUST TO LIFE ACCORDINGLY

The Sixth Stick Needed to Fuel the Fire of Happiness

 

I will be happy because I adjust to life accordingly.

I know that everything I desire will not come true for me. Many times things that I desire and things that happen to me are beyond my control. It is the way of Mother Earth, it is the way it has always been, it is the way it will always be. Why has the world been created this way? Why would Api-Sto-To-Ki make such a place? Is it because He desires me to be unhappy? No, I know it is not. That is not Api-Sto-To-Ki 's way. Api-Sto-To-Ki wants me to be happy and it is my duty to be happy to honor Him. Why then does it sometimes seem so difficult? Why do so many problems seem to confront me, thwarting my progress? I believe I know the answer.

It is because I share this world with others.

I share it with nature, I share it with people, I share it with creatures whom Api-Sto-To-Ki has blessed. This is not my world; I am borrowing it from my descendants, I am borrowing it from Api-Sto-To-Ki ; I am borrowing it from all those who exist with me. And because all things share this world with others that have the same claim to its resources, I cannot control everything that happens to me. If a disease kills all the wheat in the world, there is nothing I can do to make bread. If man owns all the cows in the world and will not share, there nothing I can do to have beef. There are things beyond my control, yet I know and believe that Api-Sto-To-Ki had purpose when he designed the world. What then is this purpose? And why did He do it? These two questions have plagued man for centuries, but has an answer been found? Yes. I know the answer when I look into my heart and soul. I know His purpose. His purpose was to make me strong by adjusting positively to the things that happen to me in life.

What does this mean to me? It means everything! It means that I do not have to receive everything I want to be happy because I will be strong enough to adjust to life without it. It means my happiness is up to me,it depends not on what happens but instead on how I perceive and adjust to the problem. I know and believe that I can make the best out of any situation because making the best of it is completely up to me.

How happy I am because I know nothing will be able to get me down! If something happens, I will make something good come of it. If life gives me something unexpected, I can make a single adjustment and something great will happen instead. I can be happy because I know this truth.

I will adjust to life accordingly.

I now know how to lead my life. I know how to be happy with each and every breath I take. It is so simple to do! I simply must adjust to anything that goes wrong with a happy attitude! I know and believe from the depths of my heart that Api-Sto-To-Ki would never give me a problem so large that I cannot handle it. It is not His way. I have the strength of my forefathers in my soul to help me adjust, I have the wisdom of Tunkasila to lead me to the truth. Thank you Api-Sto-To-Ki , for giving me this knowledge and strength. I will adjust and be happy to honor You.

I will not worry when a problem confronts me, because I will either solve the problem or adjust happily to it. I will not despair when I have lost something of value, because I know I will either find it or learn to live happily without it. I will not feel anger when others try to defeat me, because I know I will be able to be happy whether I lose or not. I will not feel lonely, because I know I will make friends if I have a happy attitude.

I will adjust to life accordingly.

I know that if I adjust to problems in my life and work to be happy despite them, I will have learned the greatest secret in the world. What can I hope to accomplish? Happiness! If I know I can adjust to problems, if I know I can be happy, then I know I can do something very few people can do. I can lead a happy life! If I am happy each and every day, then at the end of my days, I will have led a happy life. I can ask for nothing more.

I will adjust to life accordingly.

I also know that problems will come to meet each and every person in the world. But who are the ones who are happy despite them? The ones who adjust to problems with a happy attitude! I too will adjust to problems in the same way. I will laugh when confronted with a problem, I will smile when things go wrong, because I know I will adjust to them. I know there is nothing that can happen to me that will affect my happiness, because my view of the world comes from inside me. I will conquer life with happiness, I will live each day with joy in my heart, I will adjust to my problems with cheer because I know it is up to me to do such things. I feel an internal strength because I know I can adjust to anything that confronts me. How horrible life would be if happiness depended on something else. It would mean that only certain people would be happy. This knowledge makes me understand the wisdom of Api-Sto-To-Ki . I understand now why He wants me to adjust to the problems in my life. I understand why problems need not make me unhappy.

In the limited world He created, the only way He could allow all of us to be happy was to leave it up to us.

Thank you, Api-Sto-To-Ki, for showing me this!!!

 

Rule

O Say Can U C